Pupaphobia: Fear of Puppets

  • Time to read: 5 min.

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Pupaphobia is the fear of puppets. It may sound strange, but for some people, this fear is very real. In fact, many people suffer from this phobia.

Puppets are often used in children’s television shows and movies. They are also used in therapy, as they can help teach children how to express their emotions. However, for some people, puppets can be very frightening.

There are many different types of puppets, including hand puppets, marionettes, and ventriloquist dummies. All of these can be used to create a sense of fear in someone with pupaphobia.

Some people with this phobia may be afraid of all puppets, while others may only be afraid of certain types. For example, some people may only be afraid of hand puppets, while others may be afraid of all puppets.

This article will explore pupaphobia in more depth and look at some of the different types of puppets that can cause this fear as well as treatment options for those who suffer from it.

Who Suffers from Pupaphobia

There’s no denying that puppets can be creepy. Whether it’s their lifeless eyes or their weirdly human movements, there’s something about them that just gives some people the heebie jeebies. But who is most likely to suffer from a fear of puppets?

Interestingly, studies have shown that adults are more likely to be afraid of puppets than children. This may be because adults are more aware of the potential dangers that puppets pose – after all, they’re often used in horror movies! – while children see them as harmless toys. Women are also more likely to be afraid of puppets than men, although it’s not clear why this is the case.

So if you’re feeling a bit uneasy around those Punch and Judy dolls, you’re not alone. Just try not to let your fear get the better of you!

Here is more information on the difference between phobias and fears.

Puppets that Can Cause Fear

Puppets that can cause fear

When most people think of puppets, they picture cute, cuddly characters like Elmo or Big Bird. However, there is a whole genre of puppetry that is designed to be creepy and unsettling.

One type of puppet that can cause fear is the marionette. Marionettes are controlled by strings, and their jerky, unnatural movements can be deeply unsettling.

Another type of puppet that can cause fear is the hand puppet. Hand puppets have a long history of being used in horror films, and their eerie expressions and exaggerated features can be quite frightening.

Lastly, Shadow Puppets are another type of puppet that can cause fear. Due to their eerie silhouette-like appearance, Shadow Puppets can be quite sinister-looking. While all types of puppets have the potential to be creepy, these three types are particularly effective at causing fear.

Causes of Pupaphobia

It’s estimated that around 5% of the population suffers from pupaphobia, which is the fear of puppets. While it might seem like a silly fear, it can be quite debilitating for sufferers. So what causes pupaphobia? There are a few different theories.

One is that puppets are often used in horror movies, which can create an association between them and fear.

Another theory is that puppets are often used to represent childhood fears, such as monsters under the bed. This can create a subconscious association between puppets and fear. ]

Finally, some experts believe that pupaphobia is simply a case of misplaced fear. That is, people are afraid of puppets because they resemble other things that they’re afraid of, such as clowns or dolls. Whatever the cause, pupaphobia can be a very real and debilitating condition for sufferers.

Treatment for Pupaphobia

treatment options for pupaphobia

For many people, puppets are just harmless toys. But for those suffering from pupaphobia, it can be a source of great anxiety and fear. Symptoms of pupaphobia can include nausea, sweating, shaking, and a racing heart. In severe cases, people may experience a full-blown panic attack.

The exact cause of pupaphobia is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic factors and early life experiences. Some experts believe that seeing a frightening puppet movie or TV show can trigger the condition.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for pupaphobia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to help people overcome their fear of puppets. During CBT, patients are exposed to progressively more intense encounters with puppets. This helps them to learn that puppets are not dangerous and that they can control their fear response.

Medication may also be prescribed to help relieve symptoms of anxiety. With treatment, most people with pupaphobia can lead normal, healthy lives.

Puppets Used in Therapy

While sometimes puppets can be the cause of fear, they can also be used to help treat it.

Puppets have been used in therapy for centuries, and there is good reason for it. Research has shown that puppets can help children express emotions, work through traumas, and practice social skills. In fact, puppets can be so effective that they are sometimes used instead of traditional talk therapy.

One of the benefits of using puppets in therapy is that they can help children to feel more comfortable expressing emotions. This is especially true for emotions that are difficult to talk about, such as sadness or anger. Puppets can also provide a sense of distance from the emotional experience, which can make it easier for children to process and understand what they are feeling.

Puppets can also help work through traumas. For example, a child who has experienced a traumatic event may find it difficult to talk about what happened. However, by re-enacting the event with puppets, the child can begin to process the experience in a safe and controlled environment. This can be an incredibly powerful tool for helping children to heal from trauma.

Finally, puppets can be used to practice social skills. For children who are shy or have difficulty interacting with others, puppets can provide a

Phobias Similar to Pupaphobia

similar phobias to pupaphobia

If you’re afraid of puppets, you’re not alone. This fear is quite common, and it’s often lumped together with a few other related phobias.

For example, some people who are afraid of puppets also have a fear of clowns, which is known as coulrophobia (not to be confused with sad clown syndrome). This is likely because both puppets and clowns rely on masks or makeup to create their appearance, which can be unsettling for some people.

Other common phobias that are similar to the fear of puppets include the fear of dolls (pediophobia) and the fear of mannequins (mannequinphobia). Like puppets, these figures are often humanoid in appearance, which can trigger feelings of unease. Even a phobia like megalophobia, the fear of large objects, can be related.

If you find yourself avoiding puppet shows or breaking out into a sweat at the sight of a doll, you may want to consider seeking treatment for your phobia. With the help of a therapist, you can slowly work through your fears and eventually overcome them.


Pupaphobia, or the fear of puppets, is a relatively common phobia that can cause significant anxiety and distress. While the exact cause of pupaphobia is unknown, it is thought to be a combination of genetic factors and early life experiences. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for pupaphobia that can help people to overcome their fear.