For those unfamiliar with the word, sciurophobia is fear of squirrels. And yes, I had to look it up.
I used to think they were kind of cute. The furry tail, the playful running around the trees, the small hands turning a piece of food, you know... A few years back I had to remove a deceased one from my back yard and remember getting a closer look at one and it seemed just too close to a rat, so have not cared for them much since, but certainly no fear had yet started.
As I started to run in the city in the early morning, I noticed a surprisingly high number of rabbits and squirrels crossing my path. They all try to get away from you and often take the wrong turns and run in the wrong direction (forward just a few steps further on my path), so they keep freaking out in a stop and go motion.
My sciurophobia developed as I saw them try to get away from me. My active imagination came up with a scenario in which a squirrel, feeling cornered, jumps from a tree in a defensive move and starts gnawing at the carotid artery in my neck.
The thinking goes that, with my heart rate around 150 b.p.m. while running, once you make an incision on that vital artery, I'd loose all the blood in my body before I even had a chance to finish the song currently playing.
So needless to say, I no longer see squirrels the same way.