Everyone has their fears.

I am no exception as you are about to find out…

Horror movies typically don’t bother me. I like a good spooky story, but I am not a fan of anything gory. I prefer something psychological that leaves room to the imagination, no blood and guts needed.

When I was a teenager, and everyone was freaking out over The Blair Witch project- I was amused. I thought it was a great movie- I could see how some people may be disturbed- but it didn’t stop me from camping in the woods. I loved teasing people about it.

The Ring? As creepy as it was- I found it cheesy and predictable. Ooooh a vengeful ghost is going to come through the television and drown me? Yeah… okay.

Paranormal Activity? I was yawning most of the movie. I will say that the last five minutes or so had me gripping my husband’s arm as we both started yelling ‘What the actual fuuuuu…..ck…?” but that is because it took on a demonic twist. When your father is a pastor.. Demons are a no go zone. While I love a good ghost or witch story, I usually try to avoid movies with demonic context.

There is ONE film though, that completely changed my innocent childhood outlook and left me with a fear that my friends LOVE to take advantage of…

All because I watched the movie ‘IT’ (Stephen King) when I was twelve years old.

I used to like clowns.

I loved attending circuses.

I even rocked a pair of clown inspired pajamas when I was a kid.

Now?

Not a freakin’ chance!

Clown items are banned in my house.

The thought of bulbous squeaking red noses, white face paint and colorful wigs now make me shudder.

The names Pennywise, Bozo and anything ending with THE CLOWN can give me goosebumps.

From a logical point of view- it is a completely irrational fear and dislike. I ‘know’ it is ridiculous- but I cant help it. They creep the crap out of me!

At the age of fourteen, I decided to watch the movie IT again.

I thought that perhaps because I was ‘older’ the movie would not have the same effect on me as it did when I was twelve and I would find that my fear was erased.

Face your fear = Overcome your fear… right?

As my friend (Shout out Kelly!) and I sat in the dark basement, *spoiler alert* watching the old lady melt into Pennywise… I heard this creepy voice carry down the stairs behind me.

“Irene……”

“Irene…..”

And when I turned to look…. a clown ran down the stairs, screaming like a banshee- launching herself at me.

My friend and I both screamed in horror…

My friend eventually broke out into peals of laughter, as did the clown!!!

It was just my little sister wearing my mom’s clown costume!!!

I had to check to make sure I didn’t soil myself.

(Yes- at times my mom dresses as a clown for events….and people wonder why I have trust issues….)

Of course… my fear had not been overcome.

It was worse.

(Thanks Sis!)

A few years later- my friends and I were attending a local fair. At these events, I always make sure to avert my eyes and avoid the clowns.

My friends of course thought it would be funny to send a clown over to me while we were waiting in line for the Ferris Wheel. This particular clown kept getting in my face repeatedly asking: “Do you like my nose? Do you?”

Instinct had me I wanting to punch it and run off in the other direction to safety. Of course, violence is frowned upon so I simply whined “Yes, great nose… please go away now….”

(Or I may have told it to F off while pushing my friend in front of me…that part I can’t remember…)

I was not amused.

I believe it was the next day (maybe not) when I arrived and school and opened my locker and my friends laughed as a creepy clown doll fell out onto me.

Grrrrrr…..

I would like to tell you these pranks have ceased -however with the invention of Facebook- I have become the magnet for all things clown which my friends gleefully post to my wall or tag me in.

None of my friends shenanigans compares to the horror that happened one day back in the mid 90’s.

I have saved what is probably one of the more amusing stories for last… Note this is a TRUE story and not a scene from a coming of age film.

I believe I was fifteen years old (I may have been fourteen… I try to block this out) and I was a bus student. After school one day, I got on the bus- ready to go home… I sat in the seat, leaned back and was waiting for the bus to take off.

Suddenly there is excitement in the air and everyone starts talking about ‘The Clown’ that was walking across the lawn of the school- heading towards the bus area. I sank down further in my seat. It was not uncommon for people to send students singing telegrams and do outrageous things for birthdays… I just assumed that some unfortunate student celebrating their special day was about to be ambushed by a singing clown.

I didn’t want to watch.

Suddenly the most horrifying words were screamed out in laughter on the bus.

“Oh My God!! That’s not just ANY clown!! That’s Irene’s mother!!!!”

Oh HELL no!!!!

I groaned and shrank even more into my seat.

Then it happened.

My mother- this CLOWN stepped onto my bus, cracking her ridiculous jokes and telling me she was there to pick me up and that I was to get off the bus and go to the car.

I wanted to die.

She got off the bus, dancing, cracking more jokes… giving me so many reasons to disown her… and I followed…. from a distance… to the laughter of my fellow students who were all watching my complete humiliation.

Head down, hidden by a curtain of blonde hair, gritting my teeth I reluctantly got into the car with the evil clown my mom…..

…and launched into a tirade that she was completely banned from ever coming near me or my school as a clown ever again. I would rather walk home barefoot, over rocks, listening to country music for ten miles then ever suffer through that humiliation again.

I have threatened to burn the costume more then once.

(Mom thinks I am joking….)

SO yes.

When I come across clowns… even as an adult- I don’t make eye contact. I don’t go near them and while my rational brain knows that they aren’t going to really hurt me…. My irrational fear says ‘Well let’s just remain cautious…..’

So that is my story.

What irrational fear do YOU have?


Featured Image is a painting I did that ended up looking too much like a clown for my taste. It is the closest thing to a clown photo that you will see me post here!

Post Inspired by Daily Prompt:Grit

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