This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

This Is Why People Have A Fear Of Clowns

Yeah, they can be pretty creepy.

Do cheery clown faces creep you out? You aren't alone.

It is estimated that 12 per cent of American adults have a phobia of clowns. The fear is so prevalent it even has a scientific name: coulrophobia.

While each case of coulrophobia differs from person to person, scientists say there are a number of reasons why people find frizzy haired, red nosed, overly enthusiastic clowns scary.

In the video above, we look at three of the most common reasons why people develop a fear of clowns.

Scary clown characters like Pennywise in "It" and the Joker from "Batman" probably don't help subside fears either. In fact, notes coulrophobia cases seemed to increase following the release of these movies.

But not all clowns are bad. According to Smithsonian magazine, therapeutic clowns can help speed up healing time on children with respiratory illnesses. That being said, some children are so scared of clowns that in many hospitals clowns are required to wait outside until a child welcomes it in.

Like other fears and phobias, coulrophobia can result in feelings of anxiety, sweating, nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, crying, a pins and needles feeling and overwhelming feelings of dread.

Also on HuffPost

David Beckham

Strange Celebrity Phobias

This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact