Coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – has been illuminated lately by a series of hoax doubles sweeping across the USA. However, it’s not just Americans that have caught the phobia – one insurance broker here in the UK has been dealing with it for most of her life.
Naomi Holmes, 30, an insurance broker at Burnham & Black Ltd, based in Bournemouth, got national attention for her fears when she dared to go on to ITV1’s This Morning programme and discuss her worries about the children’s entertainers.
According to Holmes, her fear is linked to one of her earliest memories and prompted from the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s IT.
She went on to explain that even the sounds of circus music can make her heart race in fear – prompting her to seek help from the TV show’s resident therapists, Nik and Eva Speakman.
“I was in a video store and all of a sudden there was a face staring back at me, it was the clown from the Stephen King film, I can’t even say its name,” Holmes explained.
“I froze and ran out of the shop. I felt like it was looking at me specifically.”
It wasn’t just a one-off incident, either. Holmes believes the fear has trickled into affecting her entire life noting that she has recurring nightmares and feels uncomfortable, especially around Halloween when people often dress as clowns.
Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby noted that they had put a picture of the clown from IT on a screen behind Holmes – with her commenting that she couldn’t turn to look at it and that her anxiety levels were “nine and a half out of 10.”
As a result, Holmes was given a therapy session with the Speakmans who noted that the fear of clowns is particularly hard to bypass. However, by the end of the show she faced her fear and met a clown – even allowing him to sit on the sofa next to her.
Whether those watching at home were quite so comfortable, however, is open for debate.
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