Is there a reason people are so afraid of clowns? Are you afraid of clowns? Me personally, I have no aversion. That’s because any clown stepping to me would get wrecked. But I don’t have any problem with them. A lot of people do, though. There is even a big, fancy name for it: coulrophobia. So what’s the deal?
Many people attribute their clown phobia to some vague, but somehow bad, childhood experience. What would that be? Did a clown tell you a joke, give you some candy, show you a magic trick? Yes, that sounds just terrifying. Seriously, what did a clown ever do to you?
Of course I have seen and read Stephen King’s It. But he is just playing on people’s fears, not creating them. This fear of clowns goes a lot deeper, and has been around a lot longer, than that completely fictional novel!
Some people even have nightmares about clowns sneaking into their rooms. Late at night. With their big shoes and painted faces. And to a point, I am with you there. That would be a privacy invasion. I wake up and see a guy in my room in a clown suit, I guarantee he is walking out with a limp. But the same goes for a guy in an Easter Bunny costume, or any costume, for that matter. Costumed guys, you better stay out of my room!
Still, how could a phrase like “bring in the clowns” strike fear into the hearts and minds of so many otherwise reasonably minded adults? “Bring in the sharks,” “bring in the flesh-eating bacteria,” even “bring in the dentists,” I can see it. But “bring in the clowns” is not going to keep me up at night.
Now mimes, that’s another situation entirely…