Are Clowns Scary?

In the midst of a recent tweet exchange the topic of neurotic emotional triggers came up. The exchange was brief but it centered on whether or not clowns are creepy. To most of the participants they were. It made me wonder why that’s the case.

Clowns are supposed to be caricatures of bright goodness, yet many are misanthropic. They are depicted as a child’s companion, a buffoonish idiotic moron. Why then do they strike such an uncomfortable chord within?

For me I know it’s the association of the horror movies I consumed so rapaciously as a teen – not to mention the deliciously creepy Stephen King tome It. That was the first King novel I read and although I saw many of the films and read some of his other stories, I’m not a huge fan, but It stays with me. In college I cut class for two days while I sequestered on my couch surrounded by empty bottles and sandwich wrappers while I read. I learned a lot about writing from that experience.

And I know I don’t like clowns. I once dumped a guy because I found out he worked as a rodeo clown = too creepy to kiss. I was firm in this stance until….along came Heath Ledger as the Joker. I were smitten, as they say. What a wonderful villain. In an eggplant purple suit no less. Delicious. Intriguing. Titillating. Now I have to rethink my deep-seated prejudice about clowns. This requires a moment of introspection.

Are you creeped out by the man in the big shoes? Who would you never date? What are your emotional triggers and boundaries?

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  1. #1 by Elizabeth Ann West on July 11, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Congrats on the automatic posting! Technology is so wonderful when it works FOR you :)We spoke earlier via tweet. No, I am not afraid of clowns. It is really sad that Heath Ledger passed, his work as the Joker was complete acting genius. There aren't many actors who can pull off a character and you forget it's them under the makeup.From a literary stand point, I think the Joker, and many other Batman villains, work because they play on a "good" thing and make it bad. Mr. Freeze wanting to save his wife. The Joker being thrown into a vat of chemicals (whether he was bad before is a matter of version). Which speaks to the most important aspect of writing characters: dimensions. 🙂

  2. #2 by on July 11, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    Looks great, Lesann! You know, "It" ruined it for me as a child 🙂 Yes, I said that-as a child. I don't know HOW I saw that movie,..but it was on the TV and I saw it!-Must be because I wanted to be like my older brother who was 7 years than I.But ever since then, clowns and GUTTERS lol give me the chills!And that is HILARIOUS that you once dumped a guy b/c he was a rodeo clown! That's a story I've never heard before! :)Emotional triggers- in a good way, if I see an orphan, or a video about an orphanage, I immediately WILL cry :). Major emotional trigger for me. Hence, the reason why I want to sale LOTS of books! So I can build lots of orphanages! Boundaries?…where do I even start? Heath Ledger-A-MAZE – ing performance. Should have one an Oscar, truly. Your #wana711 Pal,Lacy :)

  3. #3 by on July 11, 2011 - 9:36 pm

    Oppos-that's why we have editors. Should have "won" an oscar 🙂

  4. #4 by Kristal Lee on July 12, 2011 - 12:56 am

    Congrats on getting the auto-post up and running. My auto-tweets from Tweetdeck crashed and burned today. So I'm still trying to get a handle on this technological wonder.I had a clown that looked exactly like the one in Poltergeist. Ever since, they creep me out. I laugh hysterically when I see the commercial with the clown in the living room and the family standing on the porch trying to figure out how to get rid of it. Secretly I know I'd be on the porch with them.In regard to dating a clown, I think I could've gone out with a rodeo clown as long as I didn't have to watch him put on the make-up. But, it would be too creepy to date a party clown.

  5. #5 by Bridgette Booth on July 12, 2011 - 5:32 am

    I'm not creeped out, but find none of that attractive. Even Health Ledger couldn't convince me.Great site. Going to start exploring. 🙂

  6. #6 by Bridgette Booth on July 12, 2011 - 5:34 am

    btw, I love your tagline!

  7. #7 by Lesann Berry on July 12, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    @Elizabeth The technology is great but my learning curve is sometimes bumpy. I think you're spot on about dimensions.@Lacy I can't imagine IT at 7 years old – no wonder clowns have a bad association! I so miss Heath Ledger.@Kristal I'd definately be on the porch!@Bridgette Thanks for the complimentts!

  8. #8 by Anonymous on July 13, 2011 - 3:55 am

    Ick, Ick, Ick. I have never had a bad experience with a clown, but…I don't know. I can't even find the words! The only thing I can say for sure is when one gets in my face and tries to make me smile, it has the opposite effect, like wanting to yank off his nose, pull on his wig and stretch his over-sized pants over his face! There. I feel better. Very therapeutic. Great post! (round of applause and honking of horn!)Diana (of the wana711 crew)

  9. #9 by Naomi Bulger on July 13, 2011 - 8:14 am

    Nice post! I'm definitely of the "clowns are creepy" camp. I think it's because they're hiding behind all that face paint, you can't read their real emotions and you just KNOW they can't be that happy all the time. Like someone wearing a mask. Creepy!

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