Monday, May 6, 2013

Coulrophobia...fear of Clowns!

Warning...this post may contain clowns!
When I was a child I was terrified of clowns.  That's really not much of a news flash...many children suffer from "coulrophobia" or fear of clowns.  It's a relatively new term..."coulro" is from the greek meaning "stilt walker" I guess there are some clowns on stilts...but none in MY nightmares.  I don't think that adults get the concept...children HATE clowns!  A few studies have shown that children do not want to see murals of clowns in hospitals, day care centers and doctors offices...yet adults keep putting them there!  And they invite them to birthday parties!  I know...right?  I am trying to think of a time when I might have enjoyed the comic antics of our red-nosed, painted-faced friends...nope!  Can't think of one.
 
When it began...
Pop goes the Weasel...
Baby's First Nightmare!
 
They seem so tame and innocent...those evil Jack-in-the-Boxes!  Baby turns the little handle...the music box plays a cheerful tune.  Turn, turn, turn....then BOOM!  Up pops a sinister little clown.  Mom laughs.  Dad laughs.  Baby needs a new diaper.  Big Shirley still can't bear the suspense of the pop-up clown!  I also have a heart attack when balloons pop and the Pillsbury biscuit package explodes!  Thanks Mattel!

 
My Childhood Clowns...
Bozo the Clown
This was one of the least-frightening poses...lol!

Clarabelle the Clown
Terrifying!
Early children's TV programming seemed to be filled with hideous and terrifying clowns.  They clomped around on their ginorous feet, making horrible noises with their red bulbous noses.  And what big hideous grins they grinned.  Actually...the two scariest grins on TV weren't clowns per se...but Liberace and Jimmy the Mouseketeer used to give me nightmares!  Too many teeth! Way too many teeth! 
 
The Dee Burger Clown
My parents loved the 5 hamburgers for a buck!
 
My first really frightening experience with clowns took place one Halloween night after the school carnival.  We were all high on sugar and exhausted from trick or treat.  Four of us shared a room back then and someone had been jumping on the bed and pulled the curtain off the window again.  After being threatened with the loss of our candy...what was left of it...we finally settled down.  Just then my little sister let out a blood-curdling shriek.  A clown was scratching at the window!  Now I don't know if this was a sugar-induced hallucination...but I believed her!  Hello, Coulrophobia!
 
My parents thought my fear of clowns was hilarious.  One parade day in American Fork, I was keeping a close watch for unicycles and go-carts...popular clown vehicles.  I spotted one about a block down the street...which gave me plenty of time to hide in the car before he got to where we were sitting.  I crouched on the floor of the front seat...waiting for the clown demon to pass by.  At a knock on the window I looked up...and there he was grinning down at me...the most hideous face since Liberace!!  Thanks Mom and Dad for telling him where to find me...that explains the bed-wetting incidents.


 Flower Power...
 
It was the Age of Aquarius and I gradually outgrew my aversion to clowns.  I am pretty sure I was over it...except for one very strange incident which took place when I was about 15.  It was spring and the lilacs outside my bedroom window were in bloom.  I have always loved the scent of lilacs.  There was a bit of a breeze, so I thought I would open the window to let the "romantic fragrance waft gently through the billowing curtains."  The window was stuck...I pushed and pushed until...CRACK!...the glass gave way and sliced the palm of my right hand.  I must have been a bit shocky as my mother drove me to the doctor for stitches.   For I saw as clear as day...on every corner of Main Street...a clown holding a single flower.  Not more than one clown...the same clown!  Yikes!
 
So...now that I am grown, they don't bother me so much.  I enjoy the idea of circuses and making circus-themed crafts...working on my Summer Circus decor right now.  I can almost say that I was over my fear of clowns for good...until HE came to town!
 
"They all float down here..."  Pennywise from "It."
 
That's it...I'm done!
Can't Sleep...Clowns will eat me!"  Bart Simpson
 
 





13 comments:

Dorothy Crutchfield said...

That Pennywise did it for me!!!

Jill said...

I had that jack in the box, still have it!!

Patti M said...

Shirley how horrible that your family taunted you with your fears...it would be an interesting statistic how much therapy has been induced from stunts being done in the name of being funny
You know the ultimate weapon against clowns don't you? A big straight pin...clowns are deathly afraid to get poked with a straight pin...at least that's what my childhood friend Betty told me when is was 5...have a lovely evening....hugs Patti M : )

Tammy's in Love said...

I can't decide if I want to laugh or cry about this childhood epistle. You surely have recovered if you are now able to craft circus themes...I do feel a little guilty about sending you a you know what!

LBP said...

A kindred spirit indeed! I am terrified on clowns..still! My incident was when I was about 5-6 and I was at a parade. The Kazim clowns had a paddy wagon and one of the clowns grabbed me off the curb and put me in the jail and took off. I just collapsed with fear. Next thing I knew my Dad was grabbing me out and letting that clown have it!!!I have actually left church when the clowns come in for the kids! And Pennywise!!! Oh my! What a horrible post!! LOL!!!

TammysVintage Finds said...

I know all too well about this phobia. My son, who is now 13, has been extremely afraid of clowns since he was one year old. We had gone to the circus and he was sitting on my FIL's lap and a clown came too close to them. My son tried to climb over my 6'4 FIL to get away from the clown and he has been afraid of them ever since.

ImagiMeri said...

Whoa, you haven't even mentioned the clown from "Spawn." I think it's even worse than your last image. Very funny post girlfriend, you have a way with words.

Hugs,
Meri

chris mckinley said...

I'm with you...it's not that I'm afraid of them now, I just don't love them!

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

Haaa-haa! What a funny post! When I was about 11 I had a very vivid dream about an alien/demon/clown? looking through my bedroom window. It was *SO* real! Yikes!

Patti said...

I actually loved clowns when I was little - especially Circus clowns - but then, after seeing "IT" - I don't like them very much! I think that I have always been very visual - and I liked the colors and the funny costumes on clowns - and that they could do such silly things - but, seriously - I don't like the clown on "IT"!!!! AHHHHHHHHH! Creepy!

vintage grey said...

Oh Shirley!! I am not a big fan of clowns either, but I guess there are some cute ones out there. Maybe just cartoon ones, and not humans! ;) xo Heather

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

That movie changed it all for me TOO!
YUCK!!!
deb

Pollyanna said...

Thanks Shirley, what a lot of fun ... As always, I loved it. It was great to see you yesterday!