When I was a kid, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of my sister screaming in the next room. The hall light popped on and I heard my dad's heavy footsteps as he rushed over to see what was wrong. When I walked into her room, my sister was still bawling on my father's lap as he gently patted her back. But it's not like there was blood shooting out of her eyes or bullet wounds of any sort, so I shrugged and went back to bed.
The next morning, she told me why she woke up screaming.
"Super Clown killed every one of you," she said.
"Super Clown? Pshbbbt, that's stupid," I replied.
Super Clown was the name of the monster in her nightmare. She didn't describe him, but I assumed he wore a cape and tights, and maybe rainbow suspenders. His super power was the ability to kill a lot of people with a machette, in this case, everybody in our town. In the end, only our family was alive. So for refuge we ran and hid in ... the public library (Dude, what can I say, it's the dream of a six-year-old girl.) Naturally, Super Clown found and killed us, saving my sister for last. And that's when she screamed herself awake.
I have no idea why so many people are scared of clowns. Granted, this is coming from a guy who always slept with his blanket tightly tucked under his chin as a child so that if a vampire happened to be passing by his bedroom window, he wouldn't see his neck. Damn you, "Salem's Lot."
But at least vampires have sharp teeth. Clowns don't even have real noses. How can they actually harm you? With a squirting flower? Creamy pies? Extremely large footwear?
Even some of my male friends admit to being spooked by these jolly circus entertainers.
"C'mon, didn't see you see 'Poltergeist?' The scariest scene was when the boy gets attacked by the clown doll," one of them said.
"We're jumping to conclusions here," I replied. "Maybe the clown doll was the victim. Maybe the boy did some sick, perverted things with the doll in the past, and the doll was just letting him know he wasn't cool with that."
If I'm going to venture a guess as to why you find clowns scary, it's probably because their faces are painted a ghastly shade of white, which reminds you of death.
Or maybe it's because behind those grinning blood-red lips, the clown is crying inside; and their inner tears compel you to face your own internal demons.
Or perhaps it's because when you have your back turned to them, they can pounce on you with panther-like quickness and within seconds, drain you of the pancreatic juices that clowns consider to be a delicacy.