The History Of Fearing Clowns

The History Of Fearing Clowns

Coulrophobia is real.

Clowns. That one word alone is enough to send shivers down someone's spine. In today's age, it seems that whenever clowns are mentioned the image to pop into people's minds are creepy, cold blooded killers. But it wasn't always this way. When did this change, and why?

Clowns have been around a lot longer than what most people would think. They've made an appearance in several cultures through history, from Ancient Rome to Ancient Egypt dating back to 2500 BCE. These clowns had one job: to make people laugh. And that's what they did. However, the image of a happy clown began to deteriorate with the man who is seen as the first notable ancestor to the modern clown, Joseph Grimaldi. He was the first to bring about the look we associate with clowns today: pure white face with bright red cheeks and elaborate, colorful costumes. He was very well known all over London. However, Grimaldi’s real life was not as happy and cheerful as the life he portrayed on stage. He grew up with a tyrannical father, suffered from depression and alcoholism, had a very strained relationship with his only son who also turned to alcoholism, and suffered extreme joint pain from all his antics from performing as a clown. Once he died Charles Dickens wrote Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, illustrating the extreme pain Grimaldi put himself through just to make others laugh. This caused people to wonder, what's behind the mask of a clown? What pain are they hiding?

Enter Jean-Gaspard Deburau, a famous clown/mime in Paris. He was as famous in Paris as Grimaldi was in London. While Grimaldi’s life showed people what's hiding behind the mask of a happy stage clown, Deburau was the one who planted the seed for the sinister, killer clown. In 1836, Deburau killed a young boy on the street with a blow from his walking stick after yelling insults at Deburau.

Clowning shifted from stage to circus in Europe, and after a while clowning spread to America. Circus clown made people uneasy in the over dramatic ways they moved and their eccentric behavior, being described as “reminding one of the courtyard of a lunatic asylum.” When the television age came around clowns became widely popular as children entertainers, such as Bozo the Clown. Clowns had shifted from an adult audience to children, so they were expected to be innocent. But the lives of Grimaldi and Deburau had people still wondering, what was behind the mask?

Along comes the clown Pogo, or who most people know as John Wayne Gacy. To the public eye was a friendly and hardworking man, and a great clown who entertained at children's parties and fundraising events. However beneath the mask was a man more sinister than anyone could imagine. Between 1972 and 1978 Gacy sexually assisted and killed at least 33 young men. Before his arrest, he told investigating officers: “You know… clowns can get away with murder.” Gacy turned people's uneasiness towards clowns into full on fear.

After Gacy, killer clowns became a hit in movies and books. Stephen Kings popular novel It and movies such as Clownhouse only amplified people's fear. Clowns are now associated with fear and death, not humor and happiness like they were in the past. Clowns make appearances in haunted houses, or even on the streets like during “clown-pocalypse” with one purpose: to frighten others.

I know one thing for sure, if I ever see a clown on the street I'm running as fast as I can the other way.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.


Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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