Fear of Clowns – Coulrophobia

Does the thought of visiting a circus make you both nervous and restless? Does the red nose and the over-pronounced smile of that clown juggling the balls scare you? Well, you seem to be part of a large majority. Clowns are funny performers who wear wigs, colorful make ups, and costumes. Its job is to entertain and provide the audience happiness. However, in the case of persons who have Coulrophobia what they offer are panic attacks.

Statistics shows that one out of seven persons has Coulrophobia or has a fear of clowns. Hence, making this kind of phobia is very rare in occurrence. The persons with Coulrophobia do not only fear the clowns who they see with their own eyes, they also have encounter panic attacks whenever someone says the word clowns. Persons with Coulrophobia should not be judge accordingly but they have to be understood and accepted.


As a recent study has found that one in five people has a fear of clowns. A study conducted by a Hospital in UK showed that decorating a children’s ward with images of clowns actually backfired when more than 250 children (in the age groups of 4 to 16) reported disliking the images.

Such odd phobias are no laughing matter for sufferers, but may help them cope with real life risks. Like in case of other phobias, Coulrophobia also produces many physical, mental and emotional symptoms in the sufferer some of which are:Coulrophobia -Clown-phobia

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Feelings of dread
  • Accelerated heartbeat and rapid breathing
  • Crying or screaming
  • Feeling angry at being placed in a situation where clowns are present.

Other irrational fears involve lumpy food, fizzy drinks and shower curtains.

Phobia specialist Dr Becky Spellman said: “It is easier to concentrate our fears on something that is very unlikely to ever hurt us, like clowns, than to think about the real risks.”

Coulrophobia does not affect one’s day-to-day life as one can avoid situations (circuses, birthday parties etc) where one might encounter clowns. However, if the phobia is interfering with one’s professional or personal life it is best to seek Doctors help for it.

Ref: Pune mirror

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