Clowning Around

Brits aren't clowning around when it comes to phobias.

12% of the UK population (7.5 million) have a severe phobia of clowns, according to research* released today by the Alton Towers Resort ahead of its annual Scarefest Halloween celebrations. The phobia proved more common than other typical phobias such as a fear of flying (7%) and a fear of snakes (10%) and has led the Resort to introduce a unique ‘Re-clown-ditioning’ treatment for its ‘Carnival of Screams’ attraction, which is based on an old travelling funhouse overtaken by evil clowns.

Taking place at the Alton Towers Resort on Wednesday, 12th October prior to the launch of Scarefest, coulrophobics from around the UK are being invited to come and be cured in the mass clown phobia curing event. The ‘Re-clown-ditioning’ treatment has been devised by David Samson, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and specialist in unusual phobias and is based on the principles of Exposure Therapy.

The ‘Carnival of Screams’ is back with even more twisted terror for a second year at the annual Scarefest, along with other interactive attractions including the Boiler House and the infamous Terror of the Towers, running for two weeks from 15th – 31st October. Guests will also be able to experience the Theme Park’s adrenaline pumping rides, with late night opening until 9pm every night.

Katherine Duckworth, Head of Consumer Marketing at the Alton Towers Resort said: “Following feedback from last year’s guests and based on our research, we wanted to offer visitors the chance to be cured of their coulrophobia in time to enjoy this year’s Scarefest event and our Carnival of Screams attraction, which is set to be even more intense than last year!”

David Samson, Clinical Hypnotherapist said: ”Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is more common than you may think. I have been specialising in treating unusual phobias for nearly 10 years and am very excited to be involved in the Alton Towers Resort’s ‘Re-clown-ditioning’ project’

If you’re coulrophobic and want to attend the ‘Re-clown-ditioning’  event on the 12th October please email with details of your phobia to reserve your place.

To book tickets for Scarefest and the Carnival of Screams and for details of available hotel packages, visit

Interesting facts

The top fears of UK coulrophobics:
Clown’s wigs – 2%
Their face paint – 41%
Their mannerisms- 11%
Their bad fashion sense – 7%

The research also found that 95% or those surveyed believed that their coulrophobia stemmed from childhood experience, with only 5% believing it developed in adolescence.

*2000 respondents, Alton Towers Resort survey

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