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The Duality of Clowns

The history of clowns is filled with contradictions and duality. On one hand, they are funny and entertaining and on the other, they can be creepy and disturbing. In some cultures, they are sinister whereas in others they are good-natured. In this article, we explore the dual nature of this intriguing character by taking a look at the history, the different types of clowns, 3 of the creepiest clowns ever and their impact on society.

The History of Clowns

Clowns have an ancient history that can be traced back to the time of the Romans. The word clown originated from the Latin word "clodius" which meant rustic or country fellow. The Romans used to wear exaggerated makeup and costumes when they performed. It was not until the 19th century that the modern form of clowning emerged. The first modern clown was Joseph Grimaldi, a famous British actor who is credited with inventing the white face makeup that is now associated with clowns. Grimald created his character of the "dumb clown" to divert attention away from his wife who was a notorious adulteress.

Types of Clowns

Clowns are divided into two categories - Whiteface and Auguste. Whiteface: The whiteface character is known for his exaggerated makeup and hairstyle, which features white or light-colored face paint, red or pink blush on the cheeks, large red lips, and a blue or red nose. The whiteface clown is associated with comedy and children's entertainment. Auguste: The auguste clown is associated with tragedy, parody and satire. He is a more intelligent character and is usually costumed in a black or dark blue suit. Auguste clowns often have large feet, long noses and wear a wig. The court jester is a variation of the auguste clown whose origins can be traced back to ancient Egypt and China. The court jester was one of the few people who were allowed to criticize or comment on the behavior of kings or queens without facing punishment.

Why are clowns creepy?

The use of make-up is one of the reasons why some clowns are creepy. Some people get a creepy feeling when they see somebody with a lot of make-up on. Another reason why clowns are creepy is because some of them have no respect for the privacy of others. A lot of people have reported seeing creepy clowns in public areas and have been harassed by them.

3 of the Creepiest Clowns in History

- John Wayne Gacy -

John Wayne Gacy was one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century. He was convicted of the murder of 33 young men between 1972 and 1978. He was known for dressing up as a clown called "Pogo" at children's parties and events. He was sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection. Gacy's transformation from a respectable member of society to a killer is a story in itself and shows how a person can mask their true identity behind a clown costume.

- The Pennywise Clown -

The Pennywise clown is a fictional character featured in the Stephen King novel "It" and its two subsequent film adaptations. The clown can transform himself into whatever the viewer fears most. The clown is an embodiment of fear and terror, which is why he is one of the creepiest clowns ever.

- Twisty the Clown -

Twisty the Clown is a fictional character featured in the American horror anthology series "American Horror Story: Cult". The character is an embodiment of the fear of an authoritarian regime and the anxiety felt by those living in a society riddled with political turmoil.

How do clowns creep us out?

Clowns have been around for hundreds of years and have always been associated with comedy and laughter. But the rise of social media has given a boost to people dressing up as creepy clowns and scaring people. The phenomenon got so out of control that it led to the arrest of 750 people across the US. The craze was fueled by viral videos and images of creepy clowns. One of the most viral images was of a clown with blood dripping from his mouth.


Clowns have fascinated people for centuries. While some people love being around clowns, others are terrified by them. The history of clowns is filled with contradictions and duality. On one hand, they are funny and entertaining and on the other, they can be creepy and disturbing. The creepy clown trend that was popularized by social media has given the clown community a bad name and has resulted in several arrests. But behind these images lies the fascinating history of this intriguing character and its dual nature.



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