Some people are afraid of spiders (arachnophobia). Some, snakes (ophidiophobia). Some people are afraid of everything! Yes, everything. It’s called pantophobia and it’s pretty terrifying. My fear, you ask? My fear is called coulrophobia and the ‘coulro’ part means ‘clowns’. Yes, I’m afraid of clowns. Not just afraid, completely terrified! I’m so scared of clowns that if one comes near me, I’ll hyperventilate and curl up in a ball on the floor, rocking back and forth like an insane person and crying. It’s a pretty big deal for me.
It all started back in the late 90s. My mother, as lovely as she was, decided I was not yet old enough to watch The Exorcist, but totally legit for watching Stephen King’s IT. A horrible film based on the book about an evil clown named Pennywise (played in the film by Tim Curry who I also hate because of this). At the very start of the film, a cute little boy named George is playing out in the rain in his adorable yellow raincoat with a paper boat that floats down the pavement until it gets washed under a flood drain. Pennywise (who is in the drain) pops up and is all like ‘hey kid! I’ve got you something, come closer and I’ll give you it’ or something and then, his teeth change from being normal human teeth to very long and sharp spears and he kills cute little George! That scene will forever be imprinted in my brain because it was so intensely traumatic.
You can laugh all you want at me for being scared of clowns. People often do. When my friends at uni found out, one of them (Shoutout to Xtina ;) ) thought it would be hilarious to send me snapchats of clowns. It obviously wasn’t.
Whenever the movie is on tv, I always pre-warn my mum that I’m gonna cure myself by watching it. If it were anything else, my mum would tell me to grow up, but I think she feels partially (technically fully) guilty for my phobia so whenever I watch it, she stays up and makes sure there’s no clowns in my room and waits until I childishly squeeze my eyes shut before she switches off the bedroom light so I don’t see any clown monsters in the dark. Okay, so I guess that is pretty embarrassing and you can laugh at me for that!
I bought the book in the hopes that if I don’t physically see Pennywise from the film, then I won’t be so scared because I can make up a different scenario in my head as I read it. I haven’t started reading it yet because since I live on my own, I’m too afraid to put myself at risk of insomnia and going crazy.
One thing I can say and be proud of, is that I managed to be able to look at a picture of a clown now without my heart winning the Grand National, whereas before I was completely unable to look at a screen, even Krusty the clown from The Simpsons was too much for me. I consider this an accomplishment and hopefully a baby step towards curing me of this horrible feeling. Although, after reading up on pantophobia (fear of everything), I think I’m doing great!
And that is my biggest fear.
What’s your biggest fear? If you have any tips on overcoming fears like mine, I would LOVE to hear them!