“Nobody likes a clown at midnight”

– Stephen King


So many years ago, the maestro of horror writing, legendary Stephen King, published one extraordinary novel under the thrilling name “IT”. The famous writer was expressing the story about the children who were terrified by one scary creature dressed like an evil clown. His narration leads us through the worst nightmare of school children but also touches the sensible moments of adults who have never forgotten the strange eyes of the clown they saw in circus as young. Actually, he tried to remind us that we must be courageous and proud because everything else is darkness and the most dangerous darkness is one we keep within. But, the symbolic book about the clowns and later the popular movie has opened the chapter of fears and modern psychology has still a lot of problems to define the reality of coulrophobia in our lives. The fact is that it exists  somehow and that gets new colors by the time is passing.


The term coulrophobia is made to present the human’s fear from clowns. Actually, it is more a phobia which seems to be the part of our societies but still without the appropriate professional attention. Like the monster in the darkness, we feed it day by day and it grows bigger and bigger, becomes more and more dangerous to be defeated.The idea of the evil clown is attractive for movie makers for years. Just to mention some of the screen plays like Out of the Dark (1988), Clown house (1989), Carnival of Souls (1998), The Clown at Midnight (1999), Camp Blood (2000), Killjoy (2000), Serial Insane Clown Killer (2003), Fear of Clowns (2004). The list is endless but that must shows us the critical importance of the subject of research. The phobia from clowns is something which is deep in all of us, but some of us are overcoming it through the type of personality and its  reaction on internal  fears from the childhood period.


It is very interesting that this phobia is not officially accepted as a disorder what should mean that is not studied enough or that those who have this phobia are silent in being terrified. However, there are scientists who focus their research on the fear from the clowns and many of them have opposed ideas and claims why we are feeling discomfort when it comes to the clowns.

The smiling face full of make up hides something more sinister and that is what intuitively people and  especially children tend to feel. The role of the clown was famous through the whole history. He was the favorite king’s fool but also the voice of those who cant say anything. He could have made rulers laugh but he could have also laughed at those rulers. He was an innocent but at the same time very dangerous. English professor and one who is pioneer in clowning culture studies, Andrew Stott writes the following : “Fools always had a tenuous grip on life and society. The medieval fool was continually reminding us of our mortality, our animal nature, of how unreasonable and ridiculous and petty we can be.This continued through to the 16th century, where Shakespearean jesters were often linked to death and dark truths. King Lear’s fool wanders around reminding everyone that they’re not as clever as think they are while talking in contorted double speak to undermine our sense of what we think is going on.Clowns have always been associated with danger and fear, because they push logic up to its breaking point.They push our understanding to the limits of reason and they do this through joking but also through ridicule.”


What is behind the clown’s place in civilization heritage ? The new times bring the new concerns and the benign profile of good clown being replaced by evil clown and so called ” stranger danger” ideology. It is stated there are three categories of clowns:  White Faced, Auguste, and Hobo. The  world well known is White Faced who  was born with English actor and comedian Joseph Grimaldi. Later, there were just modifications but the image of the clown is always typical and always terrifying, no matter how strong are efforts of clown players to show it different.


The most terrible example of the evil clown hasnt been the demonic creature from the wood but the real person who killed the people wearing the clown costume. John Wayne Gacy, American Serial Killer is also known as Killer Clown, the one who was dressed up as ” Pogo” and who sexually assaulted and killed at least 33 young men between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago. He was executed in 1994 in spite of his believes that clowns can get away with the murders. Unfortunately, the concept of Killer Clown remained in our minds and if we cant detect anything supernatural about those weird faces, we will try to feel some abnormal things about them. It is almost like a code of self-defense, given by nature, proven by survival instincts.



One another thought for clowns haters and those who suffer from  coulrophobia is the ability of the clowns to infiltrate into the deepest cells of the society and to be invisible while they are making their malign plans. What I am referring here?The clowns are usually around children and that is an ideal job for potential pedophile or sadistic killer. They can feed their beats hunger because they will be hidden through the professional capacity to merge with the environment and to escape all doubts. Not only serial killers and psychopaths, what about the terrorists ?Lone wolves could easily play on this ticket and the intelligence service would be late.


The latest creepy clown epidemic which disturbs America and Europe should make us worried. After the series of cases reported in the USA that there are people dressed in clown costumes who frighten children with the potential to harm them, the madness of the same kind has knocked on the door of the Europe in October 2016. It seems that the summer horror fever from South Carolina and Alabama visited the UK, Sweden and Germany:“Sociologist Robert Bartholomew at Botany College in New Zealand has studied mass hysteria for decades, and said the current clown scare is a result of two rising forces in the US: social media, and a fear of otherness, whether it arrives in a white Mercedes or a refugee boat.Social media plays a pivotal role in spreading these rumor-panics which travel around the globe in the blink of an eye.They are part of a greater moral panic about the fear of strangers and terrorists in an increasingly urban, impersonal, and unpredictable world.”


As always, there is a logical explanation for all phenomena within our systems and societies. With the lack of national security and the economical bad perspectives, people are going back to the primitive form of reacting on accumulated frustrations. Many of them are spreading panic to feel more safe but there are some who could abuse these situations for their own dirty agenda. The wolf in the sheep clothing. In our story, the real killer in the funny clown suit. The state and the people must be aware of the social media propaganda as well as the grounded anger and madness, caused by the social parameters. Instead of  solving flows one by one and not letting them being stronger, the decision makers and rulers ignore the scream of the social layers and cover it by wrong concepts.


The clown could be anyone but we must keep our fears and phobias under control because the common sense must prevail. In every darkness, there is a light. In every confusion, there is a logical point and we must focus on i to find instead of IT to be afraid of.






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    Liked by 1 person

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    Liked by 1 person

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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !