Coulrophobia

I realize I have an unnatural phobia… and yet I am finding more and more people who share it. Do you have it? Do you know what it is? Yeah, the picture kinda gives it away. It’s the fear of clowns.

I don’t know for sure when it started. I think when I was small I just thought clowns were creepy. Later on, I heard stories of John Wayne Gacy killing little boys and how he chose to perform as a clown. I also got freaked out by my favorite author, Stephen King, when “It” came out.

I respect the people who play clowns (or have played them) and think they must have a hard time trying to make children laugh who are terrified of them. I wonder what they do when that happens? Hopefully, give the child some space.

I realize it is probably a silly fear to have. What’s a clown gonna do? Hit me with a water balloon? Throw confetti at me? Make a face? Nothing that is really going to harm me in any way, shape or form. Unless, of course, he really IS an evil person just dressed up as a clown.

I admit, after reading Wikopedia’s description and how extreme some people have reacted, I don’t have a severe case of the phobia. I am much more terrified of spiders. I just don’t feel comfortable around clowns. Actors? No problem. Put someone in a cat suit and sing “Memory” to me and I melt. White face and a big red nose… well, I just can’t sit still for long.

Today I heard a bizarre news story out of Sarasota, Florida. A few years ago Chicago had an art project / fund raiser where they put artistically decorated cows all over the city. I think they were then raffled off or else they were sponsored in the first place and money was raised for a good cause (see how well I pay attention?). They did the same thing in our state capital with pigs and in Iowa City with the University of Iowa mascot Herky Hawk. Well, now Sarasota has had a brainstorm called “Clowning Around Town” where they’re doing it in their city with… yeah… clowns. The news report was about how they’re being vandalized and they’ve only been on display for a couple of weeks. In my opinion, they’re lucky they’ve lasted this long!! Can you imagine driving around and seeing clowns on every street corner? Yikes!

(In a related side-note, the dj’s were talking about people being afraid of clowns and how one of them had a co-worker who was terrified of them. On his last day of work, several of them dressed up as clowns and would creep up on him and stand on either side next to the water cooler, or to get on the elevator… or come up behind him and just stand there until he noticed… freaking him out every time. The boss finally had to tell them to go “get normal” as they were going to scare the guy half to death!)

How about you? Anyone else out there phobic about clowns? Something else you want to share?