The top ten creepiest jobs (and hobbies) that people have

I don’t have one of the top ten creepiest jobs. Nope. Being a writer comes in at number 11 on the list of professions with the highest potential to creep people out. That’s the finding from a paper called “On the Nature of Creepiness” by psychologist Francis T. McAndrew from Knox College. With this research, the team set out to create an empirical study of “creepiness.”

An international sample of 1,341 participants were surveyed about their perceptions of people’s appearance, mannerisms, hobbies, and careers to see what they found to be creepy.

In general, men were perceived as more likely to be creepy than women, and females were more likely to associate creepiness with a sexual threat.

Unusual body language and characteristics associated with unpredictability were also commonly associated with creepiness, as were some occupations and hobbies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘Clown’ tops the list of the creepiest jobs to have. Some of the other career paths that creep people out are less expected. Here they are.

The top ten creepiest jobs

  • Clown
  • Taxidermist
  • Sex Shop Owner
  • Funeral Director
  • Taxi Driver
  • Unemployed
  • Clergy
  • Janitor
  • Garbage Collector
  • Guard

As I mentioned, ‘Writer’ came in at #11 on the list.

Creepy hobbies?

The researchers also asked participants to list the hobbies that they thought of as being creepy. “Collecting things” was the creepiest. This makes sense when you look at the collections that participants mentioned being spooked by. Collecting dolls, insects, reptiles, or body parts such as teeth, bones, or fingernails are considered particularly unsettling.

Watching, following, or taking pictures of people (especially children) also ranked high on the creepy scale with many participants. Even bird watchers were considered to be creepy by many. A fascination with pornography or exotic sexual activity and taxidermy were also frequently mentioned as creepy hobbies to have. No argument here.

(With apologies to my friend and Yackler co-founder Elizabeth who does have a little thing for taxidermy.)

You can read the full study online.