Why do people fear clowns

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people fear clowns

Why do so many people fear clowns?
When i was a kid i remember i used to laugh when watching clowns perform. After all the main reason clowns do their job is to make people laugh, so why do many people fear clowns to the extent that some of them get panic attacks when they see them?

Before you can understand why do some people fear clowns you first need to know how a phobia is created in general. If you were a little kid and you have been through a traumatic experience related to a certain object then you will certainly fear this object as a grown up.

For example some people develop fear of dogs because of being bitten by a dog at an early age.

Now the question is, if this is how phobias are formed then how can a person end up fearing clowns provided that no traumatic experience could have ever happened to a him in the presence of a clown?!

Reasons why people fear clowns

There is one additional piece of information that solves the fear of clowns puzzle. A phobia can be formed by seeing the fearful reaction of another person when he gets exposed to an object. This means that if a child saw someone becoming terrified as a result of seeing a clown then he might develop Coulrophobia or fear of clowns as a result.

Now with all the movies about clowns that were introduced any child can acquire Coulrophobia just by watching the actor's response to the clown. The movie IT was one of these famous movies which was about an evil clown that kills people.

Once people start thinking that a harmless object is harmful they start imagining other fearful aspects about it. Some people will tell you that they fear clowns because no one can ever guess their intentions as a result of the masks they wear.

Others will tell you that they fear clowns because the makeup the clown puts on is really scary while in fact all of these conclusions were drawn because there was some initial fear of those clowns.

More theories about the fear of clowns

Sometimes a person can project the fear of an object on another object. If a child used to fear people who wear masks then this fear might be transferred to clowns as well. In my article why do some people fear cats i explained how the fear of women can be projected on cats because they represent a feminine symbol to most people!!

Others say that fear of clowns happens in the early childhood because the circus environment is highly overwhelming to children and this makes the child feel uneasy while being there. I am not a supporter of this theory because if it was true then all kids who went to the circus would have had fear of clowns as grown ups.

Lots of people fear clowns because of the programming they have received through the media which portrayed clowns as evil creatures who harm people.

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