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What Is The Phobia Of Clowns Called

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Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing

Clown Phobia Explained: Is Stephen King’s IT The Reason For The Massive Fear Of Clowns?

This another form of treatment used with patients suffering from specific phobia or anxiety disorders. It is used with patients who know the cause of their phobia.

First, the therapist collects the patients history of different fears. They then identify the real cause of the particular fear/phobia the patient has.

They then discuss any new/latest event that triggered their anxiety and fear in the past few weeks.

People coming with specific phobias are told to imagine their distress causing stimuli.

The therapist then works with the individual in order for them to overcome their fear.

In the case of Coulrophobia, the patient will be advised on how to overcome his fear of clowns. They do this by creating a positive imagery for the patients feared stimuli.

Which Is The Silliest Phobia In The World

Linonophobia: This has got to be the silliest phobia ever. A morbid fear of strings! I am sure, all the cats in the world do not have it. Euphobia: This is the fear of hearing good news. Now why in the world would anyone be fearful of that, beats me! Vestiphobia: Commonly known as the fear of clothing.

What Does It Mean When A Person Looks Down And To The Left

If someone looks down and to the left they are accessing their feelings and when they look down and to the right they are having an internal dialogue with themselves. If someone says they were at a certain place at a certain time and you dont believe them you can always ask them a question about it.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Phobia Of Clowns

Chest pains A mind preoccupied with mimes or clowns Extreme anxiety and panic

The symptoms of Coulrophobia can get worse with more fear and loss of mental balance. Such people are simply unable to calm down themselves and need constant moral support to become normal.

It is one of the most common types of fear of clowns phobia that is often seen in children. The kids burst into tears or simply refuse to go to parties just because they are scared of seeing someone there.

Such a situation indicates that the child is on the verge of developing a clown phobia or maybe actually suffering from it. Experts believe that those who feel anxious or have an irrational fear of clowns in their adulthood might have developed it in their childhood.

Many times the fear intensifies and becomes irrational as a child steps from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. Lying awake in the night and tossing and turning worrying about interacting with clowns is the first symptom that you are developing a phobia of clowns.

From Grimaldi To Just Grim

Chilren Fear On Clowns

The unhappy clown certainly isnt new. After Grimaldis death in 1837, clowns became more of a tragic figure. The 1893 Italian opera Pagliacci had a darker take on Commedia dellarte, where the clown Canio murders his wife after finding out she is in love with the Harlequin character.

European circus clowns later reached the US, where the hobo clown was popularised by circus performer Emmett Kelly and his character Weary Willie following the economic depression in the 1930s. In came the red nose and tattered clothes, painting a portrait of the clown down on his luck.

It wasnt until the 1960s that clowns became associated with childhood entertainment. Ronald McDonald put on a happy face for the global burger chains Happy Meals. Polka-dotted clowns squirting water and fashioning balloon animals became a staple of childrens parties, and the modern clown became associated with childish comedy rather than theatre.

In 1986, Stephen King wrote the book IT, and it was adapted into a TV mini-series in 1990 starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. Pennywise popped up in places that should be safe, such as a back garden or a library in broad daylight, terrorising the children of Derry, Maine .

Adam thinks that the modern trigger for coulrophobia might have something to do with IT, and the remake is proving that Pennywise is still scaring us today:

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What Is Clown Phobia

Most people think clowns are uplifting and entertaining with their colorful, painted on faces, but thereâs a certain portion of the population that finds these characters to be sinister and frightening – due to an irrational fear. What causes clown phobia and what are the symptoms of this condition?

What Does Coulrophobia Mean

Coulrophobia is the abnormal fear of clowns.

Some people have phobias, which are fears associated with specific objects or activities. These abnormal fears are typically considered irrational because the object of the fear isnt usually harmful. Often, these fears are formed around a traumatic event.

Many people have a fear of clowns, but usually it doesnt rise to the level of true coulrophobia.

Example: I could never go to the circus because I have coulrophobia.

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Psychopathology Life And Society: Coulrophobia: Are You Afraid Of Clowns

Psychopathology, Life, and Society: Coulrophobia: Are you afraid of clowns?

When we think of clowns, one of two visions usually come to mind. Its either the playful, friendly clown at your birthday party or the evil, scary clown that haunts you in your nightmares. The recently release of the movie It inspired me to write about an issue anecdotally reported to psychiatrists by their patients but rarely discussed in the psychiatric literature: coulrophobia, or the phobia of clowns.

What about treatment? There is no literature data specifically addressing the treatment of coulrophobia, although we can possibly infer that, similarly to other specific phobias, it would respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Techniques such as systematic desensitization would probably be of benefit. Despite the curious and unique nature of this condition, we can surely state that patients experiencing enough distress associated with it should surely be encouraged to seek treatment and its importance should not be, by any means, minimized.


  • American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013
  • American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Wahsington DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994
  • van Venrooij LT, Barnhoorn PC. Coulrophobia: how irrational is fear of clowns? Eur J Pediatr. 2017 176:677.
  • Is It Ok To Lie To Protect Someones Feelings

    Is fear of clowns a real phobia?

    But before lying to protect someones interests or feelings, ask yourself not only whether you are lying to protect them, but also whether that person would believe your lie was well-intended if they found out. Even though paternalistic lies are often well-intentioned, if uncovered, they will usually backfire.

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    Response To Evil Clowns In Media

    In 2014, Clowns of America International responded to the depiction of Twisty on American Horror Story, and evil clowns in media generally. President Glenn Kohlberger said, “Hollywood makes money sensationalizing the norm. They can take any situation no matter how good or pure and turn it into a nightmare. … We do not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear.'”

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    The American rap duo Insane Clown Posse have exploited this theme since 1989 and have inspired Twiztid and similar acts, many on Psychopathic Records, to do likewise. Websites dedicated to evil clowns and the fear of clowns appeared in the late 1990s.

    Terrifying The Master Of Terror

    But if you’re spooked by clowns, you’re in good company. Writer Stephen King, famed master of the horror-fiction genre and creator of the demonic clown Pennywise in the novel “It,” told the Bangor Daily News on Sept. 9 that “clowns really can be terrifying.”

    Does everyone have an inner monologue?

    King admitted that seeing a clown outside of the character’s typical context, such as a circus or a birthday party, could be unnerving yes, even for him.

    “If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge , I’d be scared, too,” King said.

    Clown phobias aside, a typical circus or birthday party clown is unlikely to cause anyone harm. However, officials in Greenville are still on the lookout for people behaving suspiciously while dressed as clowns, and have announced plans to arrest and charge anyone violating standing city ordinances against wearing costumes and identity-concealing masks in public spaces.

    Unless, of course, it happens to be Halloween.

    Originally published on Live Science.

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    Do You Have A Phobia Of Railroad Tracks

    The phobia, however, goes far beyond simply using an abundance of caution. The fear of being stuck on railroad tracks is often, though not always, related to a previous negative experience. If you have ever had a car stall on the tracks, you may be at increased risk for a phobia. However, the negative experience need not have happened to you.

    Where Does Coulrophobia Come From

    Pin on Joel Wong Clown Singapore

    Coulrophobia follows the same pattern as many words for specific phobias, such as arachnophobia . The -phobia part comes from a Greek word meaning fear. The first part of coulrophobia is likely based on the Greek word kolon, meaning limb, perhaps in reference to stilts, which many clowns walk on in circus acts.

    The concept of the fear of clowns has been magnified by pop culture, with many horror movies based on this idea. But clinically diagnosed coulrophobia is uncommon. Many behavioral psychologists suggest that coulrophobia symptoms, such as fear or discomfort, are found in many people, but not many people actually experience the crippling anxiety and dread associated with the condition.

    The fear of clowns is not fully understood, but research suggests that their exaggerated facial makeup may be to blame.

    Coulrophobia, like other -phobia words, is more often used in formal settings, since the more straightforward phrase fear of clowns usually suffices.

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    What Causes A Fear Of Clowns

    Phobias often come from a variety of sources usually a deeply traumatic and frightening event. Occasionally, however, youll come across a fear with roots you cant identify, meaning you dont know why youre so intensely afraid of the thing in question. You just are.

    In the case of coulrophobia, there are a few likely causes:

    • Scary movies. Theres a connection between scary clowns in media and people being intensely afraid of them. Viewing too many scary movies with clowns at an impressionable age can have a lasting impact even if it was just once at a friends sleepover.
    • Traumatic experiences. Having an experience that involves a clown where you were paralyzed with terror or were unable to escape the situation could be classified as a traumatic experience. Your brain and body would be wired from that point on to flee any situation involving clowns. While this isnt always the case, its possible that your phobia may be tied to traumas in your life, and its important to discuss this as a possible cause with a trusted therapist or family member.
    • Learned phobia. This one is a little less common, but its equally possible that you may have learned your fear of clowns from a loved one or trusted authority figure. We learn rules about the world from our parents and other adults, so seeing your mom or older sibling terrified of clowns may have taught you that clowns are a thing to fear.

    Why Do We Avoid Eye Contact

    For those without a diagnosed mental health condition, avoidance of eye contact could be related to shyness or a lack of confidence. Looking someone in the eye while speaking can feel uncomfortable for those without a lot of practice making conversation or who tend to prefer not being in the spotlight.

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    What Are The Cures For Coulrophobia

    Just like treating other phobias, curing fear often isnt easy.

    Cognitive behaviour therapy can be used to help sufferers change their unproductive thought patterns.

    This allows them to distinguish that their intense fear is in their imagination.

    Other treatment that is taken on by acrophobic patients includes behaviour therapy, counselling and hypnosis.

    In some cases, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed to help relieve the stressful symptoms.

    What Is The Most Common Phobia

    Clown Phobia Therapy

    7 Most Common Phobias & How They Affect PatientsArachnophobia Arachnophobia is possibly the most well-known of all phobias. Ophidiophobia Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. Acrophobia Acrophobia, or fear of heights, affects over 20 million people. Aerophobia Aerophobia is fear of flying and affects an estimated 8 million people.More itemsMay 30, 2019

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    The Uncertainty Of Clowns

    If you go to a circus as an adult, you pretty much known what to expect. Lion tamers tame lions. Jugglers juggle. Acrobats perform impressive stunts. And clowns clown around. But that last bit isnt quite as predictable as the others. In a way, the whole point of clowns is that they do things which defy normal behaviour. Unpredictability is something which causes knee-jerk distrust and apprehension in humans. The drunk on public transport, the homeless person yelling in the street, these figures are desperately avoided/ignored by those around them because they clearly arent conforming to societal norms, and thus present a possible threat.

    This is even worse if were in a social context, as clowns invariably are. Social anxieties are among the most common in humans, we genuinely fear being judged and mocked by others, whether we know them or not. Have you ever gone to a comedy gig and actively not sat in the front row? Most people do this, for fear of being spoken to and addressed, possibly ridiculed, by the comedian on stage.

    A comedian is just a person, but they still prove scary enough in the right context. Lump all the upsetting visual qualities of clowns on top, and youve got a genuine and potent fear reaction.

    How Can You Tell If Someones Lying

    Indifference: Shrugging, lack of expression, and a bored posture can be signs of lying since the person is trying to avoid conveying emotions and possible tells. Overthinking: If the individual seems to be thinking too hard to fill in the details of the story, it might be because they are deceiving you.

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    How Common Is Fear Of Clown Phobia

    There are many fears out there which people struggle with. A person can be scared of snakes, dogs or even can be fearful of marriage. Interestingly, the colorful makeup that these clowns wear deconstructs their facial features thereby creating a new identity. This exactly leads to clown phobia.

    Another interesting fact about clowns is that with a new identity they are able to break social norms and do things like interacting even with strangers at ease which can be unsettling to many. So, how common is the fear of clowns phobia?

    Although there are no official Coulrophobia facts or data available related to the number of people suffering from this phobia, a general estimate is that around 12% of adults in the US have a phobia of clowns.

    How Many People Are Coulrophobic

    Is fear of clowns a real phobia?

    A University of Sheffield study found that most children aged four to 16 in a study of 250 dislike clowns. We found that clowns are universally disliked by children, says Penny Curtis, one of the studys lead researchers, via BBC. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.

    Another study conducted by Chapman University revealed that approximately 7.8% of adult Americans are actually afraid of clowns, so dont worry, no matter your age, you are not alone in your fear. Next, read about what watching a scary movie does to your body.

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    What Causes Coulrophobia

    As stated above, representations of evil clowns in media is a big contributor for instilling this phobia in young or anxious minded adults.

    Clowns and court jesters have been around for thousands of years. Even Emperors and kings in Egypt, China and Europe allowed their court Jesters to mock them where no else could. It was a pretty important position in court. The clown or the Fool was the village idiot who was allowed to be blasphemous. He might have been a harmless eccentric who was obscenely humorous or uninhibited in his sexual acts. In fact: in many Pueblo tribal celebrations, clowns performed sexual acts like masturbation, intercourse, sodomy etc in front of the entire tribe. These associations are known to exist in modern pop culture and media representations.

    Psychologists also believe that, like in case of other specific phobias, the fear of clowns could be deeply rooted in childhood, mainly because children below the age of 4 years are highly reactive to familiar body type and unfamiliar faces. One phobic, for example, recalls having visited a fair as a young girl where she encountered a foul-smelling, yellow-teethed clown who got in her face.

    Agents Of The Dark Side

    Clowns also have qualities that can appear suspiciously otherworldly, Radford told Live Science. They can cram 20 of their friends into a tiny car. They can unfurl endless scarves or squirt water from floral boutonnieres. So it’s no wonder that children, or even adults, in a clown’s audience might be inclined to connect the figures to the supernatural.

    And for some people, the unpredictability of clowns makes them frightening, said Kristin Kunkle, a clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

    “They pull things out of their sleeves. They blow up balloons and then pop them,” Kunkle said. “They do things that bring on a rush of emotion that some people might be excited about and some people might find overwhelming.”

    It probably hasn’t helped that in recent decades, a number of horror movies and TV shows have prominently featured gleefully diabolical clowns, such as the costumed alien invaders in “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” , Pennywise from “It” , Killjoy from the ongoing “Killjoy” film series , and Captain Spaulding from “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects” .

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    But perhaps the scariest example of all is the so-called “Killer Clown”: real-life serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy, Jr. A professional clown, Gacy was convicted in 1980 of sexually assaulting and murdering at least 33 young men and boys, many of whom he buried under his house.

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