Police have received two reports of people dressed as clowns in King’s Lynn
Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, is in the top 13 list of fears among the British public

A new survey compiled by YouGov has revealed the top 13 fears of the British public.

Over 2,000 people were presented with 13 common phobias, asking them to reveal which they were most afraid of, rating them from "not at all" to "very afraid".

The most common fear was acrophobia, otherwise known as vertigo, as 58% of the participants said they were afraid of heights.

Other, more unusual fears included coulrophobia, the fear of clowns - possibly stemming from the creepy appearances of the Northampton Clown, the Stephen King character Pennywise which was eventually unveiled as the 22-year-old student and filmmaker Alex Powell.

Over one quarter of the public said they were inexplicably afraid of mice, while 14% said they felt faint at the sight of blood.

William Jordan, from YouGov, told the Independent: "All are not created equal when it comes to fears. With the exception of needles and getting shots and blood - all of which British men and women ar equally afraid - more women than men are afraid of each thing on the list."

Spiders created the widest gender gap, as 52% of women admitted being afraid of the eight-legged creatures, while two-thirds of men said they did not mind them.

The survey results were also broken down by age, revealing a disparity between the young and the old with different phobias. While those aged between 18 and 24 are commonly afraid of spiders, needles and public speaking, over 60s tended to fear heights and snakes.

These differences extended to different regions of the UK, as Londoners and those in the south counties feared almost everything - in comparison to the north fo England and Scotland.

So what are we all afraid of?

13. Cynophobia

The fear of dogs affected 3% of Brits, while 11% said they were a little afraid. It was stated that the potential of being bitten scared most.

12. Hemophobia

The fear of blood also affects 3% severely and 11% a little, suggesting it's most definitely better in than out.

11. Nyctophobia

The irrational fear of darkness - possibly of what is hiding in it - scares 3% of the British public a lot, and 12% slightly.

10. Coulrophobia

Those who have read Stephen King's It will fully understand having a fear of clowns. Pennywise the Dancing Clown is very much the childhood nightmare, which it seems has followed Brits into adult life - as 4% were very afraid and 8% a little.

9. Agoraphobia

Not exclusively for city-dwellers, the fear of crowds affects 4% very much and 17% moderately. It also describes a fear of public spaces and is linked to anxieties over panic attacks.

8. Pteromerhanophobia

Some 7% of the public are very afraid of flying, while 17% said they were uncomfortable with it. Statistically, flying is the safest way to travel, but high-profile accidents have some of us a little nervous.

7. Trypanophobia

Fear of needles or getting injections – 8% very afraid and 16% are a little afraid. This phobia affects 32% of 18 to 24-year-olds, compared to just 19% of those aged over 60.

6. Musophobia

Fear of mice affects 9% of the public strongly and 17% a little. Overall, 16% of male respondents said they were afraid of mice to some degree, compared to 34% of women.

5. Claustrophobia

One of the top five fears is being closed in a small space – 14% are very afraid and 29% a little afraid. Only a quarter of the public are "not at all afraid" of confined spaces.

4. Arachnophobia

The fear of spiders affects 18%, who admitted being very afraid, while 24% said they were a little afraid.

3. Glossophobia

Fear of public speaking – 20% very afraid, 36% a little afraid. The majority of British people experience sweating palms and palpitations when speaking publicly.

2. Ophidiophobia.

Snakes are our second biggest fear, as 21% are very afraid and 31% are a little afraid.

1. Acrophobia

The number one fear experienced by the British public is a fear of heights: 23% were very afraid, while 35% said they were a little scared. Also known as vertigo, it is one of the most rational fears - as a large drop can kill.