Why some people fear clowns

  • 1 It could be a conditioned fear

    For some people, the fear of clowns is a conditioned fear that they learned as they saw others reacting with fear to clowns. Movies that make clowns look evil and crimes made by people wearing clown masks could be among the factors that condition people to fear clowns. 

  • 2 You can't see the man's real face

    Some psychologists say that the fact that you don't get to know who is behind the clown's mask or how they truly feel can be the reason you fear clowns. This lack of knowledge creates lack of comfort, which in turn results in fear.

  • 3 The smile is unnatural

    A clown's smile can be too unnatural depending on the makeup or the shape of the mask. This could make people feel uneasy, as they might feel that the clown hides another evil feeling behind their mask.

  • 4 They are unpredictable

    Clowns are usually unpredictable and they can do very unexpected things. Their unpredictable nature makes people uneasy and uncomfortable. Those feelings can quickly turn into fear.

  • 5 The makeup can look creepy

    A clown's makeup can seem too creepy. The fact that it might look too unfamiliar might make people feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

  • 6 They are familiar and unfamiliar

    According to Freud, we humans are too sensitive to things that are familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The clown's face has familiar features like a nose or a mouth, but those features are exaggerated and modified in an unfamiliar way. This could spark a lot of fear. 

  • 7 Fear of the unknown

    Some psychologists say that fear of the unknown is one of the main reasons we fear clowns. Because the clown is somehow unfamiliar, unpredictable, and because we can't see its real face, we might end up fearing it. This can be considered one form of fearing the unknown.

  • 8 They might look deformed

    Because the facial features of clowns are usually modified in a strange way, they might seem deformed to some people. This perceived deformation can make them seem very scary to some people.

  • 9 Their anti-social behavior

    Clowns do anti-social things. They can pour water over one of their friends or suddenly pop a balloon next to someone's ears. Their anti-social behavior makes them more unpredictable and in turn scary.