Saturday, May 3, 2008


I can't believe I mentioned my fear of clowns in a blog. This was the one thing I meant to keep secret, but I blurt it out for the world to read. What was I thinking?

My family and a few close friends are the only ones who knew of my coulrophobia - fear of clowns. I have had a problem with these creepy, white-faced, red lipped mutants most of my life. As an adult, you would think this phobia would lessen, after all, I am a grown up - aren't I? But noooooooo, my fear of clowns increases with each exposure until I'm sure one day I'm going to be so frozen with fear that a clown will be the end of me.

I have been known to run down Main Street if a clown approaches me, leaving my children to fend for themselves. I have been known to climb over my children when a clown would approach me in Rupp Arena during the Ringling Brothers Circus (this has happened twice!). I have been know to run screaming out of a local Wal-Mart from just the sight of a Ronald McDonald statue. Okay, I never claimed to be a rational person.

People who know of my fear have asked me, "Were you scared by a clown when you were a child?" But my answer is always, "No." I don't have any vivid memories of a specific time in my childhood when a clown scared me. I have vivid memories of clown "attacks", but one doesn't stand out any more than any other.

Recently I think I found out where this strange phobia originated into my nightmares. I am addicted to the old television soap opera from 60s, Dark Shadows. I can remember running from from the bus every afternoon to catch the 3:30 episode. I thought Barnabas Collins was the most wonderful thing since sliced bread. I wanted to be a vampire just like him! This television show was the beginning of my obsessions with all things vampiric, but that's for another blog.

Anyway, for the past two years, I have been renting Dark Shadows from Netflix, all 104 discs (there is 26 Collections with each collection containing 4 disc; I think I did the math right?!). The past few months, I have been renting, Dark Shadows: The Beginning, which is the first 210 episodes before Barnabas Collins joined the cast.

I'm sorry, I digressed. Back to the coulrophobia. During an early episode of Dark Shadows, there is an episode where David Collins is in a Fun House and there are clown faces in the funky fun house mirrors. Watching that episode, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My heartrate was racing, I broke out in a cold sweat, and my hands were shaking so bad, it took me three attempts to hit the STOP button on the remote.

When my hubby ran into the living room to see what was upsetting me, I had to leave the room while he watched the icky clowns on the television screen. Later that night, I told him I thought that might have been the moment in my childhood everyone is always trying to get me to remember. No a phyical encounter with an alien clown, but a dream sequence on a televison show. Like I said, I never claimed to be rational.

So, if you invite me to a party, don't invite any clowns or other creatures dressed in funny costumes or wearing full face paint. Of course, I probably wouldn't attend the party any way, what with my agoraphobia and all. What ... I didn't tell you about my fear of public places ...

1 comment:

Janet said...

I LOVED Dark Shadows, too! Did you know they're making of movie based on it, with Johnny Depp playing Barnabas?