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RareDenver's avatar

Why are Clowns so creepy?

Asked by RareDenver (13092 points ) October 31st, 2012 from iPhone

They should be funny but I think most would agree they are just creepy.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I don’t personally ind them creepy, but I know many people who do. Strangely, I find clown art (statues, paintings) creepy.

Luiveton's avatar

Probably because people associate them with pedophiles. Or McDonalds.

Shippy's avatar

They are?

Shippy's avatar

But they are also sexy here

Luiveton's avatar

But I like guys :(

Luiveton's avatar

I love clowns we love clowns everyone loves clowns clowns are not creepy discussion closed.

Blackberry's avatar

The popularity of the movie It probably had something to do with this phenomena. Other than that, disregarding other things like traumatic experiences with clowns, they’re actually pretty funny looking.

dxs's avatar

Stephen King has a lot to add to it. I never read the actual novel “IT”, but the movie says a lot.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I blame it on Stephen King. I personally don’t find them creepy unless they’re meant to be. There’s nothing scary about your garden variety birthday clown.

marinelife's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Big nose, hair and shoes? Fake make-up smile?

glacial's avatar

I think clowns were creepy long before “It” – and that Stephen King capitalized on that creepiness in his novel. I think it has to do with the cognitive dissonance of telling kids not to trust strangers, then inviting a disguised stranger into their home without a hint of concern… like it’s totally natural. Kind of like when young kids cry on Santa’s knee… why would we not expect them to be scared?

Also, a shout out to Bart Simpson’s clown bed seems to be in order.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I understand clowns being scary to a child (the whole make up and bizarre appearance thing, like santa, easter bunny etc). But it completely boggles my mind when I hear an adult tell me their afraid of clowns…

livelaughlove21's avatar

@marinelife Nope, still not creepy. I concur with @uberbatman on this one.

glacial's avatar

I’m guessing you can’t find an adult who finds clowns creepy who didn’t also find them creepy as a kid. In other words, they didn’t just start being scared of clowns once they were grown up. Lots of people carry their childhood fears around with them, and lots of people have phobias that make no sense at all. It’s not that mind-boggling.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@glacial I suppose. I don’t know I kinda have a hard time relating to all that since I don’t and have never had any phobias…

chyna's avatar

I love clowns. I have pictures and figurines of clowns.
I especially love @Shippy‘s clown link.

DominicX's avatar

I read it has to do with children naturally being frightened by a distorted human face.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@glacial I dont know. Not many adults are scared of monsters in their closet. Most irrational childhood fears like that don’t progress into adulthood. Things like the dark, creepy crawlies, things that go bump in the night…these are normal fears, not just childhood ones. Clowns is more of a childhood fear.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like clowns. I’m only scared by carnies.

wundayatta's avatar

Come on, they make small girls cry. And boys.

They are based on crazy people and homeless and poor people. Hobos. So the people they are based on are a bit scary. Making fun of those people doesn’t really take the scariness away.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Clowns have really huge feet. Women look at them, wonder what else is oversized and run in the opposite direction.

wundayatta's avatar

Huge feet. Homeless people took whatever shoes they could get. Often they were too large. Also, clowns were modeled on drunks, who drink too much and have big red noses and stumble around as if their feet are too big. Drunks are scary to most kids. They are weird. Talk funny. Like clowns. Are stupid. Like clowns.

YARNLADY's avatar

The first clowns I saw as a young child fit the description @wundayatta has given. However, I dressed my two year old son as a clown and it was well received.

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t think clowns have a particular creep factor, and the only time that I’ve seen this is in something that was in the horror genre. Like horror movies, games or books making clowns creepy or disturbing. But horror is like rule 34; if it exists, you can make horror out of it. If anything, normal clowns untouched by horror seem either sweet, kind of funny but not haha funny, or just boring.

Ronald McDonald’s though…wow man, hide your daughters.

kimchi's avatar

Because they are unicorns.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have never seen anything scary about them. And @Shippy – that is the prettiest clown I have ever seen, clowning around with him would probably be quite fun (except I am an old married woman so I am just assuming!).

tom_g's avatar

Clowns are really the stuff of nightmares. The terrifying thin layer of paint with expressions painted on that conflict with real homicidal expressions just below the surface are enough to scare kids into chronic insomnia. But as an adult, the mere thought of adults walking around scaring kids is enough to keep me up at night.
And of course, movies haven’t hurt the reputation of clowns as pure terror. Didn’t anyone see Poltergeist when they were a kid?

SuperMouse's avatar

Here here @tom_g, what a brilliant description of why clowns are so unsettling. I am not afraid of clowns and never really have been, I just don’t find them appealing in the least. I tend to think that with all of that make-up and the creepy painted smile – they must be hiding something. Then again I was always terrified of Tammy Faye Baker and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

For me clowns always bring to mind things like James Stewart’s clown character in The Greatest Show on Earth whose painted smile hid a devastating secret or the song Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (where he compares himself to the sad clown Pagliacci). Plus I have always been horribly creeped out by the song @chyna linked!

ucme's avatar

I don’t think they’re scary/creepy, I just find the sad fuckers behind the disguise painfully unfunny, second rate, pond life.
Stop it, you desperately sad wannabe XD

RareDenver's avatar

@ucme are we talking about clowns now or X Factor contestants?

ucme's avatar

@RareDenver Come the revolution they’re all up against the wall…..power to the people!

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