OK, so many of us have seen the news footage regarding the increase of clown sightings and the warnings that are attached to them….but how many of you are going to keep entertaining them?
Being afraid of clowns is a very real thing, I’m not doubting that, but with this sudden “Clown Purge” that has hit our streets, the media frenzy is making it worse. When I logged onto Facebook this morning, all I saw were news clips, frightened status’ and video clips of clown sightings and attacks. Though one thing that I questioned was, If you were so scared when the clown came out, why the fuck did you just sit there and capture it?! Most would chuck that car into reverse and high tail out of there ASAP!! After scrolling through the pages of posts, I felt the need to write this post.
People have been frightened of clowns for centuries and the term for the excessive fear of clowns is Coulrophobia. Due to history and films, I guess there is a fair enough reason as to why people would fear them. And that’s exactly why we now have these freaks dressed up as clowns, going around terrorising our environment. They already know they have the upper hand with instilling fear into you. I see this as just another trend that is overtaking society. Please don’t think that I’m saying to treat it lightly, these so-called clowns are doing causing actual havoc and danger, but we are also making it worse by feeding their ego.
Clowns had originally been invented for the entertainment and enjoyment to audiences, back in Ancient times, clowns were utilised to make Pharaohs, Emperors and Kings laugh, studies have even shown that therapy clowns had a beneficial effect on children and reducing their anxiety.
So when did the fear of these fun, laughable characters start? What made us so afraid of them in the first place when the original intention was purely for entertainment?
Come for a walk with me back in time…
- 1836 – Jean-Gaspard Deburau dressed as a clown named “Pierrot” and was the first professional silent mime. Although acquitted, he killed a young boy by attacking him with his walking stick after reporting that the child had taunted him.
- 1892 – Canio, who was the lead character in the Italian Opera, “Pagliacci” who murders his cheating wife on stage.
- 1970’s – John Wayne Gacy who used to dress as “Pogo” had a dark past and was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of 33 young boys between 1972 and 1978.
Then came the clowns to fear on the big screen….Here are 6 well-known films that portrayed the evilness that clowns possessed.
- 1982 – Poltergeist brought us the clown doll that belonged to the little boy in the movie, The one that lived under his bed that tried to drag him under it
- 1988 – Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Just the title alone would be enough to freak out the best of us. But here we see the clowns in alien form with their sharp tooth grins with their murderous intentions.
- 1989 – Clownhouse, in this film we see mental patients masquerading as circus clowns, terrorising locals in a rural town.
- 1990 – IT, Stephen King introduced us to Pennywise, the evil clown offering balloons to the child residents of Derby.
- 2007 – 100 Tears, Gurdy the lonely circus clown goes for revenge on the ones who unjustly condemn him for sex crimes. He is a murderous clown that is fuelled by hate.
- 2013 – All Hallows Eve. In this film we see the homicidal clown, known as Art, who terrorises his victims. It incorporates two of Damien Leone’s (director) shorts 9th Circle and Terrifier which included the character of Art the Clown.
There’s certainly a pattern! I wanted to try and even this out with films that portrayed clowns in a friendly, happy way but I wasn’t overly successful with that. Patch Adams was about the best I found, it would appear that money can only be made in Hollywood from the scary clown films. Outside of the box office, there were clowns that did bring us joy through entertainment.
- Joseph Grimaldi was an entertainer in the early 1800’s that invented the modern day, white faced clown. He made the clown the leading character in pantomimes and performed classic physical tricks such as tumbling and slapstick beatings.
- Auguste clowns made their appearance wearing clothes that were too loose, large shoes, sporting big red noses and untidy manners. These clowns made audiences laugh by spoiling the tricks of the ‘white face’ clown by messing things up at the last moment.
- Charlie Chaplin who was known as the silent “Little Tramp” clown made his debut in 1914 and brought laughter to millions worldwide.
- During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Bozo the Clown became a household name in America, bringing laughter to countless children across America through television. It was recognised as the most popular and successful locally produced children’s program in television history.
- In 1963, Ronald McDonald was invented as the well-known identity of McDonald restaurants. And although a lot of people will still claim to have a fear of clowns, McDonald’s keeps growing with franchises being added to most major cities and towns.
Personally, I don’t find them to be scary characters, and with everything that’s going on at the moment, I see it as a pathetic and cowardly approach to gain power…why hide behind the makeup and masks?? It’s the lead up to Halloween, they see this as the ideal opportunity to scare the crap out of people, and all we are doing is giving these “clowns” the upper hand by showing them fear. In my opinion, they remind me of sheep…one follows the other, and sheep really aren’t that scary!
Are we really going to let them win?
In saying that, if you do come across one of these clowns, and believe that you are about to become a subject for the next horror flick, don’t just sit there recording it for social media popularity, get the fuck outta there and contact the authorities. Simple.
Well, that’s my thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear yours 🙂 Leave me a comment while I go and enjoy the sunshine.
Til next time,
Stay Safe. Stay Smiling!!