Betty White Had This Phobia for Most of Her Life

The late star of The Golden Girls, Betty White, lived until she was 99 years old. Although she wasn’t afraid to die, she did have one phobia that she admits lasted for most of her life. Here’s one of the phobias that made White afraid.

Things Betty White was afraid of

Betty White poses in a black outfit while smiling.
Betty White | D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

White revealed her list of fears in her book Betty White in Person. Some of the things that filled her with fear were fire, being embarrassed, falling, minor fears like wearing too much makeup, and the dying process.

“The how, not the when of it,” she wrote. White said she tried not to think too much about her fears, especially the process of dying. She joked that she will “improvise” when it’s time for her to die instead of spending her energy thinking about how her death would happen.  

White said her mother had a positive way of thinking about death. She said that when someone in her family died, her mother would say that person “knew the secret” of what happens after death. White said it sounded “simplistic” but this way of framing the event took the fear of death away from her. She began to think of death as an “adventure” she had yet to take. However, she emphasized she wanted to make the most of whatever time she had left to live.

Betty White had this phobia for most of her life

White said she didn’t like any time of creepy crawlers, but one phobia that bothered her was a fear of spiders. “I couldn’t look at them without that cold chill running all through my body,” wrote White in her book Betty White in Person.

White said she tried her best to think about the positive side of spiders and how they can be beneficial. However, she said she would eventually “turn to Jell-O” if a spider dropped in front of her. She joked that if she was in a room full of people, the spider would find her somehow.

White said she began to feel less afraid of spiders after a friend gave her the book Charlotte’s Web. “I began to shape up,” said White.” She said after reading that book, she reached a point where she was able to capture a spider, put it in a jar, and release it if she happened to come across one. However, she said once she finished releasing the spider, she would think about what she had just done and have a “shuddering fit.”

Although White didn’t like arachnids or insects, she still managed to find something nice to say about them in her book. “It is shortsighted to badmouth the world of insects,” she wrote. “I even feel they might resent being called ‘bugs.’”

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