Horror · Movies/Television

Do You Dislike Clowns?

Why do some people dislike clowns? Clowns are supposed to make people laugh, yet in others (myself included) they can provide the opposite effect. A fear of clowns has been termed coulrophobia and as recently as 2016, there was a creepy clown epidemic, where some cities in the United States experienced menacing looking clowns, and eventually would become sighted world-wide.

With the remake of Stephen King’s ‘It’, I wonder if this was the reason behind last year’s clown epidemic. I read the book back in the 1980s and naturally, the only part that stayed in my mind was Pennywise. How could you not be afraid of a clown carrying red balloons and trying to lure small children down sewers? Watching the telemovie only heightened my dislike. I’m still debating whether to go see this new version.

Recently I read an article that Nevada’s Haunted Clown Motel is for sale. A haunted clown motel situated on a deserted highway, next to a cemetery and I instantly had images of ‘Psycho’ in my head, amongst other things. My muse turned to overdrive with the possibilities and I wondered why on earth anyone would want to own a clown motel. Each to their own, I guess, but despite the possibility of it being haunted, I’ll keep my distance thanks! 😉

A dislike of clowns are only heightened (as least for me) when it comes to John Wayne Gacy. It wasn’t until the 1980s that I learned about him, and perhaps he was Stephen King’s inspiration for Pennywise, but either way, he only cemented my dislike of clowns ever since. Dressing up as ‘Pogo the Clown’, performing at parties, charitable events and children’s hospitals was all part of his act in being a valuable member of society. This would eventually earn him the name the ‘Killer Clown’. In the telemovie ‘To Catch a Killer’, Brian Dennehy did such a wonderful job as John Wayne Gacy, that I will always picture him in that role. It was so creepy; I’m not surprised he was nominated for an award for his performance.

I can only speak for myself, but I think one of the reasons for my dislike of clowns is their faces. With their entire faces painted, one cannot see the real person behind them and in the cases of John Wayne Gacy and Pennywise, what lies behind is not good. It can be the same with people wearing masks and why they tend to appear in horror movies. Such things can either frighten or deceive. For me, that’s what makes clowns so scary.

Do you dislike clowns or do you rather like them? Are you going to watch ‘It’? If you’ve already seen ‘It’, what did you think? Would you stay in a haunted clown motel? Did John Wayne Gacy make you dislike clowns or was it Pennywise or perhaps another clown entirely? What do you think makes clowns so scary?

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Up Close & Personal

Childhood Fears.

I recall when I was about three years old; my father carrying me in his arms towards the big open mouth of Luna Park in Sydney.  I cried my eyes out, refusing to go inside and be eaten by that huge monster with the big mouth.  Once inside, I was fine; I realised the man wasn’t real and that it was just a huge construction over the entrance gate.  Evidence of a child’s over-active imagination; however, my dislike for clowns continues to this day.  You just have to think of John Wayne Gacy and you know exactly where I’m coming from!

There is, though, one incident in my life that left a lasting impression.  My family used to have a caravan down the south coast of New South Wales, so we would go there quite often.  One year, during the Christmas holidays, I brought down with me my bucket of slime.  You know, that gooey liquid made from water and cornflour with some food colouring?  Mine was of the bright green variety.  My sister and I loved throwing it at each other.  One night we were doing exactly that over a game of cards, when I felt a slight pressure upon the top of my head.  I ignored it for a while – after all it was just some green slime in my hair. I eventually got sick of it and wiped it off my head and onto the table in front of us.  There was no green slime – instead upon the table was a large huntsman spider.  I don’t think we could move to the other side of the caravan fast enough.  My dad had to kill it or get rid of it.  I didn’t exactly care.  I had it on my head and touched the darn thing!

On future visits down the coast, I grew overly-cautious of dark places and behind toilet doors.  Whilst living in the Blue Mountains, huntsmen spiders would come indoors to escape the rain. I would run to the other side of the house waiting for my husband to get rid of them.  My greatest fear was if one of them decided to appear in front of my face whilst driving; I had heard of people having accidents because of them.  One hanging outside my rear-view window once was bad enough.

These days, I can’t stand the sight of spiders – especially the big hairy ones.  I had to use someone else’s photo for this post and just looking at it gives me chills.  I guess they can’t help the way they look and they’re great for the environment.  Just as long as I don’t have to look at one, though, I think I’ll be happy.

What scared you when you were a kid? What are you afraid of now?

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitialPhotos.net