Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Allen in Riverside, California. I am horrified of clowns. Is this normal?
Coulrophobia or the fear of clowns is actually very common, so why do so many people share this hatred for clowns.
The history of it is quite interesting; dating back to 2400 B.C. Clowns were initially meant to be humorous and to spread happiness to others. Over the years, however, they became much less comical, whether it is Stephen King or Charles Dickens to blame; at some point, a sense of darkness overtook this apparently intended joy.
Perhaps the first time that this negativity was portrayed was in 1836 when a well-known and popular French clown named Jean-Gaspard Deburau Pierrot killed a child with his cane. A bit later into the 18th Century, clowns became an almost essential part of circuses. This may also be a reason why clowns have a negative association. They were always doing dangerous and seemingly suicidal stunts causing the crowd to experience great apprehension and anxiety.
Around 1970, this anxiety became a rational reaction for onlookers. John Wayne Gacy, a clown who went by the name Pogo, was put under arrest for the assault and murder of 33 young men. Then of course the famous Stephen King novel “It,” a fictional story about a demon who killed children while dressed as a clown was published in 1986. King set a trend for this demonic clown persona as several other horror movies followed this novel.
So your answer to the question is “yes” it is definitely normal to feel horrified of clowns.