Art and Entertainment


Study Reveals Kids’ Fear of Clowns

January 20, 2008 12:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Research conducted by a UK university showed that patients at a pediatric ward unanimously found clowns to be frightening. Many adults are likely to concur.

30-Second Summary

In a move to improve hospital décor, the University of Sheffield questioned the 250 youngsters getting treatment at a hospital pediatrics ward. The result: clowns are scary.

All 250 respondents, who ranged in age from 4 to 16, thought clowns frightening—with the older patients finding them particularly unnerving. Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer at Sheffield, said, “We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.”

Parenting magazine suggests that a fear of the unknown may prompt clown-related temper tantrums in children. “They’re just starting to explore the world beyond Mom and Dad, and anything out of the ordinary can be scary.”

Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, knows no age boundaries. In 2006, the organizers of Bestival, an arts and music festival on Britain’s Isle of Wight, had to change its originally planned clown theme when ticket holders complained that they were afraid of floppy footed folk.

Headline Link: ‘It’s Bozology 101: Clowns Scare Kids’

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Don’t Send in the Clowns’

Reference Material: Coulrophobics unite

Related Topics: ‘Clown Fears Thwart Festival Theme’


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