No Clownin' Around: Looking into the Fear of Clowns

Looking into the fear of clowns

WTVO/WQRF - This time last year, the Stateline was inundated with creepy clown reports.  Some of those included threats that made students afraid to go to school.  The furor over creepy clowns quieted down, but for many people the fear of clowns around Halloween is very real.

Clowns are supposed to be fun.  The colorful makeup, the loud clothing. the funny antics, but some people are truly terrified of clowns. Haunted houses in the Stateline use that fear to full effect.

The sight of clowns scares a lot of people.  It may be a look of an unfriendly face that provoking coulourphobia, the fear of clowns.

"I think what it is about clowns is you can't really identify what their intentions are, or what they might do," said Scott Bea, a Psychologist for Cleveland Clinic.  "They have this capacity to startle you, and so there's an uncertainty, particularly uncertainty about a threat."

It's a threat that many people do feel.  Just last year in Dixon, clowns were seen popping up on streets.  There were fake ones on corners and video showed one walking towards a car.  The clown sightings were spread throughout the nation.  Some believe the fear can start at an early age and that most children don’t actually like clowns. One study found that children who were staying in hospitals particularly disliked decorations that included clowns.

"It creeps them out and it just sticks with them their whole life," said Director at Trail of Screams Kory Kinsman.  "It just makes people feel uneasy."

At Trail of Screams, they use clowns to try to give that unsettled feeling to their visitors.  Actor Kefonte Taylor says the way they speak and body movements tend to get a bigger rise out of people than just the masks and make up alone.

"Their reactions, when they see me they just get all crunched together," said Taylor.  "[They] don't want to go anywhere."

Hollywood also cashed in on fear of creepy clowns.  One of the biggest blockbusters of the year so far was the movie 'It' about a murderous creepy clown.


More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center