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Are you afraid of clowns?
cap, captain miss america
Someone on a website message board I frequent asked if people there were afraid of clowns.

This was my answer:

Let me tell you a story, my friends.

My grandmother collects clowns. When I was a child, she had hundreds of clowns, and she kept them all in a room together, a room which we dubbed "The Clown Room."

The clown room did not have an inch of space undisturbed by clowns. There were Bozos and Hobos and Columbines-- any clown you can imagine, she had it. Most noticeably, the walls were covered with floor to ceiling black velvet paintings of floating, disembodied clown heads, grinning out at you with dead, black velvet painting eyes that followed you around the room.

And then there was the lamp.

There was a lamp that was about two and a half feet tall, and its stand was carved into the shape of a clown. But it wasn't just any clown. It was almost identical to the clown doll from the first Poltergeist movie.

This is the bedroom I had to sleep in when I went to visit my grandmother.

And you ask if I am afraid of clowns.

Poll #1848238 Are you afraid of clowns?

How afraid of clowns are you? (0 being not at all, 11 being irrationally terrrified)

Mean: 4.68 Median: 4 Std. Dev 2.69

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I am mildly upset by one particular clown, but in general they don't bug me.

The one in question is a doll that is only creepy because when we were kids my brother hung it by its hat in the basement, where it would slowly revolve even if no one was touching it and that scared the crap out of me.

I have not known anyone with a room of creepy clown dolls, but I do know someone with a room full of dolls - and I find their creepy, vacant stares and rigid limbs to be disturbing enough. I can see why you would not like them!

I don't actually mind clowns too much but that lamp scared the bejeezus out of me.

I loved porcelain dolls as a kid but as an adult I have the same issue you do.

My mom wanted me to collect music boxes as a kid.

One of the ones she bought me pretty early was a smiling clown doll, which played "Edelweiss" while it's head slowly rotated.

So that was a thing. But I actually loved it as a kid, it's just creepy in retrospect.

Hahahahahahahaha oh my god.

I just had the one typical ballerina one, and one of a rose under glass that grew and shrank like it was blooming that played "Memory" no matter how many times I willed it to play "Beauty And The Beast."

The rose one sounds rather pretty:)

I got to the words "clown room" and skipped to the poll. Sorry.

I accidentally watched IT when I was about 5 or 6. It probably wouldn't have been as scary, but I was visiting my grandma at the time. She lived way out in the woods, and my bed was under a window that was really close to the woods line. Ugh. Until I was probably 11 or 12 (when I read the book), I was so terrified of Pennywise that I couldn't take a shower or go to a public restroom with a drain in the floor without freaking out. It was awful. I think my aversion to them now is more wanting to avoid feeling scared like that than clowns themselves.

Hahaha no no completely understood. I am just glad we weren't friends as small children because you probably would have been subjected to the Clown Room.

I probably wouldn't have been able to go in it. GAH. Just thinking about it gives me the heebs. Have you seen that USPS commercial for "easy returns" or whatever where the family is standing outside their house because there's a creepy clown doll inside? And then when they pan back to it IT IS CLOSER TO THE DOOR!? Definitely had a nightmare the night after I saw that the first time.

I was ETA'ing this, but you replied! I also just remembered that when I was in Girl Scouts, my troop snagged tickets to the Bozo Super Sunday Show. They hand out little raffle tickets at the beginning and if they call your number you get to go up at the end to try to win prizes. They called my number, and I burst into tears and threw up. They went with someone else. Sooooo, yeah, missed my chance at television fame.

Oh, I had that happen to me at a live circus show, too, but it was with a man in a gorilla suit!!!

And hahaha yes, I know exactly the ad. Gah.

I used to take certain clowns out of the room and put them in the storage room in the basement when I had to sleep in there.

Oh man, the book is terrifying too. He's one scary fucking clown (and I picked zero on this - clowns don't scare me AT ALL. But those teeth, man. Ugh.)

Reading the book actually helped me be less afraid of clowns. I guess it's because PW has a lot of different forms whereas in the movie he's only a clown. It did, however, make me afraid of werewolves for a while. Holy shit, that scene. Or maybe I just grew out of it? Either way, it started a life-long obsession/fascination with Stephen King, so I can't hate it overly much.

Clowns are so creepy. I'm not really scared of them (though I picked 7 on the poll), I just find them incredibly weird.

Did you see the news story recently about some Swedish (maybe Finnish?) guy who ran a business dressing up as a clown and then being paid by parents to stalk their kids until they were scared witless? Yeahhhhhh.

Found it! He's Swiss. And the kid gets stalked for a week until he smashes a birthday cake in their face. For fun.


Yes, I heard about that! Why would anyone find that entertaining or fun?!

My grandma collected antique china-faced dolls, hundreds of them in EVERY room in her house, though I do not have a doll fear. I DO have a clown fear, and I think it's because clowns have distorted human features. I hate body horror in general, and clowns (with exaggerated features and behavior) kind of fall in to that for me.

I was only afraid of one doll. He name was Violet and I had a suspicion she was evil.

But yeah, that makes sense. I don't think I would have been afraid of clowns at all though if not for having them all hovering over me while I slept.

Thankfully, I have not had to deal with many clowns in my life. I think if I constantly saw them, I'd freak the heck out. It also depends on the type of clowns. Like, there are nice, happy looking clowns that don't look scary. I can deal with those. I've also never seen a horror movie based on clowns, so phew.

On the other hand, I am absolutely petrified of birds. Of all shapes and sizes. Probably irrational. Oh, well.

My dad had a collection of sad clowns when I was growing up. I was totally fine with all of them except one painting. It was done in a muddy grayscale and was so creepy-looking that I refused to sit with my back to it because I needed to be able to keep an eye on it. It was behind the couch for years, so there was only one acceptable seat on the couch for me.

There was also a giant clown's head piggy bank which my silver-tongued cousin talked me into believing was haunted (we were the same age, so I have no excuse for being this credulous and easily frightened) and even though I didn't BELIEVE it, I never was comfortable with it again afterward and wouldn't take it into my room anymore. One day when we were playing it was broken, and it was honestly an accident but I was not sorry to see it go.

I'm not scared of them, but I don't like them or understand why people like them (unless they're the sort of people who like creepy things).

I knew someone who was going to decorated his young daughter's room with clown everything. I did not understand.

I'm not afraid of them per se, but there is something inherently creepy about them, like drama masks. Plus you have real life wackadoos like John Wayne Gacy.

It would have been a zero, but then I had a roommate for several years that insisted on putting up this bizarro creepy clown picture she had at her parents home in our spare room. Which would have been fine if you didn't have to go through the spare room to get to the washer and dryer. Thing is, she was terrified of the picture, but her mom sent it to her so she felt obligated to put it up somewhere.

How come though myself and others voted zero nothing shows up on the zero bar?

I was noticing that, too! Either there is a bug with the software or LiveJournal knows that NO ONE is completely unafraid of clowns.

When I was a little kid, our first home was a trailer. My mom's room was at the far end, her bed situated in front of the doorway, at the end of the hall from the living room. Sitting on the bed was EXACTLY the same clown from Poltergeist.

I was not scared of clowns in general, but I was terrified of that one. I would peer around the couch, down the hall, to check if he had moved off mom's bed.

I'm not AFRAID of clowns, they just piss me off. I am certain that at least 90% of this comes from one clown at some event (my dad had a radio talkshow at night, and my mom was stay-at-home at the time, so we spent a LOT of days going places dad could talk about). I was wearing a bare midriff outfit (because it was the mid 70's in Southern California) when I was 8 or 9. This ASSHOLE clown came up to me and said "I 'member you! I 'member you." I "'member" being INCREDIBLY annoyed that a grown man, even one in clown makeup, was talking baby-talk. It was probably his character, but I felt patronized. Then he said "Lookit dat belly-button" AND POKED MY STOMACH. AND HONKED HIS HORN so that it seemed like my belly button was honking. I remember that he kept doing that for HOURS, but it was probably really only two or three times. My adult self wants to go back in time, possess one of my parents and say "Stop touching my kid, you asshole clown! Can't you see she's NOT amused!"

I didn't say aloud "Don't touch me, you asshole clown," because I didn't swear, at all, and I was polite to grown-ups, even ones who didn't deserve it. And people were laughing and it wasn't funny!

I remember being hot and tired and wanting to go home and then this clown came as close to sexually assaulting me in public as anyone had to date, and people thought it was funny. Fuck clowns.

It was over 20 years before I felt that kind of incandescent rage at a performer. I was a few months pregnant and my husband and I were at Universal Studios, which was having special Hallow'e'en-flavored nighttime admission, and we went into some haunted house dealie based on some (evidently) STUPID movie about murderous dolls. After the 10th or so actor-dressed as doll got too close to me with a fake weapon, instead of starting in genuine surprise or pretending to be scared because of some sense of noblesse oblige, I started hissing "Get AWAY from me!" through my teeth. So clowns, creepy dolls and people who invade my personal space are my Big Three of pissed-offed-ness. Oh, and people laughing when things aren't funny, especially when a defenseless person is the butt of the joke!

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