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Clowns have made me nervous for years, and I would have to chalk it up to a combination of costumed weirdoes at Disneyland and exposure to The Joker, Clown Prince of Crime. He killed people left and right, usually with fun happy toy-based weapons. Of Course seeing evil or murderous clowns in books and movies did not help me at all, but the final blow was when I heard of the actions of John Wayne Gacy.

-Pat


Clowns make my guts freeze.
Like many of you, I felt relief to discover that others share my antipathy toward clowns of any shape, size, demeanor or religious affiliation. This knowledge fuels my determination to speak out against their tendency to violate anyone's personal space with their twisted antics -- all in the name of "fun."
My first memories of clowns were mingled with the excitement of going to a fair or amusement park where, amid the happy experience of cotton candy, popcorn and rides, I would be stalked by an assortment of garishly dressed, bigfooted monsters with huge smiles (leers?) painted on their sweating faces. They'd pop out of nowhere, scaring the bejeebers out of me, strangely intent on pursuing me with a balloon and trying with their maniacal antics to make me smile. Smile! When it was all I could do from screaming hysterically, "GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU FREAK!!!"
One in particular, I recall, was a robot clown at a traveling carnival. Life-size, it was in a plexiglass case outside a trailer containing a House of Mirrors. It would periodically collapse in laughter, shaking wildly while a continuous-loop taped voice would shriek, "YOU'RE IN YOU'RE OUT YOU'RE IN YOU'RE OUT YOU'RE IN YOU'RE OUT OF THE GLAAAAAASSSSSS HOUSE!!!!" Shudder. Yeah, right.... like I'd really want to pay money to GO IN there.
Even now, with teen-age children of my own, the approach of a clown will make my flesh crawl in revulsion. I've been ashamed of my phobia and tried not to pass it down to my children when they were small, but kids pick up on these things. Early on, my daughter began showing a fear of clowns, ventriloquist dummies, marionettes, mimes -- same as her mom. Once we visited an Atlantic City casino where there was free family entertainment throughout. Strolling through the carpeted corridor, we passed what appeared to be a statue of a clown holding balloons. You guessed it: NOT a statue at all. At the precise moment my daughter was next to it, the hideous white-painted beast came to life, gibbering and gesturing wildly, and scaring my poor little girl out of her wits.
It was weeks before the nightmares abated.

-Nancy


Ok, I don't know if you really remember this, but tv has the worst clown-induced trauma fear traps imaginable. Little house on the Prairie (like the one episode I watched) had an episode (wait, was it little house?) with some guy with a painted face that was stealing children. Now, this is the kicker, you see the little girl traipsing about the field picking flowers, running home cuz the plains just get too dark. What the heck...the camera does a close up on some tall weeds or wheat and the clown face is in there.
Second, when I was even younger, there was this crazed horror combo that included the scariest scenes of movies. One movie had the clown sitting in a chair, and this stupid brother and sister look back to see no clown. Here's the kicker, what do they do? Look under the bed...the clown grabs the boys head and sucks him under and kills him.
Clowns are fricking psychos....they suck, and what other mental patient from Pluto would dress up in multi-coloured teeth only to "share" love and fun with freaked out kids??

-EMC
-Kalamazoo, MI


You need have seen "IT" to understand this story.
It was my birthday. I was turning 8, and the day before, my babysitter had brought over "IT" for us to watch. I swear, it scared the hell out of me. Well, today (I hadn't told anyone about the movie), my mom told me happily that she was hiring a clown for my party. I was freaking out. SO, to put away all this anger, I went outside with my friend, who had a cast on because of a broken arm. He was bouncing his hand ball around, and it fell into a gutter on the side of the street. Uh-oh, I said to myself. He stuck his hand in, and then couldn't get it out. THE CAST WAS KEEPING HIM IN!!! He screamed. I screamed, and the next thing I know, a clown car pulled up (the one my mom hired), and tapped me on the shoulder. I screamed, and ran.

-anonymous


Clowns are THE most irritating and disturbing creatures on the face of the earth. Why anyone likes them is beyond me, all they do is frighten and annoy people.
I was never really bothered by clowns or hated them till this Halloween. Here is how it happened.
A week before Halloween I had an all hands meeting at work and we had to say something about us that no one knew. When it came it this one guy, we'll call him Chuck, Chuck stood up and told everyone he was a professional clown. Well everything about this guy suddenly made sense, i.e. he constantly sucked air through his front teeth like he had food in them, he was EXTREMELY nice to the point of annoying, if he had to ask me a question and I was on the phone he would stand outside my cube till I got off (the longest he waited one time was 15min), he would constantly talk about stuff no one cared about(even if you weren't paying attention to him), he liked to talk to you while you were going to the bathroom, he would walk into my cube and let me know what he did at work that day AND to boot he was a weird looking guy. One other thing, he home taught his kid. Now not that that is a bad thing but since HE IS a clown it makes me wonder what exactly it is he's teaching his kid.
Anyway, the next week was Halloween, I dressed up as a cowboy, and when I walked in the office there was Chuck dressed up as a big freaky clown. Now Chuck was annoying to begin with but now he was "CHUCK THE BIG FREAKY ANNOYING CLOWN". Chuck made balloon animals and hats for everyone, juggled did magic and basically annoyed me all day. He also had a little squeaker in his pocket and squeaked that thing ALL DAY LONG. I told him if he didn't stop I would put that thing right up his butt and the only time we would hear a squeak is when he farted, an empty threat of course. Well needless to say he didn't stop, why should he, he's a clown for pete's sake, isn't it their job to irritate us? So I tried avoiding him all day, which was hard because we were the only two who dressed up so in his mind we were best friends. That was the last day I liked clowns.
Now like I said in the beginning I never had a problem and I'm not frightened of them but when Chuck dressed up as one and hung around me all day he scarred me forever. Because now when I see a clown I think of Chuck and I just want to beat the crap out of them.

Thanks for listening, -Jim Mast


I, too, have a fear of clowns. When I was a child, I had a dream in which this clown from hell was following me around and trying to play with me. He looked evil to me, but he had my mom convinced that he was good and made me play with him. What eventually happened was that, while mom was safely out of the way, I was dragged down into hell by this clown. A few weeks later, I happened to see the cover of "It" by Stephen King, and my breath caught. It was the same clown from my dream!
I don't know _why_ I find clowns so frightening. I think it has to do with how happy they are, almost hysterically, and it's all too easy to imagine that smile suddenly fade away, to be replaced by a hating sneer. They act freakish, and so you see them as freaks. They act like mental patients, and so you imagine them _acting_ like mental patients. The way they act is so unnatural, that you _know_ it's false. It's a false mask, it's a false act, and the imagination goes haywire about what the clown is _really_ like.
Anyways, I just wanted to share my story. Thanks,

Angela Furry


..I was at some kind of a picnic - thrown by a fraternal organization that my grandfather was a member of. I think I was four. A clown came up to me (probably the Grand Poobah of the organization, all tanked up) and offered me a lollipop. I had already been indoctrinated in the 'never talk to strangers' school, and anyone I didn't know coming up to me with candy, make-up or not, immediately scared me. Add deathly pale makeup, a big red nose, and strange hair and the experience is decidedly worse. And to top it all off, the clown would not give up when I turned the offensive candy down! He tried to force the lollipop on me, and I had to hide under my dad's folding chair to get away from him, much to the amusement of a bunch of other tanked-up old Masons.
Needless to say, I was already firmly entrenched in the 'I hate clowns' crowd long before Poltergeist or It - even before the episode of Fantasy Island that someone else mentions here. All of that stuff just kind of fed the fuel and proved to me that I was not the only person who felt the way that I do. The most annoying thing are the non-clown haters that blindly accept clowns as innocent and fun and cannot understand how anyone could see clowns in any other way. They don't get it. Pervert the 'innocent' and you have a standard plot-line for most creepy books and movies that involve clowns.
I recently met someone at work who moonlights as a clown. She showed me a keychain she had made with a picture of herself all clowned up. I almost died! She was pretty cool about it when I told her I hated clowns, though. I think I've stumbled on one clown that realizes that not everyone is tickled pink at the thought of a freakish sort-of-human telling bad knock-knock jokes and laughing in a quasi-psychotic manner. I think that's progress.

-J.A.


...I too have always hated the stark white-faced ones--at the local circus they were always firing blanks from guns and setting off explosions, making this young child very nervous--but never really had any good story to add to your site.
(Save, perhaps, for the fact that sandwich-board advertisers in Edmonton, Alberta, are not allowed to dress up as clowns, because there was a series of drive-by pellet gun shootings against them in the early 90's...)
A friend moved into a home near mine that I knew was owned by a local clown. (Since clowns have lawyers, I won't use his "clowning" name--let's call him "Mephisto".) They started to fix up its shabby exterior, and it's quite nice on the inside--clowning must be a good racket around here. I asked my friend, "How did your parents come by the house?" because I'd heard there was some personal connection there. My friend explained, "Well, my dad knows Mephisto from years back through the local gun shows..." My innards froze. "Mephisto is a gun aficionado?" I cried. This made me paranoid. I mean, look in a gun magazine--there are holsters that can conceal good-sized handguns. Imagine what kind of ordinance is sitting in that clown's baggy pants, acquiring a sheen of sweat, waiting for the day Mephisto finally snaps...

-anonymous


When I was 4, I was blind as a bat and very sensitive sound and touch. My mother got a clown for my birthday party. It was nice for five seconds after he arrived. First he hugged me out of the blue which made me cry. Then to get me to stop crying he tried to make a balloon animal. Between the screeching of the twisting plastic and when the balloon finally popped I was screaming by the time my mother decided it was time for the clown to leave. But the clown would not go away. He wanted me to be happy before he left. He gave me a noise maker, and demonstrated how it worked. When that didn't work tired to whisper a secret in my ear. My mother warned him not to but he did not lessen. The clown had to get stitches. A few weeks later this happened again at school, but instead of attracting the clown I ran and the clown chased me! I HATE CLOWNS

-anonymous


Okay, so I never really considered myself a clown hater. I mean, sure. I had seen "IT" and all, but I wasn't really traumatized by any clown exposure. Until my senior year of high school. My high school band did an evil clown show. I was in the color guard, and we started out the show as happy clowns. Only, soon into it, the Main Clown frightened little kids and went completely nuts and turned to the dark, evil side of clowning. By the end, we were twirling blood red sticks with skull heads on top. We had big beach balls painted like eyeballs. We danced to violent music, we were wearing black unitards, and our happy poofy clown wigs were exchanged for frightening gold streamer wigs. Our show ended with everyone falling to the ground in a frantic dying fit and the Main Clown laughing an evil, evil cackle. It was great. I think we scared the spectators, but it was totally worth it. I thought you guys would get a kick out of this show paying homage to the nefarious that is grease paint (which, by the way, gets in your eyes for days). Enjoy! I've never been able to look at a clown the same way...

-M.B. from Pennsylvania

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