I knew there was a perfectly logical reason to hate clowns. [Link via Prenant Mule.]
As I dug into Google, I found more information on clown phobia than I could ever imagine. There's articles, blog entries, columns, reviews, web sites, forums, instructions, news stories, more blog entries, more forums, and a pathetic explanation.
The one thing that always creeped me about clowns was the fact that they have a facial expression painted on their faces, often a smile, but if you got close enough, you could see the real face beneath the make-up and, much of the time, that face wasn't smiling. I thought I was alone in noticing this sort of thing until a few months ago when my sister included a blind fragment from a newspaper in a letter to me that said much the same thing: "[...] Ask Lisa Weihmuller of Arlington, Texas, who has feared clowns since visiting the circus at age 6 or 7. 'A clown got up right in my face, and I could see his beard stubble underneith the clown makeup,' she recalled. 'He smelled bad and his eyes were weird. ... He had this smile painted on his face, but he was not smiling. He was yucky. Scary. Freaky. Weird. [...]'"
And if none of the above wasn't scary enough, have a look at Buffo, the World's Strongest Clown. [Link via The Presurfer.]
I once had a dream years ago where I read in a book that clowns had their origin in the pagan ceremonies of pre-christian Europe. Creepy. Fascinating. But what is the real origin of clowns?