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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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."


In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

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4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

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6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

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11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...


I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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