Coulrophobia: What is it?

The prefix "coulro=" comes from Ancient Greek and means “one who goes on stilts”.
Coulrophobia is abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. The condition is common among children, but is also sometimes found in teenagers and adults. Sufferers sometimes acquire a fear of clowns after a bad experience with one personally.

The main reasons for coulrophobia are the make-up and exaggerated features of the clown. Painted eyes and painted smiles, as well as the red bulbous nose, can be frightening initially to children.
A clown act may also feature clowns being hurt, or clowns hurting other clowns. The fact that someone causes physical pain with a huge painted smile suggests that one cannot trust the painted expressions of the clown.
In a more general sense, the concept of obscured facial features appears to be most concerning and may in part account for coulrophobia.


  1. very interesting! Good work!

  2. the first clown is pretty scary!!! I understand perfectly why people have coulrophobia... (creepy clown!)

  3. oh... but they are funny!! I love Clowns!