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The Top Creepiest Things About Carnivals

Updated on April 5, 2015

Carnivals -- made to entertain yet give you that feeling of uncertainty every time you go. Like the feeling you get in a dark bathroom by yourself. What exactly makes these events creepy and why?


Of course this would be my my first point. If you ask anyone what they find scariest in a circus, they’ll say clowns. A lot of people have coulrophobia due to the movie and book IT, by Stephen King.

Clowns have this fake smile on them, hiding their true emotions. This man could be plotting to murder you, but the clown mask hides his intentions.

"It seems that the citizens of Northampton, England are being terrorized by an evil clown, who pops up and makes random and disturbing appearances on street corners in the city."
"It seems that the citizens of Northampton, England are being terrorized by an evil clown, who pops up and makes random and disturbing appearances on street corners in the city." | Source

In 1981, around the Boston area, there were reports of clowns kidnapping children. Most of the eye-witness accounts were by children, saying that a clown approached their friend, and either offered them something nice like sweets, or forced them inside their van. These clowns varied in appearance: some reports say they were half naked, others say they wore jeans and a Satan t-shirt.

This was investigated by the police, and none of the abductors could be traced. People say they were ghosts of clowns. Alas, eventually, this story was proved to be false, but the taken kids never made their way back home to disagree.

The Sideshow Freaks

You can get anything from three-legged men and bearded women. Not that scary, right? Right. But in the Victorian times, it was. Somehow, a grainy, black and white or sepia picture makes all the difference.

In this day and age, these people would be pitied and given medicine. They would be labeled with diseases. But back in those times, they were sent to the circus. People probably thought they were cursed or had powers. Either way, they sure make for a creepy act.

Haunted Houses

Haunted houses are shunned for being too cheesy and about as scary as knitting a pair of socks. That is, if you know how to knit. Anyway, some of these are actually scary. Especially if they’re abandoned.

Add in some glitching demonic faces and plenty of screamers and you have yourself a scary attraction!

Tarot Readers

You clear your throat, entering the purple tent. Hopefully this is the right place. As you glance around you notice candles, pentagrams and amulets.

“Came for the tarot reading?” a soft, lingering voice interrupts your thoughts.

You turn and see a plump lady, camouflaged against the royal purple walls with her matching clothes. She looks just like the typical psychic. Mystical, creepy, and holding a deck of tarot cards.

Psychics always seem to be fakes. They can’t predict your future, and neither can they see into your past. You may feel like she did, once her predictions start coming true, but that’s just your body fulfilling the events she told you of.

Still, tarot cards look dangerously evil. You just have to look at the ‘death’ card to see that.

The Music

On a road trip, I passed through a carnival for a rest. Yeah, some sort of rest. There were clowns, creepy rides and the worst — innocent yet horrendous music. It was blaring hot that day, and the sun made my eyesight even worse, so had any clowns come creeping along, I’d have had a cardiac arrest!

Seriously, try listening to this, this or this without coughing up blood.


So what freaks you out about carnivals the most? Personally I think it's the music and the clowns. A few years ago I played a computer game with my cousin and it severely altered my feelings towards carnivals. I also happened to possess a few copies of R.L. Stine books as a kid, and he frequently wrote these types of "pick your path" books which made me feel very much in danger at a carnival.

What is the scariest thing about carnivals?

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    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from London

      @WriterJanis: I know, right? It was scarier than I expected it to be -- apparently the book is even scarier but I've never read it.

    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from London

      @Eiddwen: Thank you very much!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      A great read and thanks for sharing .

      Voted up, across and shared.

      Enjoy your day .


    • WriterJanis profile image


      4 years ago from California

      The movie It really creeped me out about clowns.

    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from London

      @billybuc: I do know what you mean! There always feels like there's something going on "behind the scenes" haha!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I loved the title....and I agree with you, there are some freaky things about carnivals....they just feel a little dirty if you know what I mean. :)

    • Danida profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from London

      @Jodah: I think carnivals wouldn't be the same without that slight fear factor!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interesting hub Danida, I agree arnivals do have a creep element to them. Clowns are freaky, so are some of the sideshow operators. I used to enjoy the haunted houses, mirror mazes and ghost trains as a kid however. Being creeped out was half the fun.


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