Monday, 6 July 2015

Monster Mondays: Clowns

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'Clowns,' I hear some of you scoff, 'but they are just sweet, silly entertainers for children!'

However, the rest of us know that something sinister lies behind that bright makeup. I've been scared of clowns since I was old enough to realise that the big red grin painted round the mouth didn't always match the expression underneath. I've also been a little bit fascinated though. I remember a Blue Peter episode where they talked about registered clowns' makeup being recorded on egg shells. The practice is still going on, although the eggs are now china to make them harder to break. Thousands of little fake faces looking out at you, I think there's a horror story in there somewhere.

Since clowns have featured in many genres as bad guys, and frequently appear in horror, I am confident I am not alone in my suspicion of clowns.

Pennywise from Stephen King's IT is one of the scariest clowns I have both read and watched, and Tim Curry is magnificent in the 1990 mini series. Pennywise is truly ghastly as the visible face of something that, underneath, promises to be even worse. Even when he's the white-faced, grinning clown, who can beguile children, he's only a look, a smile, a grimace away from the monster below the surface.

Other famous horror clowns are the clown puppet from Puppetmaster, and, of course, the clown doll from Poltergeist. A group of my friends and I won a costume competition once and we won a clown doll as the prize. All the way home, we were arguing who got to keep the doll, and it wasn't that we all wanted it, none of us wanted to keep it!

Horror isn't the only genre to make use of clowns as villains, though. Doctor Who's adventure, The Greatest Show In The Galaxy, features a circus and the place is run by The Chief Clown and his troop of robot clown enforcers. Ugh! *shudders*

And probably the most famous clown of them all is The Joker. He's had many looks in comics, on TV and on film, but he always remains the maddest and baddest of Batman's villainous foes. My favourite incarnation of him has to be Jack Nicholson. He's mean, he's mad, he's bad, and he's unpredictable. That's what makes The Joker such a monstrous villain.

So, clowns aren't to be trusted, clowns hide sinister things behind their makeup, clowns are scary, scary, scary!

Do clowns scare you?

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  1. I don't have a phobia of clowns, but I see how they are creepy. I think it's the painted smile. It can make the clown look so happy and safe, but there's also a slightly insanity to the smile that just warns you to stay away.

    1. You have a point, it's the nuttiness that goes with the disguise that makes a clown all the more disturbing.


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