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Stranger Than Fiction

Many persons are fearful of clowns

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2023 | 7:43 AMBANG Bizarre

Experts say that many suffer from coulrophobia – a fear of the face-painted entertainers – as clowns do not look human and their "exaggerated facial features convey a direct sense of threat".

Researchers at the University of South Wales carried out a study to discover the roots of the fear and found that negative portrayals, such as Stephen King's Pennywise, was also a key factor.

The scientists wrote: "For many people, a fear of clowns stems from not being able to see their facial expressions due to make-up.

"We cannot see their 'true' faces and therefore cannot understand their emotional intent.

"We don't know whether they have a frown or a furrowed brow, which would indicate anger. Not being able to detect what a clown is thinking or what they might do next puts some of us on edge."



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