Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Why is my daughter afraid of clowns?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) March 16th, 2010

My daughter is not a baby, she is 41 years old. she is a nurse in a big city and scared to death of clowns. anything to do with clowns. i, as her father, do not understand this. this was not a problem for her as a child. so, why now?

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51 Answers

partyparty's avatar

I think there is something sinister about clowns myself.
I really don’t know why, because they are supposed to be amusing.
Perhaps it is because they are disguised… never sure what the real person is underneath all the makeup and clothing.

tranquilsea's avatar

My sisters and I haven’t been big fans of clowns either. Reading Stephen King’s, “It” really did us in.

Too many of them don’t look even remotely cute…just creepy.

Perhaps she has read or watched something with an evil clown.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because she is rational.
Clowns are creepy!

jfos's avatar

I’ve come to find that a lot of people are afraid of clowns. I never understood it, because I think clowns are anti-scary. The fact that they’re dressed up and painted and colorful gives me more incentive to brawl in a fight/flight scenario.

jfos's avatar

But back on topic, maybe she saw a scary clown movie or had a bad dream.

crazy_twilight_chick's avatar

@Arp: well your a lot of help! lol!
@john65pennington: Maybe it’s because, clowns are weird & they get all in your face when you least expect it.

josie's avatar

Who knows. But at age 41 it seems a bit unusual. The good news is, all she has to do to live a reasonable life is stay away from the circus and McDonalds.

Shae's avatar

John Wayne Gacy

I think deep down we as a society think grown men who want to be near children that are not their own are deviant.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Maybe she read Stephen King’s It. And there’s always Ronald McDonald and Bozo; if those two don’t creep you out, nothing will.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

She works in the health care profession and she’s scared of clowns? Might be a connection, if she has to deal with the insurance companies as well.

syz's avatar

She’s not the only one…..

SuperMouse's avatar

There is no denying that the vast majority of clowns are downright creepy. I frankly find them terrifying.

john65pennington's avatar

My daughter came to visit us for a week. not knowing her feelings about clowns, my wife jokingly place rag clown on her pillow in her bedroom. this is when we learned of her difficulties with clowns. we did not go into the subject with her then, but i wish now that we had. she is a great lady and this concerns my wife and i. we let the clown issue go and she flew back to her home.

whyigottajoin's avatar

Probably because a clown scared her when she was young and she’s traumatized by it, only she can’t remember it because she might have blocked that specific memory. Clowns don’t scare me. I find the macdonalds-clown the least-scary one.

jfos's avatar

@josie I thought at first you read the question before this one, but you didn’t answer it. Just a crazy coincidence.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Clowns are really freaking people out? Why?

bummer's avatar

Because our congress is full of clowns.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It’s because they don’t know how to dress.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I like how clowns dress. And don’t you ever sleep?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@bummer That’s kind of an insult to clowns. At least they have a little purpose.

bummer's avatar

You are correct. I no longer resemble that remark.

EmpressPixie's avatar

It could be because it is an acceptable adult fear. If I tell people (at age 24), “I’m afraid of the dark,” that’s not really a highly accepted fear in an adult. However, “I’m afraid of clowns” is hugely popular lately—I think because of things like Stephen King’s It and numerous old carnival stories or movies. It has entered popular culture as an acceptable adult fear—and a popular one.

Cruiser's avatar

Clowns are darn pretty scary when you keep them locked in the basement and you wonder why she is afraid of them?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

They’re funny looking things with big feet and small cars. Where does the creepy part come in?

YoH's avatar

The face is suspect. What’s really underneath causes doubts. http://ask.yahoo.com/20050310.html

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

the better question is: why aren’t you?!

CMaz's avatar

Clowns are trouble makers.

By virtue of being disguised they are dishonest.

Kids pick up on that sort of stuff.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t know. I’ll have to think on it a little.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Did she have much exposure to clowns as a child? It’s possible that she was always afraid of clowns but you never noticed because you never saw her in a situation with clowns. I have been terrified of spiders my whole life but it’s not as if I was around them much as a child so my mother didn’t see me freak out when I saw one. Now, however, she takes great delight in making fun of me when I do see a spider. :P

Clowns are scary. They are exaggerated as far as size of body parts. They are in your face and loud and a general assault on the senses. Clowns freak me out too.

plethora's avatar

@AstroChuck Yeah they really are. I can see why a kid would be afraid of them.
@john65pennington Maybe you need to punch one out for her…:)

crazy_twilight_chick's avatar

@plethora: hahahaha. That’s pretty funny.

Clowns are really scary.

plethora's avatar

@crazy_twilight_chick Hey….so nice to see a sense of humor on here…..:)

Coloma's avatar

When my daughter ( who is now 22 ) was about 4 her dads grandmother let her watch Stephen Kings ‘It.” The evil sewer dwelling clown that snatched children into the underground.

She has hated clowns ever since, big suprise!

I was sooo angry at grandma…what WAS she thinking! lololol

bobloblaw's avatar

Who wouldn’t be afraid of clowns?

bythebay's avatar

I hate them, truly. Can’t remember when I didn’t. I know I’m dating myself here, but when I used to watch Howdy Doody and Clarabell the clown would come out, I would run from the room. For me it’s the whole package, the covered faces, the not talking, bad shoes, just all of it.

If your daughters fear doesn’t keep her from leading a normal and productive life, there’s no issue.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@bythebay I didn’t watch Howdy Doody (that I can recall, anyway), but wasn’t Clarabelle a cow? (Edit: I guess not, per Wikipedia.)

john65pennington's avatar

bythebay, my daughter is a great person. she is a loving individual that loves to take care of people. i feel no issues at all with her. the clown issue really concerns us, since she showed no reaction as a child to clowns. sorry to say i do remember watching howdy doody and that was not a problem for me. i have never associated a clown with a bad time. clowns always made me laugh. thanks.

bythebay's avatar

@CyanoticWasp , There is also a Clarabelle (a cow) in some Disney cartoons.

@john65pennington, Maybe its as EP mentioned above, perhaps its something she picked up on, or finally recognized, as an adult. I’m not trying to minimalize your concern for your daughter, just let you know she’s not alone.

MrsDufresne's avatar

If someone that I care about has a fear that I don’t understand, I just ask them about it. Maybe you should ask her. (I can certainly see the potential that clowns have for scaring the **** out of people, although they’ve never had that effect on me personally.)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Women scare the **** out of me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MrsDufresne What is it about clowns that is so scary? Half the world is scared of them.

faye's avatar

Clowns are creepy and clown dolls are worse. People gave both my daughters clown dolls and, fortunately for me, they didn’t like them. Mimes can be creepy,too, when they robot into your face.

MrsDufresne's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I think it has something to do with the make-up they wear, it can be down right creepy. And all the horror movies with the classic “clown doll in the dark room” type of thing.
Here’s an interesting wiki article about evil clowns.

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t know but it made me laugh. I have heard of the clown fear before though.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MrsDufresne That is one heck of a clown composite. Thank You. I now know what coulrophobia is.

SuperMouse's avatar

This guy is the only clown who doesn’t absolutely horrify me. As a matter of fact he makes me laugh out loud!

wilma's avatar

I don’t like clowns.
The are disguised and are hiding who they really are. They give you unwanted attention and try to engage you in silly embarrassing stunts. They , I believe tend to try to engage women and children more often than men. Why is that? I believe it’s because, they don’t think men will tolerate their silliness and embarrassing antics, but women and children will just have to put up with it.
I was once pestered by a clown at a carnival, (another event that I dislike but was pressured to take my children). The clown guy kept bothering me, getting in my personal space and really violating my comfort zone. I tried to be polite and let him know that his attention was not wanted. He didn’t back off. Finally when he got really close and in my face, I quietly spoke to him through clenched teeth. I told him that if he “didn’t get the hell away from me and my kids right now, I’d kick him in the nuts so hard that those painted on tears would be real.”

I really don’t like clowns.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@wilma Remind me to stay out of clown costumes.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Eeek. Clowns are creepy. I don’t know why I don’t like them; they’re just creepy.

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