Tiny eyes; thick, hairy legs. A fat red nose, and multi-colored drippy face paint with murderous eyes. Spiders and clowns: two of the most feared creatures on Earth.
“They’re small, furry, and have many eyeballs,” Cherise Hightower, an eleven-year-old arachnophobic, said.
Hightower was terrified of these “creepy critters” since she was five. According to Arachnophobia: Fear of Spiders causes, symptoms, and treatment, arachnophobia is sometimes caused by traumatic experiences.
She said, “When I was little, a spider crawled on me. One time it went through my pants. It was nasty.”
Hightower believed their legs “are hairy” and she felt “as though they should be dead.”
“My least favorite thing about spiders is how they’re small,” She said, “I feel weird around them, like they’re crawling on me. It doesn’t feel right.”
According to Fear of Spiders Phobia, arachnophobia is the most common and oldest fear in western culture. But arachnophobia is not the only creature that is a common phobia.
Jayla Fox, an eleven-year-old coulrophobic, said, “When I see a clown I feel like throwing up, running away, and screaming my lungs out until I die. Clowns are demented people.”
According to The Guardian, people do not like clowns because of the Uncanny Valley. That is when things like clowns or dolls look human but are not. This confuses humans (especially children) and causes them not to trust the current calm appearance of human-like things. This often turned into fear. Fox had many reasons for her fear.
“I’ve seen a lot of scary movies, which were fine before they put clowns in them. The killer clown streak, when killer clowns went places killing people, also influenced my fear of clowns,” Fox said.
Characters like Pennywise the Dancing Clown and Joker traumatized kids and adults in different ways. According to Fear of Clowns Phobia, some adults wore shirts that read, “Can’t Sleep. Clowns Will Eat Me Alive.”
“When I was six, my daycare had a haunted house. They had clowns running around with chainsaws,” she said. “I would come out crying.”
Both Fox and Hightower believed eventually their fears should cease. Hightower thought spiders might turn out friendly.
Fox said, “Clowns are jerks. They might get banned.