Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns

Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns

A fear of clowns, or to give it the correct name Coulrophobia, is something very much in the news at the moment with newspaper reports of people dressing up as clowns to scare others. To many people this may seem like good wholehearted fun but when you bear in mind that a fear of clowns is one of the most common phobias this is no laughing matter. So, why is Coulrophobia so common and what exactly is it based on?

Exaggerated facial features

If you look at the modern day clown everything is exaggerated from the size of their feet, to the size of their clothes not to mention their facial features and other body parts. While those who have no fear of clowns see this as nothing but fun and games, specifically targeted at children, a number of reports of suggest otherwise. Many experts believe that the problem with clowns is connected with the fact they still resemble normal people but they borderline scary for many.

History shows us that the clown outfit was not seen as a form of entertainment in the early years and does in fact have sinister roots.

Clowns in movies

While on the face of its many would suggest that clowns are nothing but fun and games how many horror movies include clowns as some of their scary central characters? We only need to look at the likes of Stephen King’s horror movies and “Krusty the Clown” to get an idea of how the world of entertainment and movies actually uses clowns. In reality there are very few clown characters in movies and sitcoms around the world which offer a pleasant experience.

Circus clowns

The circus has been the home of clowns for many years with their oversized cars, collapsing houses and water propelling flowers. Again, while many see this as entertainment some children in later years have highlighted uncomfortable situations at circuses involving clowns. You can just imagine, you are relatively young and a very strange looking character comes towards you with everybody laughing and joking. The humour and fun related to clowns is most certainly in the eye of the beholder but many people do not see the funny side.

Children and clowns

It is not clear why but a number of reports in recent years have highlighted the fact that many children have a serious aversion to clowns. Indeed the University of Sheffield once polled 250 children asking them what kind of decor they would like for the new hospital. A surprising number of children aged between four and 16 highlighted a fear of clowns which was taken into account with the new decor.

There does seem to be a sinister undertone to the character of clowns and while often dismissed by many it is known to be one of the most common phobias around today.

Do you suffer from Coulrophobia?

We would like to hear from anybody who suffers from a phobia of clowns and how you have managed to cope with this going forward. You will see from the comments above it is difficult to identify why clowns are seen as scary but for some reason not everyone sees them as funny likeable characters.

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