Why I’m Scared of Clowns

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Hello there Minions. Just catching up on some blogging while waiting to feed Sequel. So, a couple of weeks ago Victoria and I discussed things that are and are not scary as they related to a movie. In that discussion I pointed out that clowns were creepy and Victoria said that they were not. I then pointed out this scene from Poltergiest:

I would say that this single scene probably accounted for an entire generation of kids being scared of clowns. I know that was, to me, the single scariest scene in the movie.

And then there was this:

For those that Poltergeist didn’t scare off, Pennywise the Dancing Clown got. I’ll have to admit that IT scared the bejesus out of me when I was old enough to to be not so easily scared. (The book is excellent, by the way. One of those that was so good I was depressed that it was over.)

But no, my fear of clowns came from long before either of these pieces of fiction hit popular culture and scared everyone else. I’m hipster clown fearer– I was scared of them before it was popular.

So, my grandmother did needlepoint and one day this fellow (not this actual fellow, but a very close approximation) appeared on the wall of my bedroom:

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I was 4 or 5 years old. And I was creeped the hell out. I would lie in my bed at night and try really hard not to accidentally catch a glimpse of this guy as he stared at me in the moonlight. He didn’t bother me so much in the day time but at night it was too much to take so I took matters into my own hands. One day I climbed up on my toy box and used a stick to knock him off the wall. I hid him in the toy box and went outside to play. The day went by and I was so relieved that the scary clown man was gone that I can still remember it decades later. I also remember the jolt of adrenaline I got when I came in from outside and he was back!

clown1So now I was laying in bed being stared at by a scary and now vengeful clown. As I recollect, it occurs to me that the first night I never thought my mom had put the picture back on the wall. I actually thought that he had just put himself back. My mind freaks me out sometimes.

So, as I had not the courage to confront him again, That night I lay paralyzed with eyes squeezed shut against the evil and in the morning I got him down again. I started to put him under the bed, then thought that was probably not a good idea, so I put him in a drawer in the dresser. Evil soundly defeated, I went outside to play. Later that day…

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How the dookie was he back??!! This was impossible! But there was still daylight left so I still had a chance to avoid certain death. I knocked him off the wall one more time and took him out of my room. I think I actually hid him in the linen closet under some towels. It was, to me, the nuclear option. To come back he was going to have to defeat more than a drawer or a toy box lid. I was safe. Until after my bath…

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MOM!!!

Mom came in and I explained that this unspeakably evil abomination of canvas and pigment is possessed and stalking me. Or I just told her I was scared of it. She then exclaimed that she couldn’t figure out how he kept getting taken down. (I’m convinced the clown had her under some sort of spell because these were the days before sister and dad always worked late. There was nobody else who could have taken him down but me. But I digress.)

So, I asked my mom to intervene and use parental authority on the evil and banish it from my room. She then dropped this bomb on me: “Your grandma made that for you and it’s really special. Clowns aren’t scary, they’re funny. Now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed.”

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So, the clown won. For a time. I finally managed to defeat him using a completely different strategy. Running into my parents’ bedroom crying in fear a few times finally got them to agree to remove it and I could sleep once more.

And that, dear minions, is how Scarydad became truly scared of clowns very early in life. Seriously- Poltergeist and It weren’t as “scary” as they were, “Well, yeah, that’s how clowns are…” in my mind.

And that’s about all the time we have for tonight.

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