The Crazy Reasons Behind Why Are Clowns Scary: It’s Not What You Think

Imagine walking through your favorite haunted Halloween attraction when suddenly you see a pair of creepy red clown shoes in your path. You start to feel uneasy as chills go down your spine, your heart beats faster, and your palms sweat.

Have you ever wondered, why are clowns so scary?!

From the big screen to the signature clown makeup that’s popular every Halloween, the reasons are fascinating! So, whether you find clowns hilarious or horrifying, let’s unpack this common phobia!

Why Are Clowns Scary? Learn the Hauntingly Sinister Truth

Clowns have been around for hundreds of years, initially as court jesters, making people laugh with their bright clothes and silly behavior. But over time, this changed — clown costumes started to take a stranger turn, with black-and-white face paint, red lips, and noses all becoming the norm.

Many believe this shift in appearance coincided with the rise of circuses in the 19th century, but even then, clowns brought laughter, not shrieks. So, what changed? While experts have different opinions, most agree the fear of clowns didn’t take hold until pretty recently.

In 1978, a professional clown for children’s charity events, John Wayne Gacy, made headlines when arrested for more than 30 brutal murders. This opened the door for pop culture to embrace the creepy clown trope, and from that point forward, clowns only got scarier.

Why are clowns scary

Creepy Clowns Take Hold of Pop Culture: 6 Scary Movies with Clowns

Clowns have been a fixture of pop culture for decades, but the classic circus performer has become a villain in recent years. In 1990, the movie “It” was an unexpected horror hit.

The story revolves around a group of children terrorized by a demonic clown called Pennywise. The film, based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel, is the most well-known movie featuring a creepy clown, but here are five more to add to your watch list if you’re up for a good scare.

  1. Terrifier
  2. Killer Klowns From Outerspace
  3. Poltergeist
  4. Halloween
  5. Clownhouse

Ready to face your fear of clowns or come face to face with the creepiest characters from your favorite scary movies?

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Psychologists Agree: Clown Phobia Is Real!

Did you know research shows clowns frighten people more than zombies, vampires, and werewolves? The phobia is so pervasive that nearly one in five people suffer from coulrophobia (the fear of clowns). But why? Psychologists suggest a few factors are to blame.

  • Clowns are unpredictable. Clowns are known for their lively personalities, but they can be funny one minute and sinister the next — just like in Stephen King’s It.
  • They cover their faces. Clowns often wear makeup, fake red noses, and over-the-top costumes that hide their faces from view. This makes it difficult to read their facial expressions or see how we’re affecting them emotionally — two things that help us gauge whether someone is a friend or foe before we engage with them further.
  • Their features are exaggerated. Clowns’ faces look distorted by their oversized red noses, which may make them appear more monstrous than humans.
  • They resemble dolls, which are also creepy. In addition to looking somewhat fake, clowns resemble dolls — another thing many people find unsettling. And if you’re wondering what makes dolls scary too, this post has all the answers!

If You Love Learning About Scary Things, You’ll Love Visiting Kersey Valley!

If you appreciate a good thrill, plan a trip to Kersey Valley. Spoiler alert: you might see a creepy clown or two.

You’ll also have the chance to enjoy dozens more attractions, like laser tag, ax-throwing, rock climbing, and more.

Why Are Clowns Scary? Come See for Yourself…If You Dare!

Book Your Fright Night at Kersey Valley, Rated a Top-5 Haunted Attraction in the United States!