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From the time I was born there were two pictures hanging on the wall of my bedroom. Emmett Kelley-esque hobo/clowns with big sad eyes, dirty clothes, droopy faces, and five o'clock shadows. I swear their eyes followed me everywhere. They NEVER slept they just starred at me all the time. I think that they spoke to each other when I was out of the room. (Wondering how I would taste and deciding how to cook me.) And my mother has the nerve to tell me I was a cry-baby as a child, DUH.
That was just the beginning, now I have hated clowns for 31 years and my family gets a big kick out of it. Every birthday and holiday I get several clowns of some sort. Clown post cards when someone is out of town, clown music boxes, toys, floppy bean bags, and dolls, clown outfits or T-shirts wrapped in clown paper. Clown greeting cards with brightly colored clown stickers adorning the envelopes(yikes). They don't get how screwed up they are for thinking this nastiness is funny.
Who in their right mind thinks someone with greasy make-up stuck in the wrinkles of someone's face is funny. I think it is gruesome. Then take that monstrosity and put him in front of kids who have to pull a string of hankies from his PANTS!!! Perversion. What if I walked up to a 10 year old boy at a party and had him pull a fifty foot string of hankies from my pants, I would be thrown out. No one would pay me for that. And I won't even get started on the ones who wear the big hula-hoop pants that you can hook right down. YUK!!
Oh, and I hate when their unpainted skin pops out from a pant leg or a collar or somewhere, and what about the one's walking the fake dog on a leash, thus reinforcing the insanity the white make-up stand for.
I have to go take a shower.

- Stacy

When I was a child and all that was going down with the clown guy driving around in a van trying to lure children away with candy, my mother, trying to protect me, showed me pictures of clowns and said, if you see someone in our neighborhood who looks like this, he's a VERY BAD MAN, and you need to RUN AWAY. And thus began my terror of clowns.
I was recently in Las Vegas with my family, which is scary enough in itself, but as someone mentioned above, Las Vegas is also clown-hater hell. And not only because of that gruesome giant pink casino, Circus Circus (shudder), but because the entire place is cursed and haunted by the REAL Poltergeist clown, the very one they used in the movie, which is standing in a glass case, just above eye level, right inside the front door of planet hollywood. I walked in there unsuspecting as slut in a slasher movie and nearly choked when I saw the cause of so much of my childhood terrors looming over me, all filthy and ragged, but with those unmistakable psychotic eyes and his candy-striped child-strangling limbs.
I swallowed hard and managed to keep my cool, trying to convince myself that the glass case which enclosed him would keep me safe, and I'm glad to report that I was able to confront that demon and make it out alive.
My therapist was very proud of me.


Okay, my phobia of clowns goes way back. For as long as I can remember i've had three huge stuffed clowns. As a child I would always lock them in my closet because I swear the stupid things would just sit there and stare at me during the night. They drove me crazy. Than of course there's all those wonderful horror movies with killer clowns being yet again the main subject. Let's all give a nice big thankyou to Mr. Steven King for the most notorious of all clowns in the movie IT. Then about a year ago I was working in a photo lab at a drug store. All of a sudden two clowns walked in the door. My response? I just about pissed my lovely little pants. I grabbed my best friend (who also worked there) by the arm and went into a full fledged panic. As soon as I spotted them I knew that they only had one purpose in life - to torture me. Sure enough the clowns made their way over to me with these plastered grins on their faces. They started tooting their horns and cracking their jokes - naturally in my direction. One of the clowns walked directly up to me, reached over the counter and slapped me on my bottom before I had the chance to hide. That's when the rage set in. I jumped on the counter and started screaming that if they didn't leave that I would kill them. Did it work? Of course not, this was a challenge. The rest is a bit to graphic for a computer screen so lets just conclude this by saying, the clown lost its wig, nose, and toot-sound maker, and me - I lost my job. Leave it to your imagination.


I own a haunted house and we go to a trade show every year to buy new stuff. Well this one company has this horrible clown robot. it is a big jack in the box(4ft tall) when you walk in front of it the big handle starts turning and creepy clown music plays. then this huge evil clown pops out with smoke and strobe lights. i almost had a stroke. of course the people who make it thought that i loved it and tried to turn it on again. my wife had to actually take the controller away from them to make them stop. the thing is almost 8 feet tall when it pops open. i had to go outside and smoke to calm down. my wife took a picture of it and i can send it to you if you want me to. needless to say we have no clowns in our haunted house.


I have to comment quickly on the running debate on this page: Did evil [clown] movies cause the clown-phobia, or just intensify it? I am terrified of clowns, and I have always been easily frightened by scary movies, and therefore avoid them all together. So if my fear was not influenced by movies (Poltergeist, IT {Tim Curry was IT?}, etc.) where does it come from? I have always been afraid of clown dolls, pictures... ESPECIALLY those marti gras masks; those porcelain things with feathers and sparkles and bizarre paint splotches on them. God those are evil.
I believe it was on Valentines Day early-80s, when my brother, my best friend Scott, and I were to be "surprised." Scott and I had unsuccessfully employed the twenty questions strategy to figure out what we'd be doing/getting/seeing. My mother and Scott's mother had planned something for weeks, that much we knew. On the day in question, the five of us piled in the car, which was very exciting (if it involved the car, it *had* to be good). I can still remember the anticipation and excitement. Until we drove past the Civic Center, and I read the sign on the outside of the building: Big Apple Circus. Anticipation and excitement turned to despair and grief. I sat horrified in my chair, praying for the end. I was too old to cry, too scared to move, and my lack of an appropriate tantrum left my mother with the impression I'd had a good time. While the surprise was certainly a let down, I'm just happy I'm still alive to tell my story.

-Jen Schmidt, Boston

Okay, I have always been desperately afraid of clowns (or anyone dressed up unrecognizably- Santa, those guys dressed up at theme parks, I once had a Captain Cave Man sit on my lap at King's Island and I panicked, began hyperventilating and just about peed my pants). For years I have been having a recurring nightmare where there is a clown with an axe standing over my bed and in my dream I wake up and the clown is there, with the axe, right over my bed. So then I wake up, looking for the clown. Needless to say there is no sleeping for the rest of the night. I also recreated my dream in a series of black and white photographs (clown with axe at the door, climbing up the steps, standing over the bed) hoping to be rid of my fear but.... you just don't know who's behind that make-up, you know? Oh, and by the way, have you seen the movie Clownhouse? Hold onto your bladder, baby.


One of my earliest memories regarding clowns was watching a parade when I was about 3 or 4 years old. One of the bastards ran up to me, bending down to shove his evil, leering visage right into my face as he laughed a hideous cackling laugh. I remember curling up into a fetal position and weeping uncontrollably. My grandmother had to carry me home.
Now I no longer fear them. The fear of my childhood has developed into a cold, hard hatred.
I often shop at a WalMart near where I live. Inside the WalMart they have--a McDonald's. In front of this small McD's is a bench with a life-sized ceramic Ronald sitting on it, grinning evilly. It takes all my willpower to refrain from picking up a sledge hammer in the hardware department and smashing it into unrecognizable rubble.
I live in Texas. We have lots of rodeos around here. Many people knock rodeos. However there is always the off chance that one of the clowns will be gored by a bull. One can always hope.

Regards, -Alan

I go to a school where there is a club devoted to clowns. Its members dress up in clown outfits and do dance movements to Sandi Patti songs. It really scares me. Sometimes when there is a group of members around, they spontaneously break into song and dance. They regularly have overnights at school. They must be stopped from spreading their message to the world!!!


I too have seen the clown from Portland mentioned earlier in this collection. I was doubtful, I laughed cheerfully when my friend described his encounter with this grease-painted hell-spawn. And eventually, we found ourselves at Portland's Saturday Market, and as we were walking along, I pointed to a clown on the corner, and said, "Hey, is that the evil clown?" "Yes," my friend said, "let's go this way now," quickly turning towards different direction. I laughed, but the laugh dwindled when I saw this creature. The white paint on his face looked like it had been applied with a toilet bowl brush, smeared all over the place, looking as if this not only was an evil clown, but a blind evil clown. Because no one, no one would look that evil on purpose. But there he was, talking to children even, wearing colorful rags and continually honking a horn (undoubtedly to remind us of the approaching apocalypse) to passerbys. Pennywise, eat your heart out, the Ultimate Evil Clown resides in my fair city. -Colin Ryono -Portland, OR

First of all there are two clown-phobes (that I know of) in this family. My sister, and I. My fear of clowns started with a reoccurring dream that I've had ever since I could remember: I'm in my backyard, and all of the other houses on the block have disappeared, in their place is an evil-looking forest. In the distance is this big, scary clown jumping out from behind the trees. Well, after wandering around for a bit, the clown jumps out from behind the nearest tree and grabs me.
But wait, this is not the only thing that has soured me to the whole clown experience. I once thought I saw a clown in my closet.
Of course then there's the movies, and television: It, Poltergeist, Killer Klowns from Outerspace, etc.
And does anyone remember an episode of (I think it was) Amazing stories: It's a little girl's birthday, and she gets a clown doll that plays a psycho little tune. And (for some reason) her parents leave her with this baby-sitter, who tries to scare the little by chasing her with a butchers knife. So the little girl locks herself in the bathroom, and wishes for the clown to kill her baby-sitter. Needless to say the clown kills her.
And we were exposed to this stuff before we were ten.
My sister is always having IT dreams, and her brother- in -law even scared us both when he was IT for Halloween. I've even heard that Johnny Depp is afraid of clowns.


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