The Scarlet Woman at The Curious Fortean has a very good piece on clown fear: Coulrophobia: The Childhoo Fear Of Clowns. I left the following comment at her blog:
Very nice article, enjoyed it. For myself, I always say I don’t have coulrophobia, because I don’t fear clowns, but I do hate them. I dislike them. I’m not afraid of them; they p*** me off! They’re creepy, nasty, cannot be trusted, and are perverts. The nicest ones are well meaning delusional, naive tricksters, the rest are pretty sleazy. While I always insist I don’t fear them, just hate them — and, they need to be called out for their nastiness — I suppose my intense distaste for them simply a variety of fear. As much as I find clowns disgusting, greasy things, I remain fascinated by them.
Is my digest disguised fear? An interesting question. Where does this fear come from, assuming it is fear? The Curious Fortean article mentions The Uncanny Valley Effect; one thing that’s familiar mixed in with something out of place. The two or more things together add up to an unease, a fear.
As I commented, my digest/mistrust/and possible fear of clowns doesn’t make me run and hide; it makes me want to delve more into the perverted mystery. Obviously that says a lot about me and not so much about clowns, I suppose.
This “Uncanny Valley Effect” ( a new concept to me) is very interesting, and of course, I couldn’t help but think about UFOs in relation to this idea. UFOs, and the occupants, are often disguised as something else. It’s a plane, but morphs into something fantastic. The alien being is humanoid, or looks sort of like an owl, or winged creature, or some other known creature, but it isn’t a known creature at all. It’s not a construction worker in a coverall, short as he may be. It’s . . . something else.
Some witnesses to UFOs and beings react with fear. Others are enchanted. Both often remain fascinated with the subject the rest of their lives.
A movie that integrated both clowns and UFOs/aliens was the 1988 Killer Klowns From Outer Space. That film was a comedy of course but the juxtaposition of clowns with aliens/ufos tugs at something deeper.
Not everyone involved with UFOs likes it when some of us go dark — addressing the creepier, darker, uncomfortable side of the UFO realm. But it’s there. It’s a part of it. To deny it is naive and dishonest. There is the danger of becoming bizarrely paranoid and ridiculous, and maybe this is what some researchers fear when the negative aspects of a UFO experience or theories comes up. It’s not too many steps from an honest look at the corrupted underbelly to the lurid comic book type tales of human body parts in vats tended by reptilians.
I am fascinated by both; clowns and UFOs. The two are not considered close in my mind. Clowns don’t freak me out –well, they do, but not because I’m afraid, because they’re creepy bastards. UFOs don’t freak me out — well, sometimes a few memories do, indeed, but overall, I don’t find the UFO realm disgusting or fearful. Both clowns and UFOs/aliens appear to us not as what they really are. And this dishonesty causes fear, as well as anger, which can turn to obsession. In my case, with UFOs, trying to find out what has been happening in my life since childhood. (Even though I know I will never find out, but that is all right. The journey is the important thing.)
Finally, I find it a Fortean bit of synchronicity that I come from circus folk. (My father, uncle, grandparents were in the circus; my grandmother an acrobat and before that, one of the Gladstone Sisters in Vaudeville; my grandfather, a carny and stuntman in westerns. )