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Clowns. Why are so many scared of them?

(29 Posts)
Soubriquet Tue 27-Oct-20 13:19:01

Annual Halloween costume allowed at work again this

Apart from being work appropriate, the biggest rule was “no scary clowns.”

I know there’s a lot of horror movies featuring said scary clowns, but why are so many scared of them?

It seems to be a popular phobia

OP’s posts: |
DaddysGirl36 Tue 27-Oct-20 13:20:57

Poltergeist as a child scared me. Not even sure why I was able to watch it

Honeyroar Tue 27-Oct-20 13:23:35

I don’t know. We’ve decorated a café where I work with scary child sized models. The one that freaks everyone out is the clown. Nobody will touch it!!

Blossomhill123 Tue 27-Oct-20 13:23:43

I think it’s the evil clowns in films.
They petrified me has a kid ( was probably too young to watch ) .

SquishySquirmy Tue 27-Oct-20 13:23:55

Uncanny valley.
They look human, but with weirdly exaggerated features, so some people subconsciously read them as "off" and find them disconcerting.

MaidenMotherCrone Tue 27-Oct-20 13:25:09

Why do people have an irrational fear of anything in particular?

I didn't run my finger down a list of popular phobias and think oh clowns yes that looks like a great thing to be frightened of. hmm

iklboo Tue 27-Oct-20 13:26:25

I screamed the big top down (figuratively) when I was taken to the circus aged about three. I'd never seen a scary clown film in my life. I'm terrified of the buggers.

Soubriquet Tue 27-Oct-20 13:28:03

MaidenMotherCrone

Why do people have an irrational fear of anything in particular?

I didn't run my finger down a list of popular phobias and think oh clowns yes that looks like a great thing to be frightened of. hmm

Ok sarcasmo

Not like I was just asking a question thlhmm

I’ve never had that fear with clowns, though I do find little girls in white dresses in horror films creepy

OP’s posts: |
SquishySquirmy Tue 27-Oct-20 13:30:51

And I think that the horror films made about creepy clowns feed on (and increase) existing uneasiness/fear.
This is true of all horror film tropes, imo.

picosandsancerre Tue 27-Oct-20 13:32:11

because they live in drains and eat kids...grin

Alexandernevermind Tue 27-Oct-20 13:34:03

It's the unpredictable nature of supposedly funny clowns and the fact that they have a fake smile painted on. It's a creepy thing when someone has a huge fake smile and pissed off eyes! I think it's a sub conscious / survival thing not to trust this.

cherrytree63 Tue 27-Oct-20 13:34:21

Err Pennywise grin
I have an irrational fear of anyone wearing any type of mask.

Alexandernevermind Tue 27-Oct-20 13:36:32

I have an irrational fear of anyone wearing any type of mask. same here - full face though obviously, not obligatory nose and mouth covering.

cariadlet Tue 27-Oct-20 13:43:13

I'd go with the uncanny Valley theory; they look almost human but something's off about them. I think that's why ventriloquist dummies are ok if they're animals (like Orville or Nookie Bear back in the 80s) but creepy as fuck when they look human (like the ones in Toy Story 4).

firedragon101 Tue 27-Oct-20 13:44:43

My dog hates clowns! My husband hated the beautiful Venetian masks I had, and that was them just hanging on the wall. I think masks (including clowns) can cause a visceral reaction for many people.

VetOnCall Tue 27-Oct-20 13:55:56

iklboo

I screamed the big top down (figuratively) when I was taken to the circus aged about three. I'd never seen a scary clown film in my life. I'm terrified of the buggers.

Same here! My poor DM thought it would be a lovely idea to take 3 year old me to the circus but I clapped eyes on a clown that had came out of the tent to give out balloons when we were in the ticket queue, went absolutely rigid with fear and then tried to back away so fast that I fell over backwards whilst hyperventilating. I wasn't prone to histrionics as a child so she knew there was something genuinely wrong 😄 I can't stand ventriloquist dummies either, they make me feel a bit sick, and I've never liked dolls, especially those godawful ones with painted porcelain faces.

Soubriquet Tue 27-Oct-20 13:56:49

Those dummies in toy story 4 were creepy! Looked like they extras from a goosebumps movie

OP’s posts: |
YorkieTheRabbit Tue 27-Oct-20 14:31:12

I’m 53, my dad took me to the circus when I was 4. A clown came up to me and wanted me to go into the ring with him, I still remember his painted face and orange curly hair shock. I was completely terrified. Hideous creatures thlshock

ExtremeWeatherScenarios Tue 27-Oct-20 14:32:57

Pennywise.

Amazing what seeing a film that’s too old for you can do to the brain.

starfish88 Tue 27-Oct-20 16:02:12

I read somewhere that the huge fake smile 'reads' like a chimpanzee fear grimace to a primitive part of our brain. No idea if it's true but it would make sense.

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Tue 27-Oct-20 16:05:41

iklboo

I screamed the big top down (figuratively) when I was taken to the circus aged about three. I'd never seen a scary clown film in my life. I'm terrified of the buggers.

Same here. I spent the rest of the show hiding in my dad's coat sobbing.

Potionqueen Tue 27-Oct-20 16:58:54

Anyone remember the programme Department S? Someone snuck into a bedroom and superglued a clown mask onto a sleeping person. In the morning they woke up and had a heart attack trying to get it off.
Clowns are soooo scary.

sophs29 Tue 27-Oct-20 17:04:41

I'm the same as previous posters, a clown came up to me when I was 3 to give me a balloon and apparently I screamed and ran away as fast as I could! obviously never watched horror films at that age so it wasn't that!
Even now (27years old) I hate them and anything in a mask. I think it's where I can't see who the person is underneath the mask/make up it freaks me out!

FairFridaythe13th Tue 27-Oct-20 17:06:35

I even remember some very old black and white films where the clown would be some homocidal maniac or ‘man with a past’. I always thought them rather sinister.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 27-Oct-20 17:09:24

I hate the over exaggerated painted on smile. They look friendly but it's a false smile. <shudder>

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