Fear of Clowns?

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BabyMullet

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I was wondering if anyone here had a fear of clowns, actually, it would be more accurate to say how many people here are afraid of clowns.

I travel internationally as a humanitarian jester. While I very rarely run across people who are afraid of clowns in other countries, here at home I run up against a widespread fear of clowns and jesters.

Just a thought that turned into a post.
 
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I suspect this is something honed in early childhood, and I think I can understand:

Bright colors, loud noises, balloons popping, weird stranger in facepaint ... it seems to have all the elements of creating an intimidating environment for a small child.

Or, these are just people who have seen Shakes the Clown.

Do you wear facepaint in your performances, or not?
 

Mitsukuni619

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it's not CLOWNS i'm afraid of...its a total stranger walking up to me and tryna make friendly
 

T00L

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I wouldn't say i'm afraid of clowns now however I was when I was younger. I used to be scared by clowns and people in costume basically any situation where I couldn't identify the person. I'm not scared anymore but I do get really nervous and uncomfortable.
 

dogboy

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You should be afraid of clowns. After all, everyone floats down here! I suppose lots of people do see clowns like the clown in Steven King's "It". As for me, meh.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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I think that many people have at least a slight subconscious unease about clowns. I've never been to a Halloween exhibit where the "haunted house" didn't have an "evil clown" section.
 

steel

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I hate clowns. When one is coming towards me I'll try to hide or just go the other way. Clowns are very scary.
 

sneakydl

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A clown and a little girl are walking into the woods at night.
The little girl looks up to the clown and says, "I'm scared".
The clown looks down at her with a smile and says,
"Quit yer bitchin', I have to walk back alone".
 

BromeTeks

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I really don't mind them, however I might freak out if I was say, surrounded by clowns attempting to give me balloons and dancing or something like that.
 

Charlie

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According the wikipedia, it's an American popular culture thing... having a famously comedic thing be portrayed as evil or scary.
Which is why I guess other countries aren't afraid but it's widespread 'back home'.

I don't think clowns are inherently scary, just exposure to evil ones will have a negative effect on the fun ones.
 

dinorider

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Fear is too strong a word. I do find them a bit creepy though. They're always a good thing to throw into horror movies when they need spicing up.
 

Crassi

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I can honestly say that I am absolutely terrified of clowns. When I see one I totally freak out, I panic. I don't know why, and I certainly don't have anything against the people behind the make up, but clowns just put me in terror.
 

Mandy

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I am scared of clowns but not jesters

Heck I have played a jester before was very fun! yay shiny pruple unitards!
 

Maxicoon

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CLowns are really creepy. Stephen King's "IT", I hate that movie.
 

PostTenebrasLux

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I think it has something to do with the appearance of some clowns vs. our expectations (or some sort of cultural defaults) on what's friendly and fun.

As a sort of follow-up question: how many of us, as children, were afraid of Santa Claus?

I don't remember being afraid of St. Nick, but I'm told the concept/individual terrified me as a wee lad (to the point of tears).

Clowns don't necessarily inspire fear, but the impersonal side of the concept of a clown is to an extent disturbing. Didn't a Peewee Herman movie illustrate this? (Wow...kind of ironic...).

Bottom line though, comedy is comedy, and in the end, the laughs are what counts. I think the personal side to the concept of clowning is nice. So, clowns, don't do too much to disguise your personality, your human side. Masks freak people out.
 
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