Celebs with the creepiest hobbies

Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld collect cars. Tom Hanks collects antique typewriters. Learning about these kinds of hobbies usually adds a layer of depth to these already likable celebrities, and makes us not feel so bad about all the money we throw away on our own horde of useless tchotchkes. But some stars have a pastime so strange it's difficult to understand how they would even get into it in the first place. Here are some famous folks who spend their off-time in seriously creepy ways.

Christian Bale

We know from the leaked audio tapes from Terminator Salvation that Christian Bale is a man of passion. When he's focused on something, he means to see it through without interruption or distraction. This unique quality is probably why nobody ever told him how creepy it is that he likes to watch things rot. Yes, you read that correctly: actor Christian Bale's hobby is observing biodegradable items slowly decaying. But wait, it gets weirder.

According to Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman, the memoir written by Bale's former assistant, Harrison Cheung, Bale's father revealed the nasty hobby while giving Cheung a tour of his son's bedroom. "You see, my poor son has a morbid fascination with death and decay. He enjoys watching things rot and mold on his windowsill," David Bale said to Cheung as he pointed out various body fluids atop pieces of bread with which Christian was experimenting. "Some of that is blood. Some is spittle. There's semen there. He wants to see what stimulates the largest amount of mold or takes the least time to decay," Bale's father continued in the horrifying display.

At this point, we're not sure how Cheung hadn't run screaming out of the room, but seriously what in the world, right? And always remember Christian Bale's janky bio lab when you're about to roll your eyes at someone holding up the line at the post office because they're asking about the release dates on commemorative stamps for their collection, because it could be way, way worse.

Angelina Jolie

While Christian Bale may have a fascination with what happens to things when they're dead, it seems like Angelina Jolie might have a preoccupation with helping things get that way, because she collects knives and daggers. On Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jolie revealed her love of the stabby arts by saying, "I've collected weapons since I was a little girl." She also said her fascination started after going to a Renaissance Faire and seeing all of the beautiful blades, then she demonstrated tricks with a butterfly knife, which isn't terrifying at all. But Jolie doesn't just keep her knives in a cabinet for show. Sometimes she breaks them out during sex.

Telling ABC News that while her knife collection is now basically just antiques, earlier in her teenage years, she once busted them out in the bedroom. "I didn't ever feel enough. I didn't feel close enough to another person, I didn't feel alive enough. … Nothing ever felt real and honest enough. And so because I had knives around … early on in my first sexual relationship, I got knives out and had a night where we attacked each other," Jolie said. "It didn't hurt, it was cold, and it felt so primitive and it felt so honest," she added. She also said she still has the scars from that violent and sexy night. Alrighty then. We think we're good here. No need to find out any more about that, right? Moving on.

Claudia Schiffer

Supermodel-turned-fashion maven Claudia Schiffer has what is probably the most unexpected hobby out of anyone on this list: she collects insects. Not only that, but she likes to paint them, and has filled both of her UK homes with her renditions of all things arachnid, according to The Telegraph. "As a child, I was fascinated with spiders' webs sparkling with morning dew, or just after the rain," she says. And she's not acting coy in that way that models sometimes do, like when they talk about having acne during a supposed awkward teenage phase.

Schiffer's eight-legged obsession even made it's way into her fashion line, called "Claudia Schiffer," which used a spider in its logo. As for her inspiration for the line of knitwear? You'll never guess. "My inspiration is the forest and its dark side. It's not about the cute fox, more the fox eating its prey, and 'pebbles' lying on the forest floor that could turn out to be spiders," Schiffer said.

Mike Tyson

This one is probably the most well-known creepy hobby on the list, and maybe on its face, it doesn't actually seem that strange. But to see Mike Tyson, the ferocious boxer and guy who once bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear, snuggling his tattooed face up to his racing pigeons is unquestionably unsettling. The backstory of how he got into collecting and racing pigeons is equally unsettling. According to The LA Times, Tyson took on the hobby as a young boy to escape constant bullying in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood. But it didn't exactly work. In one gruesome incident, a bully grabbed one of Tyson's birds as he was carrying them home, and "twisted its head off and sprayed blood all over him." Tyson says this is the first time he ever threw a punch, leading him down his path to boxing infamy.

Aside from that horrifying origin story, there is even more material out there regarding Mike Tyson's pigeon hobby that makes it seem creepy, including an anecdote about his girlfriend eating one of them, the fact that he has pageants for them, and this clip of him basically falling in love with one as he gently pets it. But overall, you get the sense that Tyson actually gets a lot of fulfillment out of his avian obsession. "This is something that has really brought meaning to me and my life. This is not a hobby. This is something we're going to do until the day we die. I love being in my pigeon world. It brings me a calm," Tyson once said. In an episode of Taking On Tyson, the former heavyweight champ also explained that his affinity for the birds has to do with their loyalty. "As long as he's alive and his heart's pumping, he'll come back," Tyson says almost wistfully. Yep, alright, now it's back to creepy again.

Aaron Paul

We admit this one is a huge stretch, because it's definitely more of a hidden talent, but Aaron Paul once went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and revealed his uncanny ability to guess dog genders just by petting them on the back. Paul said he's been able to do this since he was a little kid, which means it's something he's likely been doing repetitively, for amusement and for a long time, so we're calling it a hobby. Deal with it.

In the segment, Paul is blindfolded and presented with four different pooches. He proceeds to pet the first three on the back and head until he proclaims "B****!" for each one. And he's right. Three females in a row. For the final dog, which is a male, Paul yells out, "This one's got balls, b****!" At this point, it seems like this whole scenario is just a thinly veiled attempt to get Paul to yell out his signature line from Breaking Bad, but we refuse to believe it. This man has the extra-sensory power of identifying canine genitalia, and we're glad he's turned it into a hobby and generously shared it with the world.

Simon Cowell

Even though Simon Cowell was a wealthy music producer long before his American Idol debut, his fame really took off when he made a name for himself crushing the dreams of hopeful singers on live television. And Cowell must have really taken a shine to the role of creepy villain, because he's apparently extended that personality to his real life. In an interview with The Mirror, the British bully admitted that one of his hobbies is spying on his neighbors with a telescope. Yep. Referencing the Dudley Moore film, 10, in which Moore uses a telescope to spy on naked women at his porn producer neighbor's house, Cowell said, "I saw that Dudley Moore film and it was great. Afterwards, I got a telescope installed in my kitchen so I can spy on people. I look out over the Hollywood Hills into my neighbours' gardens. It's an amazing view. It isn't powerful enough to see into their homes – so you can't see them in the shower – but you can see into their gardens." Cowell also added, "It's great fun. I just like to keep an eye on what is happening."

Not surprisingly, Cowell's neighbors haven't lined up to bring a welcoming plate of brownies to The X-Factor star's door, and they're not shy about talking to the press about him. "I have spoken to several builders and workers at the house, and they say they have to park in the street because Cowell doesn't want them on his drive. Of course, what he says goes, but what Cowell doesn't realise is that it is making life miserable for everyone else on his street," one neighbor told The Daily Mail. Hold up, they're just mad about street parking? Wait until they find out about creepy Cowell's peeping pastime.

​Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand took two normal hobbies — antiquing and design — and turned them into something so creepy it wouldn't be out of place in a horror movie. In the basement of the barn on her Malibu estate, she created what looks like a Victorian Era-inspired "mall," complete with storefronts, a stone walkway, vintage clothes, and lifeless, dead-eyed dolls. This thing is a few cans of perishables away from being a full-on prepper bunker, not to mention, it's literally a way for Streisand to pretend like her collections are living in some weird, frozen in time Dickens novel. "Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them," Streisand told Harper's Bazaar. Right, Babs, we know that you could do this. The question is why would you do this? Seriously, that statement should be in the dictionary next to the phrase "too much time on your hands." It would be like Jay Leno saying, "Why keep all of my cars in a garage when I can just build my own fake highway and pay people to drive them around all day long?" Because that would be insane, that's why.

​Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless will forever be known for her role in Xena: Warrior Princess, but the prolific actress has done much more than the basic cable fantasy series that ended in 2001. In 2015, she was in Shreveport, LA shooting Salem, when Lawless revealed her hidden hobby to Stuff. "I spend a lot of time in the courthouse of whatever city I am at. I watch the criminal trials and I get to know the judges and the bailiffs and even the families sometimes," Lawless said.

Lawless claims this unusual hobby has to do with figuring out what's really going on in the community. "You get to see patterns of behaviour and it's been a really huge education. They call this place the buckle of the Bible Belt, so you have a lot of convention and religiosity but you also have a lot of libertarians and free-thinking people and an arts community," she said. We have to think its a little off-putting to someone potentially facing hard time to look out at the courtroom and see Xena sitting there taking notes for her personal sociology experiment. Besides, has she never heard of the library? Or the Internet?

Daryl Hall

After he admitted to interviewer Timothy White that his first solo album, Sacred Songs, was inspired by the beliefs of occultist Aleister Crowley, Daryl Hall exposed his unusual hobby of studying mysticism. The blond half of Hall & Oates elaborated in a Penthouse interview (via Salon). "Around 1974, I graduated into the occult, and spent a solid six or seven years immersed in the Kabbala and the Chaldean, Celtic, and Druidic traditions (and) ancient techniques for focusing the inner flame, the will that can create unimagined things and truly transform your individual universe," he said.

Sounds exactly like The Secret, right? So, while it sounds like Daryl Hall was an early pioneer of woo-woo new age spiritual arts, it also could have something to do with his family heritage. "I come from a family of ministers. And my great-grandfather was what they used to call in Pennsylvania a "pow-wow man," which is basically a male witch," Hall said in a Pitchfork interview. He goes on to say his warlock grandad was a healer who made potions for people and also had "an evil side." So, if you've ever wondered what kind of dark magic makes it possible for you to passionately hate a song like "Private Eyes," yet you know all of the lyrics, never skip the track when it comes on, and can't even stop yourself from clapping right after the word "eyes," we think we found an answer for that.