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How to Survive a Scary Clown Attack: Tips and Tricks

Scary Clowns: The Horror Behind the Laughter

Clowns are supposed to be funny, cheerful, and harmless entertainers who make us laugh with their silly antics and colorful costumes. But for many people, clowns are anything but amusing. They are terrifying creatures who hide their true intentions behind a mask of makeup and a fake smile. They are scary clowns, and they have been haunting our nightmares for centuries.

In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of scary clowns, from their origins in history to their manifestations in psychology, movies, costumes, and pranks. We will try to understand why clowns can be so creepy and scary, and what we can do to cope with our fear of them. Whether you love them or hate them, you will never look at clowns the same way again after reading this article.

scary clown

History: How Did Clowns Become Scary?

The history of clowns is a long and complex one, spanning different cultures and eras. Clowns have been around for thousands of years, serving as jesters, tricksters, pranksters, and comedians in various forms of entertainment. They have also been used as social critics, political satirists, and religious figures. Clowns have always had a dual nature, balancing between laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, order and chaos.

But when did clowns become scary? There is no definitive answer to this question, but some scholars have traced the origins of the scary clown to some historical events and influences. Here are some of them:

  • The archimimus was a type of clown in ancient Rome who performed impressions of the deceased at their funerals. He was allowed to mock and offend even the mourning family members. He was also associated with death and the underworld.

  • The pantomime clown was a popular figure in 18th and 19th century Europe and Britain. He was a bumbling buffoon who often got into trouble with authority figures. He was also known for his physical deformities, such as a hunchback or a limp.

  • Joseph Grimaldi was a famous pantomime clown in early 19th century England. He created the character of Joey, who wore white face paint, a red nose, a blue wig, and a colorful costume. He was very successful on stage, but he suffered from depression, alcoholism, and chronic pain in his personal life. He died in poverty at the age of 58.

  • Jean-Gaspard Deburau was a French pantomime clown who played Pierrot, a sad and silent character who wore white face paint and a loose white costume. He was admired for his expressive gestures and movements. However, he also killed a boy who insulted him in 1836. He was acquitted by a jury, but his reputation was tarnished.

  • Charles Dickens was a famous novelist who wrote about clowns in his works. He portrayed them as lonely, miserable, drunkard characters who were hiding their true feelings behind their makeup. He also wrote about Grimaldi's tragic life in his biography.

  • John Wayne Gacy was a serial killer who murdered 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago. He was also known as the Killer Clown because he dressed up as Pogo the Clown for children's parties and charity events. He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.

  • Stephen King was a bestselling author who wrote It in 1986. It is a horror novel about a group of children who are terrorized by an evil entity that can take the form of a scary clown. The novel was adapted into a miniseries in 1990 and two movies in 2017 and 2019, starring Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, respectively. The movies were huge box office hits and received critical acclaim for their performances, visuals, and scares.

  • The Joker is a fictional supervillain who is the archenemy of Batman in the DC Comics universe. He is a psychotic clown who commits crimes for his own amusement and has no regard for human life. He has been portrayed by various actors in movies, such as Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and Joaquin Phoenix. The Joker is widely considered to be one of the most iconic and terrifying villains of all time.

These are just some of the examples of how clowns have evolved from being funny to being scary in history and media. There are many more stories, legends, myths, and folklore that feature clowns as sinister or evil characters. Clowns have become a symbol of fear and horror for many people, especially those who suffer from coulrophobia.

Psychology: Why Are Clowns Scary?

Coulrophobia is the term used to describe the irrational fear of clowns. It is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), but it is a common phobia that affects many people around the world. According to some estimates, about 12% of adults in the US have coulrophobia.

But why are clowns scary? What causes coulrophobia? There is no definitive answer to this question, but some psychologists have suggested some possible reasons behind this fear. Here are some of them:

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  • The uncanny valley effect: This is the phenomenon where something that looks human but not quite human causes a sense of unease or discomfort in the observer. Clowns wear makeup, wigs, costumes, and props that alter their appearance and make them look unnatural or distorted. This can trigger a feeling of revulsion or dread in some people.

  • The ambiguity effect: This is the phenomenon where something that is unclear or uncertain causes a sense of anxiety or stress in the observer. Clowns have unpredictable behaviors and expressions that make it hard to tell what they are thinking or feeling. They can switch from being friendly to being hostile in an instant. This can create a feeling of confusion or fear in some people.

  • The childhood trauma effect: This is the phenomenon where something that happened in one's childhood causes a lasting emotional impact on the person. Clowns are often associated with children's parties, circuses, carnivals, and other events that involve fun and laughter. However, some people may have had negative experiences with clowns when they were young, such as being scared, teased, bullied, or abused by them. This can result in a feeling of trauma or phobia in some people.

These are just some of the possible explanations for why clowns are scary. There may be other factors involved, such as personality traits, cultural influences, media exposure, and personal preferences. The fear of clowns is not rational or logical, but it is real and valid for those who experience it. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome coulrophobia, such as therapy, exposure, relaxation techniques, and positive reinforcement.

Movies: What Are Some Scary Clown Movies?

As we have seen, clowns have been featured in many horror movies over the years. They have become a popular trope and theme for filmmakers who want to scare their audiences with creepy and killer clowns. There are dozens of movies that involve scary clowns, but here are some of the most famous and terrifying ones:


It1990/2017/2019Based on Stephen King's novel, this movie follows a group of children who are terrorized by an evil entity that can take the form of a scary clown named Pennywise.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space1988This movie is a horror comedy that features alien clowns who invade a small town and kill people with their bizarre weapons and methods.

Poltergeist1982/2015This movie is about a family whose house is haunted by ghosts who communicate through their TV. One of the most memorable scenes involves a clown doll that attacks one of mascara, lipstick, or lip gloss. You can also use clown makeup if you have it or can find it at a cheap price. The more white, red, and black your makeup is, the better.

  • Create some facial features: You can use any materials that you have, such as cotton balls, paper, glue, tape, or scissors. You can also use prosthetics or masks if you have them or can find them at a cheap price. The more exaggerated and distorted your facial features are, the better.

Practice some expressions: You can use a mirror or a camera to practice making different facial expressions. You can al


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