Why do parents like to scare children

How do you take away the fear of horror clowns from children?

BZ:Mr Fischer, in Europa-Park, children and adults alike like to be scared by scary clowns. But if they met one on the street, the horror would be much greater. What happens there?
Fisherman:These are two very different things. If you go to Europa-Park or to the cinema to watch a horror film, this is a very reliable environment. You reckon with what could frighten you. The horror attacks, on the other hand, take place in a room where you don't expect anything threatening to happen there. Also because of the speed and the extreme appearance of such a clown it's something completely different.

"First of all, parents should hug children and convey that they are safe."


BZ:Then what happens to people?
Fisherman:At first you don't know how to behave. There is a moment of shock, which psychology calls "freezing", in which one does not know: Should I flee, should I attack, what should I do? In retrospect, many find this moment very painful.

BZ:Can such encounters be traumatic for children?
Fisherman:As a rule, children put up with these experiences well. Parents should first hug children and convey that they are safe. When the child has calmed down, it can be talked about calmly and objectively. It is important that the parents give support and convey to the children: This is over now.

BZ:Fortunately, there haven't been many encounters in southern Baden. But many children and teenagers have shared Youtube films with horror clowns. Why do they evoke fear?
Fisherman:It's just not clearly fiction like in a horror film when I see a possibly real scene on YouTube. The distinction between played and real is then not easy to make. That unsettles you.

"It's always good to have rituals that drive away evil spirits or keep bad dreams away."


BZ:What should parents do when their children put a stick next to the bed before they go to sleep so that they can defend themselves against evil clowns during the night?
Fisherman:In the end, it's always good to have rituals that drive away evil spirits or keep bad dreams away. It can be a dream catcher, cuddling in bed, a magic formula against fearful beings. And of course children need to know that their parents are there for them even at night.

BZ:But dream catchers no longer work with older children.
Fisherman:They can be shown: This room in which you are is a safe place. The window is closed, the shutters closed. This shifts the danger to the outside: You can be sure that no bad clown will get in here.

"Running away is not cowardly, it is right."


BZ:Parents are also worried because soon on Halloween the children will be out and about in disguise themselves. Should an adult always go with them?
Fisherman:It always makes sense to have an adult with you in the background. Halloween is not yet as firmly anchored in us as Carnival, for example, which everyone knows and where you can assess what is happening.

BZ:What do you think of parents sending their children to self-defense classes because of the horror clowns?
Fisherman:The police strongly advise against it. Running away is not cowardly, it is right. Self-defense is not the right way, we don't know who is hiding behind these creepy faces.

Pascal Fischer


(36) has a doctorate in psychology and works as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Mediclin Clinic in Offenburg on the Lindenhöhe.

That's what the police say


The Baden-Württemberg police have turned to the public about the incidents with horror clowns. She appeals to one encounterStay cool with a horror clown. "Because in most cases it is bad jokes". Her recommendation: one should avoid the clown and not provoke him. If you are persecuted or threatened by him, you should ask bystanders to help. In any case, you should report it to the police. Possible Perpetratorinforms the police that anyone who pursues, coerces or assaults people is a criminal offense. Even mere fright can be criminally relevant if the frightened injure themselves or get into life-threatening situations. Even those who appear to threaten people with a hammer, knife or other object must expect criminal prosecution.

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