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Clowns: Scary or Funny?

Updated on June 24, 2011

Send In the Clowns...

Clowns: Scary or Funny?

Some people love clowns. They think clowns are just funny, happy-go-lucky entertainers with a penchant for wearing silly clothes and making balloon critters.

The rest of us can't sleep, because we know the truth: The clowns will eat us!

Do You Suffer from Coulrophobia?

What is coulrophobia? It's just a nice scientific name for clown phobia, or the intense fear of clowns. But why do so many people fear clowns?

Some people blame media for casting clowns in a horrific light. There are movies and novels that portray clowns as downright ghastly, such as Stephen King's "It."

Sometimes people just have a bad experience with clowns. Maybe a clown scared them when they were children, or maybe they were just frightened by the face makeup. You know, the big red lips, the giant red nose, the unnaturally white skin.

Another factor is that clown makeup can obscure or even conceal the real facial expressions. Not being able to see the clown's true face could inspire some instinctual distrust. Some children are afraid of costumed people in general, even if they're at Disney World.

"There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight."

- Lon Chaney, Sr.

Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

We actually have the Simpsons to thank for this catchphrase: "Can't sleep, clown will eat me."

It happened in an episode called "Lisa's First Word," where we learn more about the Simpson family's past. When Marge becomes pregnant with Lisa, a very young Bart is forced to give up his crib for the baby. To make Bart feel better about it, Homer builds a special bed just for Bart--a clown bed that looks rather evil. It looks even more scary at night! It's not a leap for Bart to imagine that the frightening clown bed will devour him as soon as he falls asleep.

The next morning finds Bart curled up on the floor downstairs, muttering to himself over and over, "Can't sleep, clown'll eat me."

Your Opinion on Clowns...

Clowns: Scary or Funny?

Clown Fight!

Which clown would win in a fight?

See results

Meet Pennywise, the "It Clown..."

Stephen King's It (Double Sided Disc)
Stephen King's It (Double Sided Disc)

See Pennywise the Clown in all his gory--er, glory. The big galoot will give you some floating balloons before he cheerfully gnaws your arm off. What a guy. Kids love him.


Evil Clown Video

Don't worry, this video isn't horribly scary--unless the mere sight of a clown makes you scream. It just plays haunting music from Silent Hill and shows pictures of clowns. It's subtly creepy.

"It" by Stephen King


The little town Derry is plagued by a shapeshifting creature known as It, which preys on children. Its favorite form is an evil clown known as Pennywise.


Another Scary Clown Video

First you're treated to pictures of friendly, happy clowns. Then you get to see evil, murderous clowns. Fortunately, it's all just a series of pictures with some music.

Note: You might want to turn down the volume towards the end.

Share your tales of clown horror...

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    • profile image

      freakybabyme 6 years ago

      komische kellner

      well I think some of you guys simply have a clown fobia wooohhooo

    • imaginemdd lm profile image

      imaginemdd lm 7 years ago

      Interesting and fun lens looking at whether Clowns are scary or funny! Thanks for creating this page. I've added a link on my doll & puppet directory lens.

    • BusyQueen profile image

      BusyQueen 9 years ago

      I rated, added you to my favorites, thanks and great lens!

    • cannedguds lm profile image

      cannedguds lm 9 years ago

      I like clowns and this Christmas, I would like to learn how to be a clown and surprise my kids on Christmas Eve!!!!

    • profile image

      BradKamer 9 years ago

      Scary or not, this is a great debate topic. I err on the side of clowns are scary.

    • profile image

      Bugsley 9 years ago

      Just a sad clown who never tried to scare anyone.

      Shriner clowns rule!

      Help a Shriner help a kid!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 9 years ago from Upstate, NY

      There was also that alcoholic animal-abusing clown in Air Bud. Why do they put evil clowns in children's programs?

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 9 years ago

      I know a few people who are afraid of clowns, I just don’t find them scary. Nice lens.


    • Lewister profile image

      Susan 9 years ago from Texas

      Another great one, Victoria! My sister has been desperately afraid of clowns her whole life, me not so much. But I also don't usually find them funny either. More annoying. Not sure what side of the debate that leaves me on!!

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 9 years ago

      Nice argument idea!