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Why Are Clowns Scary?

why-are-clowns-scaryIt Doesn’t Make Sense, But Somehow, Clowns Are Truly Scary.

Sure, everyone knows that kids almost always think clowns are scary. We’ve all seen a birthday clown saunter into a birthday party as handful of kids flee, screaming and crying. But have you ever looked at the adults, shifting nervously and wringing their hands on the sidelines?

Clowns are scary. They just are. There’s something about the chalk-white faces, the way their gums gleam beneath the waxy red lipstick, the eerie way the wig slides off their skull. Even though the logical side of our brains tells us there’s no physical threat of being near a clown, the fear still churns in our guts. This irrational fear of clowns actually has a name: coulrophobia.

Clowns are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to horrifying things that can’t actually hurt us. Really, we should be more afraid of crossing the street or getting in a car than of clowns or bats or strange shadows on the wall. But we can’t control weird phobias! Here are five things that freak us out, logical or not.

5 Scary Things That Shouldn't Be Scary

1. Bats

Do you know how vital bats are to the food chain? Did you know they can’t hurt you? Do you know how truly important they are to nature’s fragile ecosystem? Doesn’t matter. Horrifying. Their little fangs, their fluttering, leathery wings, it all accumulates to a truly terrifying little animal.

2. Ghosts

Everyone has a scary ghost story. If ghosts are real, then they are really scary. However, real ghosts aren’t the irrational fear. What is really freaky is when something goes missing, turns on, or goes bump in the night and the only conclusion is that a real ghost is haunting your every move. Ever lost something that just put away? It's the first sign of an annoying, creepy ghosts.

3.Taxidermy

Ok, maybe this one is just me. Taxidermy is, at its essence, just dead animals hanging on the walls. True, they’ve been stuffed and preserved but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to some people. A dead animal is a dead animal, glass eyes or not.  A dead deer hanging over the dinner table, gazing at you, is just plain eerie.

4. Mold

Have you ever opened a jar, only to find the contents covered in blue, fuzzy mold? The feeling that crawls over your skin is what is most scary every time you open something that’s been in back of the fridge for a while. Mold can't hurt us but it's still disturbing. In a strange way, a fear of mold is really a fear of the unknown. A carton of strawberries could be a perfectly sweet box of goodness. Or, it could be a mold paradise, crawling with a thin fuzz. That’s where the fear comes from.

5. Basements

I challenge you to turn off the lights and walk completely composed up the basement stairs. Nope. Basements started being scary as soon as we were old enough to turn off the basement light by ourselves and were suddenly enveloped in deep darkness. The tiny light at the top of the never ending stairs seems so far away when you’re at the bottom, and something tells us, every time, that we better make a run for it.

What freaks you out? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Kathleen Costanza

Kathleen Costanza

Hello! My name is Kathleen Costanza and I’m studying journalism at Columbia College in Chicago. I’ve written for publications both online and in print and have aspirations to one day write full time for magazines. When I’m not busy with journalism classes or my job as a writing tutor, I love learning Spanish, running next to Lake Michigan and exploring Chicago. I’m excited to be working at WomensForum.com!