Fear is a form of a phobia and is something that lives within us no matter how big or small. Everyone has fear but some people try to hide it more than others do. Fear usually develops during ones childhood. Fear also comes in a variety of common things such as Snakephobia (fear of snakes) or Hypsiphobia (fear of heights) but there are uncommon fears as well such as Hadephobia (fear of hell) or Heliophobia (fear of the sun). My biggest fear is actually very common called Coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
For many people such as myself, the cause of coulrophobia develops during our childhood, affecting us in many different ways, and it stays with us well into our adulthood affecting our lives even today. Many of our fears develop when most of us are young. My fear developed on October 31, 1997, when I was seven years old. It was Halloween night and my brother and I were not able to go trick-or-treating because we were sick. My mom and brother were going to watch a scary movie, so I went to my room to watch cartoons.
After a while, I became bored, so I snuck out of my room to see what my mom and brother were watching and if it was scary. I didn’t know this at the time but the movie they were watching was called IT. Anyways I came in around the time where the clown was coming up out of the toilet to murder one of The Lucky Seven. I remember the clown having a white painted face, a big red nose with a smile beneath it, a very colorful costume and big, long, sharp fingers and nails. I started shaking and sweat started running down my face and chest.
When he began creeping up behind his next victim, I screamed and ran back to my room to hide under the covers. After that night clowns began affecting my childhood badly. I began having terrible nightmares about clowns trying to kill me. However, after having them every night I realized they were just nightmares. That I would always wake up from them before they got too bad, so I learned to deal with them. Not too long after I started learning to cope with my fear of clowns, my mom took us to the circus at the Black River Coliseum. I was extremely excited because I had never been to a circus before.
We were watching the show when all of a sudden, I started crying and screaming because clowns came out, and all I could think about was that movie about the killer clown. After that, every clown I saw whether fake or real, I thought they were out to get me. I didn’t realize my fear of clowns was affecting me that badly until my baby brothers’ 2nd birthday party when I was eight years old. I was bringing out the rest of his presents when I noticed a clown prancing around making balloon animals for the younger kids. I began to tremble and sweat thinking he was going to get me when my back was turned.
I quickly put the presents down and ran back inside as quickly as I could. I didn’t attend the rest of my brothers’ birthday party. Clowns had a terrible effect on my childhood and they still affect my life in many ways today. I am 22 years old and I am still afraid of clowns. I still have terrible nightmares about clowns trying to kill me. I now have a 7-year-old daughter who is absolutely fascinated with circuses, so I have to try to put my fear aside for her. Everything was going fine until the last time the circus was in town.
My daughter was riding one of the show elephants when all of a sudden, someone came up behind me and wrapped their arms around me. Without thinking, I elbowed them in the stomach. When I turned around, I saw that it was a clown and before I knew it, I was hitting him in the face until he fell to the ground. After realizing what I had done, I looked up at my daughter and noticed she was crying because she saw what I had done. Ever since then I have joined a group of others who suffer from coulrophobia and we talk about our experiences when we encounter a clown.
I have also started seeing a therapist who is helping me take steps to overcome my fear. Fear is a painful emotion that lives within us and is something we ourselves cannot control. My biggest fear developed when I was 7 years old and has affected my life throughout my childhood and still very much affects my life to this day. No matter what anyone’s fear is, they can always take steps to help them overcome it. However, if they’re anything like me, no matter how much they get help to overcome their fear especially, of clowns, they will most likely be left wondering what’s hiding behind the white painted face.