Zombies, love them. Vampires, please bite me and I don’t mean those sappy Twilight kind. Snakes, rats and spiders make great pets. Things that go bump in the night cause me to investigate. Heights are fabulous. Bugs, get me a can of raid. Worms, research projects. Flying means another pin on the map. Public speaking, been doing that since junior high. BUT Clowns, those scare the shit out of me!!!!
I can’t remember a time in my life when clowns did not cause the fight or flight reaction in me. As a kid, I tried to not let people know about how terrifying clowns were to me and my view of the world. I even did things to push myself to get over the fear. I remember when I found “It” by Stephen King in the public library in junior high and thinking “if I can get through this book, I can beat my own fear.” I was crazy wrong!! I read that book and had nightmares for weeks. Pennywise was the perfect representation of why clowns are just plain wrong. I find them absolutely positively evil!! Let me explain:
The clown with the white face, exaggerated smile, and bright happy coloring is just all wrong to me. The past several years has seen an increase in creepy and gory clown faces with jagged teeth that look like they will shred your flesh – this clown does not scare me so much. The “evil clown” is a more natural representation. You know they are bad and want to hurt you. So you just avoid them. The bright happy clown is luring you in like a woman in a push-up bra and glammed out make-up lures a man. The innocuous clown is the clown I fear because it is the unknown behind the make-up. So many people use make-up to hide, alter or all together change what they look like to the naked eye. Clown make-up completely obscures the true person behind the make-up. The costume they wear hides or distracts from what their eyes might say. The clown offers balloons and candy and things to draw you in. These are the things we warn our kids about when we say things like “don’t take candy from strangers “. For some bizarre reason, at some point, clowns were no longer perceived as strangers. WHY?????!!!!
Coulrophobia is the irrational fear of clowns. I remember when I learned there was a term for it. I felt some relief inside to know that I was not alone. As the years have passed, I have had some not so great run-ins with clowns at unexpected moments. My reaction has been neither graceful nor polite. I have run away and burst into tears at my church prior to an event and I have backhanded one when he grabbed my shoulder at a park and I was not prepared. Yes, I have gone to parties with clowns and taken both my boys to the circus. In all these circumstances, I have to mentally prepare myself. I still have nightmares after an encounter with a clown even when I know it is coming and I still catch myself shaking when one pops up on my Facebook or a commercial at Halloween even though I know they will be every where. I insist on going to haunted houses every year and working on defeating the fear that exists.
Will the fear ever leave? I don’t know. Do I think I will ever have to kill a clown for trying to get me or the ones I love? I hope not. Do I think I could kill an evil clown? Hell yes!!!
Most of my friends know how I feel and sometimes they will mess with me about it. But they all know how real it is and that you can only push so far before the reaction isn’t funny. If you want to see me cry or lash out like a crazy person, just keep pushing. All I can say is, I warned you!