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Chicago Tribune, TVWeek

Why People Are Afraid of Clowns — And How ‘Creepy Clown’ Sightings Are Bad for Business

Oct 12, 2016  •  Post A Comment

A new report offers insights into clowns and reveals how recent “creepy clown” sightings are affecting professional clowns. The fear factor associated with clowns is nothing new, according to the report by the Chicago Tribune.

With social media freaking out about creepy clowns who have reportedly threatened kids, and some Internet users vowing to hurt any clown they see in public, the clowns who work parties performing magic tricks and making balloon animals have had to take precautions such as doing checks on who’s doing the hiring and avoiding wearing their costumes and makeup on the way to the gig.

Comments pro clown Diane Knight: “They say there’s a shortage of clowns. I hope this doesn’t scare people away.”

But the current situation is nothing compared with events that rocked the clown world in past decades.

“In the late 1970s, serial killer John Wayne Gacy hurt the business when it was learned he dressed as a clown for fundraisers,” the paper reports. “Nicknamed the Killer Clown, it’s believed Gacy murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County.”

Then came Stephen King’s “It,” featuring a shape-shifting creature that appears as a clown. Both the 1986 novel and the 1990 ABC miniseries had an impact, the story reports — and the novel is due for a new feature film adaptation next year, in the works at New Line Cinema.

Commenting on the miniseries, Knight said: “That movie was scary. It made a lot of adults frightened of clowns.”

it-1990-abc-miniseries

One Comment

  1. How about when “legitimate” clowns feel it’s completely acceptable to approach young children during public events, invade their personal space and expect the kids to interact with them? I teach my children to not talk to strangers and refuse anything that a stranger tries to give to them. Just because clowns are wearing a costume and face paint does not change the fact that they’re still strangers – it makes it worse. Here kid – have a balloon!

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