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Friday, January 25, 2008

It’s Official: Clowns Are Terrifying

posted by on January 25 at 9:26 AM


Scientific American confirms the scariness of clowns:

A study of hospitalized kids in England found that they positively hate clowns, which are often depicted on the walls in children’s wards. Researchers from the University of Sheffield spoke to 255 kids between the ages of 4 and 16, and none of them liked clowns. According to the magazine Nursing Standard, one researcher said, “We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them frightening and unknowable.” On the other hand, kids do like images of the Simpsons, Spongebob Squarepants, characters from Monsters Inc., pictures of local teams and athletes, and photos of the local region.

According to the report, the researchers are using their findings to create kid-friendlier hospital environments.

In other news: Screw you, Patch Adams

RSS icon Comments



Posted by hunh? | January 25, 2008 9:31 AM

The best thing Patch Adams ever did was get that women killed.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 25, 2008 9:33 AM

"..and unknowable."

Posted by Nick | January 25, 2008 9:35 AM

that took long enough! didn't anyone who designed and perpetrated these horrors remember hating clowns themselves when they were children? or are they all secret sadists?

Posted by ellarosa | January 25, 2008 9:37 AM

Has it always been the case that kids are afraid of clowns or is this just a recent phenomenon? I wasn't ever afraid of them, but when I was growing up there were no movies about killer clowns. Could kids have become sensitive to them because of movies?

Posted by Johnny | January 25, 2008 9:38 AM

I think hardcore clown porn would be so fuckin awesome!

Posted by monkey | January 25, 2008 9:42 AM

I think hardcore clown porn would be fuckin awesome!

Posted by monkey | January 25, 2008 9:42 AM

Clowns weird me out, but as a child I thought the seafair pirates were a lot scarier. I've never had a clown yell at me with a sword in his hand.

Posted by Lushy J | January 25, 2008 9:43 AM

1: Thanks! I'm something of a history buff.

5: Good question, but I think it might be a chicken/egg conundrum. Do scary-clown movies cause fear of clowns, or do fears of clowns inspire scary-clown movies? I vote both.

Posted by David Schmader | January 25, 2008 9:43 AM

I didn't mean to post that twice. I thought the first one failed. I'm sorry. Do you hate me?

Posted by monkey | January 25, 2008 9:44 AM

@ monkey. Not sure about clown porn but Cafe Flesh 2 has some disturbing mime porn.

Posted by heywhatsit | January 25, 2008 9:46 AM

Yet another reason to despise the late 90's film work of Robin Williams.

Posted by Hernandez | January 25, 2008 9:46 AM

This is a hate-free zone, Monkey.

But as double-posting penance, you must now Google "hardcore clown pornography" and suffer the consequences.

Posted by David Schmader | January 25, 2008 9:47 AM

It's time to bring back Spletzer to defend the honor of clowns.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 25, 2008 9:50 AM

Now, now. It wasn't precisely a double post. The first one had a "so" in there. I think it works better the second way, Monkey.

Posted by Fnarf | January 25, 2008 10:04 AM

I love clowns.

Posted by John Wayne Gacy | January 25, 2008 10:05 AM

Robin Williams scares me.

Posted by Lauren | January 25, 2008 10:05 AM

I can never think of Gacy without remembering when the Kansas City Star used a picture of him to promote Clown Week. Under the picture it said "It's a rule. You MUST celebrate Clown Week."

Posted by Jessika | January 25, 2008 10:06 AM

I was never afraid of clowns as a child... at worst I dismissed them as irritating. Now, as an adult, there are all kinds of disturbing clowns.

Posted by Phelix | January 25, 2008 10:12 AM

Oh, clown porn does exist

so disturbing.

Posted by 8Way | January 25, 2008 10:15 AM

And then there is "Spittles the Clown"
the alter-ego of Charlie Vazquez
Definitely does not want kids liking him.

Posted by -B- | January 25, 2008 10:19 AM

(sung in that Al Jolson voice) "Pogo! Pogo! That kid-lovin' clown!" (soft-shoeing, doing that shuffle-off-to-buffalo thing...)

Posted by Shammmmmmmy | January 25, 2008 10:25 AM

I was ok with clowns after watching the Bobcat Goldthwait (or whatever his name is) classic, Shakes the Clown. It really humanized them for me, especially learning that clowns suffer from alcoholism, party clowns (city folk) dont always get along with rodeo clowns (hicks rom the sticks), and they hate mimes. In other words, they're just like you and me. Fear is just a byproduct of ignorence, my friends.

Posted by longball | January 25, 2008 10:29 AM

I've always hated the American, and I guess British, style of clown: red nose, false painted smile, frizzy hair, baggy clothes, big shoes. Any clown from virtually any other country is significantly less revolting.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 25, 2008 10:34 AM

In UK hospitals clowns are the least of the kids' problems. They need to worry more about the clowns that wear the white coats and have the title "Dr.".... Or do they call their doctors "Mr." there?

Posted by docJ | January 25, 2008 10:47 AM

This reminds me of a run in with the balloon clown in pike place market.
I was having a smoke in post alley with a friend outside a bar when said clown walked by and casually puked as he walked by. Like he did it all the time.

Posted by orangekrush | January 25, 2008 11:02 AM

In Scotland, you can't tell if it's "clown" or "clone". 2X the fear...

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 25, 2008 11:02 AM

One must always be suspect of any entity with "Patch" in its moniker.

See JP Patches, Cabbage Patch Kids, Patch Adams, and a certain Patches Steinfocker.

Posted by kerri harrop | January 25, 2008 11:24 AM

"Patches" by Clarence Carter is exempt from the above, Kerri. It's one of the all-time best weepers. "Then one day a strong rain came and washed all the crops away..." I'm verklempt.

Posted by Avec Gusteau | January 25, 2008 11:34 AM

disturbing mime porn

Another great name for a speed metal band.

Also, clowns can actually be funny. That is, if you find racist sexist humor funny (I'm thinking of you, Erica)

Posted by Mike in MO | January 25, 2008 11:40 AM

Also: LMFAO @ 16.

Posted by Mike in MO | January 25, 2008 11:42 AM
Posted by M'thew | January 25, 2008 12:03 PM

@8, I know some Seafair Pirates personally (one of my neighbors was the Captain a few years back and the Duck was always over in the cul-de-sac, firing off cannons and stuff). I've ridden in parades with the Pirates and with the Seafair Clowns and let me assure you that the Clowns are far, far scarier human beings. *shudder*

My first thought, though, seeing this post was that Heath Ledger's decrepit Joker should seal the deal on scary clowns when he starts cutting Glascow Smiles into everyone's faces in Gotham City this summer while licking his lips.

Posted by Why So Serious | January 25, 2008 1:01 PM

I don't know about scary, but when the man behind the greasepaint is cult actor Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses), a disgusting time is guaranteed for all. Actually, his clown was a little scary, too. But mostly disgusting.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | January 25, 2008 2:59 PM

I always liked clowns as a kid. I thought they were funny, because people falling over is hilarious.

Posted by exelizabeth | January 25, 2008 3:34 PM

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