The role of the clown exists to bring cheer to kids, yet millions of people are fearful of those painted-up actors. Let us delve into the terrifying world of the clown and see why they strike terror in the hearts of several adults and kids while bringing smiles to other folks. We will also see why clowns are ideal ghouls for haunted home owners.
It’s interesting to notice that the fear of clowns is a valid fear and even has a name – Coulrophobia. According to the Web site way2hope.org, “Coulrophobia is extremely common. . Symptoms can vary from high anxiety to panic attacks around people in clown outfits or other eccentric attire and make-up. . This is the main reason many haunted houses include clowns along with the actors dressed as zombies, werewolves and witches.
Needless to say, it isn’t only adults that are fearful of clowns. Although clowns are intended to entertain kids, many kids are fearful of them. As a former haunted house supervisor, I think the fear of clowns comes from the fact that the clown make-up obscures the wearer’s face. Is Bozo really happy or is he just smiling because he’s a painted-on grin? We don’t know. Also, I believe we intuitively realize that brightly colored outfits don’t indicate the clowns are always happy go lucky. What dark thoughts lurk in the brain of a clown?
Furthermore, I believe as a society we can not help but recall John Wayne Gacy, Jr.. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was an American serial killer also called the Killer Clown who perpetrated the rape and murder of 33 teenaged boys and young men between 1972 and 1978, according to Wikipedia. Twenty-six of Gacy’s victims were buried in the crawlspace of his home, others elsewhere on his property and four victims were lost in a nearby river, the online database states.
Gacy was dubbed the Killer Clown since he entertained kids as “Pogo The Clown.” He was finally sentenced to death, and on May 10, 1994, was executed by lethal injection. But, many adults can’t help but recall photographs of Gacy dressed as a clown. These images were printed in papers and now are on the net. I’m sure those images play a role into our fear of clowns.
Needless to say, it requires more than only 1 person to make us afraid of clowns. According to the website phobias.about.com, there are two chief theories surrounding why some people are scared of clowns. The Web site says, “In a 2004 review article for Trinity University, Joseph Durwin postulates that there are two commonly accepted schools of thought. The next concept is that mass media has created a hype surrounding evil clowns such that even kids that aren’t personally vulnerable to clowns are trained to dislike or fear them.”
Durwin’s concept that society has generated hype around wicked clowns is intriguing to me. It’s true that Stephen King frightened us throughout the book and movie version of It. The novel and movie revolve around a wicked alien-type creature that disguises itself as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown.” Additionally, as I mentioned previously, there are lots of haunted houses that contain killer clowns. There’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), the famed b-movie in the 1980s that brought clowns to our nightmares, also.
So, has culture brought this fear of clowns on itself? It becomes a chicken and the egg issue. Did novels, movies, haunted houses, Palm Bay FL Raccoon Removal, and the picture of Gacy cause our fear of clowns? Or did movies and haunted houses start using clowns to attack terror because society was scared of them? Which came first? Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a response yet.
All I can conclude with certainty is that the fear of clowns appears here to stay and haunted home owners should take advantage of the truth!