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Coulrophobia: the Fear of Clowns

By Hayley Birch


What's so scary about them?

Are you kidding? Strange juggling men in yellow wigs and funny shoes, faces caked in inch-thick, white make-up? As a child there was very little I found scarier than clowns; except Father Christmas - oh come on, a fat man with a beard trying to get into your bedroom in the middle of the night?

What do the scientists say about it?

Psychologists are pretty tuned in to coulrophobia, reckoning that nine times out of ten, the fear can be related back to a traumatic experience during childhood
. For confirmed coulrophobe Lisa Weilhumer it happened, unsurprisingly, at the circus. “A clown got right up in front of my face, and I could see his beard stubble underneath the clown makeup. He smelled bad and his eyes were weird… He had this smile painted on his face, but he was not smiling. He was yucky. Scary. Freaky. Weird.”

Coulrophobia: True or False?

No doubt about it. They're nasty, scary little men. True.



Back to Top Ten Weird Phobias


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01 Jan 2009
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