Coulrophobia is a fear of clowns. Introduced around the 1980s, this phobia may result from the exaggerated expressions painted on the faces of clowns. The term has been coined more on the Internet than in printed form and it does not appear in any previously published, psychiatric dictionary,” However regardless of its less-than-verifiable etymology, coulrophobia exists in several lists and according to some experts, the condition can be considered a specific phobia (DSM-IV Code 300.29).
A study conducted by the University of Sheffield found that the children did not like clown decor in hospital or doctors office settings. Researcher Dr Penny Curtis, stated “As adults we make assumptions about what works for children. We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.”
Source: Google Books – An Excess of Phobias and Manias, Wikipedia