Politicians scare us more than horror films poll finds

  • Tales from the Commons beat Tales from the Crypt
  • Spiders, Brexit, FOMO and coriander poll higher than horror movies in Britain’s League Table of Fears

With Halloween approaching, there is mounting evidence that real world fears are eclipsing imaginary fears, according to poll for Clintons.



Traditional blood curdling horror movies, such as The Exorcist and the Blair Witch Project, have given way to politicians, Brexit, debt and coriander, according to the poll.

Politicians fare worst, with over half of those polled (56%) expressing fear of our elected representatives.  FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, also featured highly with 25% admitting to this form of social anxiety.

Autumn’s Spider season (aka spider mating season), was voted number three on the list.


Clintons fear index

1 56% Politicians
2 39% Heights
3 33% Spider season
4 28% Evil Clowns
5 28% Brexit
6 25% FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
7 22% Drowning
8 17% Coriander
9 17% Debt
10 17% Needles
11 11% North Korea
12 6% Flying
13 6% Herds of Cows
14 4% Horror Movies


Other fears cited include going to the dentist, extreme weather events and herds of cows.  On a more positive note, fewer than 5% of us now fear rodents which is surely good news for those celebrating Rodent Awareness Week (22– 28 Oct).

Horror movies came 14th in the poll, implying that imaginative horrors simply aren’t making the grade this year.  This is despite October being Horror movie release season, with 17 films scheduled to premiere.

Tim Fairs, VP Marketing & eCommerce at Clintons, said: “It’s extraordinary that people are more afraid of Prime Minister’s Questions and Question Time than they are of The Exorcist. Reassuringly, Halloween isn’t all about fear.  It’s about parties and pumpkins and a liberal application of face paints.  What we do know is that it’s an increasingly popular occasion here in the UK.  Judging by this year’s fear index, there could be some very creative trick or treat costumes in the works.”

Halloween is celebrated across the world on the night of 31st October.  Its origins can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Until 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived across Britain, Ireland and northern France.  The Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by growing seasons.  Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of winter.  The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Clintons sells a wide range of Halloween decorations, skeleton balloons, ghoulish makeup, candles, plush beanies and themed mugs.