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View Full Version : What scares you most about clowns?



Dr. Giggles
10-14-2008, 09:45 AM
Alright im a clown at the haunted trails and i want your opinion weather your scared of clowns or not.

TheGreatPhantasmo
10-14-2008, 09:56 AM
Alright im a clown at the haunted trails and i want your opinion weather your scared of clowns or not.

Im not scared of them, but I do understand people's fear of them. They really dont make sense the more you think about them. Just kinda bizarre

Dr. Giggles
10-14-2008, 01:32 PM
I agree! But for some reason they just freak people out. But id appreciate you voting on what you think scares people who ARE scared of clowns.

Thanks!

AnandaHexen
10-14-2008, 08:25 PM
The only thing that scares me about clowns is that they are way to overdone in haunted houses.

Dr. Giggles
10-15-2008, 03:19 PM
Ok could you elaborate on that, you mean the actors characters are to over the top or....they put to much emphasis...they are a cliche even?

AnandaHexen
10-15-2008, 03:26 PM
In my opinion, and I realize it probably isn't a popular view, clowns have become incredibly cliche in haunted houses.
They don't surprise anyone anymore, very rarely does one clown really look different from another as you go from one house to another and the clown costume and mindset that goes with the costume tend to take away from any potential that the actor might have to come up with original dialogue or characterization.

Not scary!!!

Dr. Giggles
10-15-2008, 03:29 PM
Mmmmmmm well actually you do make a good point a lot of haunts do have clowns but think this, a lot of haunts dont have clowns either. And honestly unless you can come up with some insane makeup that no one has ever done before i dont think its fair that you say that. I enjoy being a clown because it allows you to create your own individual crazy character that dont always have to be scary. I mean this is the entertainment business after all. Of course you will ALWAYS scare those people that suffer from coulrophobia.

Freak95
10-18-2008, 12:29 AM
I too am a clown in our house. Yes, they ARE overdone. But i'm a slider. I'm wearing knee-high Demonia boots, black pants, pinstriped shirt, white suspenders, gas mask accessory, and I'm going to have half of a face....i'm pretty sure that's not typical or "overdone."

HOWEVER...we do have a clown room in our house. It's got a stage, that puts the actor approx. 4ft above the floor. Which makes them around 3 ft taller than the average person. Hightens the scare factor. But, our room is done in back-alley graffiti, w/ clown smiles and faces on the walls. When the blacklight gets it's power, the walls actually appear to be 3D. Really cool effect, and I think it's going to work great.

As for them being overdone...yes. They are. So, how do you overcome the monotany of clowns? CHANGE IT. Try to twist it a bit more. Think John Wayne Gacy, mixed with a bit of Capt. Spaulding...

damon carson
10-20-2008, 11:03 AM
The only thing that is scary to me about clowns is John Wayne Gacy was one.
Damon

Dr. Giggles
10-20-2008, 08:25 PM
Alright i have to bring this up to all people who play clowns in haunted houses doesnt it irritate the hell out of you when people quote "Why so serious!?". Maybe this is just me but it bugs me because im not joker im Dr. Giggles im my own entity. The thing that bugs me the MOST is the fact that i have had this clown voice and my character going about 3 years before the movie((The Dark Knight)) even came out so i have it down to a refinement, what i mean is that my voice sounds like heath ledger played the joker so i get that quoted at me constantly they are like "Oooh you sound like the joker!" and i always respond "NO the joker sounds like ME!"

Freak95
10-21-2008, 12:13 AM
Well...maybe it's the way you dress?

I won't know how they react to mine until Friday. I'm sure i'll get a few of the same things you're getting...but it's just the way it is...right?

Just make sure you distinguish yourself from the movie. that's why i'm not going to have hair, or any scars. Except for half of my face missing....

Jim Warfield
10-21-2008, 04:38 PM
With no make up!
Setting foreign policy, ruining the world's economy!
Oil barrel's pricing dependant upon clown's grease paint procurment!
Or maybe we should blame the space aliens?
Yes, it was THEM!

Dr. Giggles
10-22-2008, 08:44 AM
Alright heres what i wear most of the time.
Purple Surgicle gloves
Normal clown paint not overly scary i just look pretty much like a normal clown except my makeup glows.
A black jumpsuit with green frills and pink green and yellow pokla dots.
A little cap that matches the jumpsuit with a green ball on the end.
And a sqeeker horn..
I mean yesterday i shaved a smiley face into my hair so theres no way my hair looks like the jokers.
Infact the only connection i can make between him and me is the voice even though in my opinion i dont sound like him AT ALL.

BruiseMuse
11-13-2008, 07:30 AM
In regards to customers calling you the Joker, they tend to not always be the brightest creatures and tend to associate the lastest pop culture craze with any act they see.

After The Ring came out, I dealt with two years of being called "The girl from the ring" simply because I have long hair (and its not even black and I looked nothing like her). Customers also call any male haunt actor with long hair "Marilyn Manson" too.

I usually just ignore them, and there isn't anything you can specifically do to avoid the comment. Just wait for the trend to die and by next year there will be less references to the Joker.

Blinkin
11-14-2008, 05:23 PM
I think just the fact that clowns can juggle shit makes them scary, seriously..

Im really not afraid of clowns but I can see why people might think there freaky!

Jim Warfield
11-15-2008, 12:42 PM
My 1989 Oldsmobile Spookmobile with big mouth, teeth, tongue and moving arms across the hood, with a shark fin on the roof was called the "Car from the movie "Jeepers Creepers" by a kid....not too close to the 1949 truck used in the movie.

Allen H
11-19-2008, 12:00 AM
I have thought about haunted houses way to much, and I have a theory on Clowns. I will also state that they are way overdone, they have been a haunt crutch for a long time. The reason I think they scare people is subconscious. a form of genetic fear, Brightly colored animals are showing off that they are either dangerous or poisonous. Snakes and insects are often vibrantly colored for that reason. Also Bright colors are used to signify caution or danger all the time bright orange highway cones, big red fire trucks (so folks get out of the way) So why wouldn't it be unsettling for someone to paint their skin in bright colors?
Allen H

Jim Warfield
11-19-2008, 07:06 PM
The other most painfully obvious reason(s) would be simply who would paint their face in the first place? Someone who wanted to do a crime and not be recognised or a comando about to take your life?
Or just a total nutcase who might be doing who knows what?
When the Romans met the Englanders in battle they painted their naked bodies blue, hence the term "Briton".
So as a Roman soldier you had been around the known world, seen all kinds of looking humans...then here come a bunch of blue-skinned crazed creatures!!!
"Drizzle, drazzle drome, time for this one to run home!"
Maybe the term "Shock Value" could sum it all up?
Distract your opponent for a quick second or two and the victory may swing the other direction.

Haunting Copy
03-18-2009, 11:19 AM
Chiming in a little late here, but I think the topic is still pertinent.

To me, it's just like Jim and Allen say: who on Earth would want/need to paint their faces? The person who is painting his face is out to deceive, for whatever reason.


The ones that creep me out the most are the ones that pretend to be "nice." Think about it: why paint a big red smile on your face when you could just smile?!

If a haunted house could leverage that deception, then all the better. I think it defeats the purpose of deception to have a scary-faced clown. Painting a scary face does exaggerate the menace, though, I suppose.

For those haunts that use guides, it might be cool to have a "sweet" clown take the patrons through the haunt, who then turns on them near the end. The patrons would have to wonder whether this guy was gonna freak. Nerve-wracking!



The other most painfully obvious reason(s) would be simply who would paint their face in the first place? Someone who wanted to do a crime and not be recognised or a comando about to take your life?
Or just a total nutcase who might be doing who knows what?
When the Romans met the Englanders in battle they painted their naked bodies blue, hence the term "Briton".
So as a Roman soldier you had been around the known world, seen all kinds of looking humans...then here come a bunch of blue-skinned crazed creatures!!!
"Drizzle, drazzle drome, time for this one to run home!"
Maybe the term "Shock Value" could sum it all up?
Distract your opponent for a quick second or two and the victory may swing the other direction.

Dr. Giggles
03-18-2009, 12:37 PM
I do that frequently. And believe it or not i read a thesis on fear by my uncle the other day. Who was writing it for his Phd in phsycology. He conducted an experiment with a child, a baby. I am not sure on the details as i read it within the month. Um yeah it turns out it is NOT genetic. The only fear that people have when they are born is fear of loud noises, and the dark. Which isnt essentially fear of the dark its fear of the unknown. They discovered that everything else is a "learned" fear. The learned fear was for many people Tim Curry in Stephen Kings IT. Also John Wayne Gacy helped contribute to this "learned" fear of clowns. People who are scared of spiders might have had a traumatic experience with one as a child. Usually its movies that teach people these fears, but knowing someone who is attacked by a snake or a wolf or something can creat a learned fear of these animals.
But yeah thats my character, total split personality, was all cheerfull when i first met them (I am a rover so i always meet groups atleast twice...its a massive haunt) then the next time they see me "Oh its that cool clown..he aint scary!" then i turn on them in an instant. But i also agree with Jim and Allen that who needs to paint their face? They automatically can stir suspicion. But thanks for your post even though it is a little late!
-Dr. G.

Haunting Copy
03-18-2009, 01:28 PM
I do that frequently. And believe it or not i read a thesis on fear by my uncle the other day. Who was writing it for his Phd in phsycology. He conducted an experiment with a child, a baby. I am not sure on the details as i read it within the month. Um yeah it turns out it is NOT genetic. The only fear that people have when they are born is fear of loud noises, and the dark. Which isnt essentially fear of the dark its fear of the unknown. They discovered that everything else is a "learned" fear. The learned fear was for many people Tim Curry in Stephen Kings IT. Also John Wayne Gacy helped contribute to this "learned" fear of clowns. People who are scared of spiders might have had a traumatic experience with one as a child. Usually its movies that teach people these fears, but knowing someone who is attacked by a snake or a wolf or something can creat a learned fear of these animals.
But yeah thats my character, total split personality, was all cheerfull when i first met them (I am a rover so i always meet groups atleast twice...its a massive haunt) then the next time they see me "Oh its that cool clown..he aint scary!" then i turn on them in an instant. But i also agree with Jim and Allen that who needs to paint their face? They automatically can stir suspicion. But thanks for your post even though it is a little late!
-Dr. G.


If it's a learned fear, what makes kids afraid of Santa Claus for the first time? The thought of a stranger holding them, gaining control? Hmm. Personally, I know I've distrusted clowns as long as I have memory. Fascinating!

Jim Warfield
03-18-2009, 03:01 PM
Both obscure their facial features. ("Who is behind that paint or beard?)
"Danger-Stranger?"
I think people who afraid of spiders are that way because once they first see a spider walking they might subconsciously know they are snarter than humans...they must be, could your brain co-ordinate 8 legs?
See?

Dr. Giggles
03-18-2009, 03:02 PM
I must say i feel bad. Because honestly because of the clown maze section i belive we "teach" a lot of new people to be scared of clowns. Haha

Haunting Copy
03-18-2009, 04:16 PM
I must say i feel bad. Because honestly because of the clown maze section i belive we "teach" a lot of new people to be scared of clowns. Haha


And why shouldn't they be afraid of clowns? LOL

Haunting Copy
03-18-2009, 04:19 PM
Both obscure their facial features. ("Who is behind that paint or beard?)
"Danger-Stranger?"

Like Dr. G said, "Fear of the unknown"! Boo!




I think people who afraid of spiders are that way because once they first see a spider walking they might subconsciously know they are snarter than humans...they must be, could your brain co-ordinate 8 legs?
See?

I would gladly exchange some intelligence for a few more limbs to get things done!

Dr. Giggles
03-18-2009, 06:47 PM
I would gladly exchange some intelligence for a few more limbs to get things done!
Wish i could, but i gotta hold on to all the intelligence i can! But i suppose i could sacrifice some, gotta make room for those voices in mah head right? Hahah but yeah there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being afraid of clowns. But sometimes i think i should feel bad...but the truth is i really dont. Hahaha

Patti Ludwinski
04-09-2009, 11:51 PM
Dr. Giggles,
Perhaps I can answer your question (at least from my perception). On Halloween, everyone dresses in character, whether it be a devil or zombie or witch or even a clown, so that's probably not that big of a deal. But clowns aren't just on Halloween. You could see a clown anytime of year at a circus, a parade, a festival, a county fair, a zoo, or wherever. THAT'S CREEPY TO ME. Questions emerge...Why disguise yourself? What are you trying to hide? Who's really behind all that paint? What's with the painted on smile? What's your REAL expression like...Could there be an evil grimace under all that paint? All these answers are left unanswered and unknown. People are afraid of the unknown.

Personally, clowns freak me out. Especially ones that don't talk, but maybe jut appear out of nowhere. There's something not right about that. Okay now I'm giving myself the heebee geebees.

Peace out,
Patti

Waken
04-10-2009, 05:54 AM
Who could be scared of Chester??

mindtumor
04-10-2009, 10:51 AM
Nothing scares me about clowns. As far as the Joker is concerned, the voice Heath Ledger did is never what I picture the Joker's voice to sound like or even how I picture the Joker to act.

Haunting Copy
04-10-2009, 05:01 PM
Nothing scares me about clowns. As far as the Joker is concerned, the voice Heath Ledger did is never what I picture the Joker's voice to sound like or even how I picture the Joker to act.

Did you have a more "classic" expectation?

SHELDON
04-10-2009, 09:06 PM
There are two types of people in this world... those afraid of clowns and those not. I think that the fear of clowns starts at a very young age for one reason or another and that gives you some leverage to exploit. Allow me to explain... Small creepy clowns are useful in a haunt, sure, but if you really want to tap into that primal fear, make your clown characters/props taller that most people. That will make them have to look up to you, casting them back subconsciously to their childhood, looking up to this terrifying image before them. Squeezing every ounce of scary out of any character isn't difficult if you stop and think about WHY its scary.

mindtumor
04-11-2009, 06:05 AM
Did you have a more "classic" expectation?

No. I thought it was a good performance it just didn't remind me of how the current comic Joker is. It seemed like a watered down version of how truly crazy and scary the Joker is. I am a pretty big Batman fan. Nontheless, I thought it was a good performance just not how I still picture the Joker to be. The true "Classic" Joker wasn't even anything like the 60's tv show portrayed. That Joker was a joke and not like the original or current. I thought the Jack Nicholson Joker was even a WORSE performance.

Haunting Copy
04-11-2009, 06:29 AM
No. I thought it was a good performance it just didn't remind me of how the current comic Joker is. It seemed like a watered down version of how truly crazy and scary the Joker is. I am a pretty big Batman fan. Nontheless, I thought it was a good performance just not how I still picture the Joker to be. The true "Classic" Joker wasn't even anything like the 60's tv show portrayed. That Joker was a joke and not like the original or current. I thought the Jack Nicholson Joker was even a WORSE performance.

I think many of us are at a loss for how the comic-book Joker is or ever was, simply because of a lack of familiarity with the comics of today or "yesteryear." Of course you have your fans, such as yourself, but most of us are just schlepping along, curious to see how the next guy will portray the Nutcase-That-Is-Called-The-Joker.

Prior to the Tim Burton movie with the Penguin, my last recollection of Batman or any of his enemies was what I saw in the theaters. Just before the movie would start ("Star Wars," in this case), they would show cartoons and Batman episodes. (Those must have been the 60's versions you're talking about.) If you're near my age, I'm sure you remember. When the Tim Burton movies came out, I was like, "What?! This is odd!" Someone had to explain it to me that the original Batman and Co. was not like what I had grown up with. Shocker!

As for Jack Nicholson's character/portrayal, I was rather ambivalent, having no real "control" to compare against. Have to say, though, that I thought he did a great job of portraying anger about what had happened to him (the Joker).

damon carson
04-13-2009, 11:50 AM
Im sorry I dont find clowns scary in the least. The best one is on the movie It.
Damon

Dr. Giggles
04-13-2009, 02:23 PM
Its fine Damon, i wasn't expecting anyone here to have anyfear of clowns. I was more probing the waters for what everyone thinks scares the customers.
And yes Tim Curry did excellant. They said that everyone avoided him after scenes because he gave them the heebe geebes.

IF YOUR 555
04-13-2009, 03:13 PM
Clowns dont freak me out at all, but they can be entertaining at a haunt if they are done with thought. NO, all guest will not be afraid of clowns but thats when they need to be crazy and crafty. Also, they need a fast tounge or they will look like a bunch of idiots. Personally I like to play a clown every now and then!!!http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t80/hauntbuilder/NewImage.jpg

Jim Warfield
04-14-2009, 11:23 AM
"Do you have clowns in there?"
And here they stand less than ten feet away from this person right around the corner of the house, where they are buying their tickets. I guess then though I can honestly tell then," No, no clowns are in the house."
Sometimes cigarette breaks can work for the owner.

Dr. Giggles
04-15-2009, 07:00 PM
I pride myself on being quick witted as believe it or not i am a jackass. And its fun to disarm patrons at the nightclub with quick responses. So i get plenty of practice. I mean if i can't make them atleast break down and cry, i enjoy making them laugh with quick and usually harsh comments.

OdetteDespairr
04-22-2009, 11:33 AM
Ok yes i believe clowns are cliche but do they work....yes. I think that if you're going to do a clown then make it different at all costs. We have a guy that does a clown that about 6'3" and his height really works for it, we have clowns with hooks and chains, and clowns with severed heads that spit blood and they work.

Cliche yes, most people expect them to be in a haunt, and most people are so terrified of them that thats all they can stammer in the Que line is "i dont know what im going to do when i see the clowns". Most of the people iv known who do a clowhn have great fun with it and do a great job.

OdetteDespairr
Rotting Flesh Radio Haunt Hottie

BruiseMuse
04-22-2009, 12:27 PM
Most characters in haunted houses are a cliche of some form; whether it be a mental patient, doctor, vampire, zombie, or clown. However these cliches exist because they do still work for the most part. Everyone has different fears, and for those that are terrified of clowns, setting foot into a fun house is their worst nightmare. For those who aren't phased by clowns, I'm sure they will encounter some character that will unnerve them. Clowns leave plenty of room for interpretation so it is possible to keep the character fresh and different for the customers.

Dr. Giggles
04-22-2009, 01:11 PM
Would it be to instense to have a baby on a noose? My cousin pitched the idea for a prop, for my clown character. But im not so sure.

jasonswoods14
04-22-2009, 03:39 PM
The clowns that scare me are the ones with the huge teeth. They just freak me out.

In my hayride that I'm doing next Halloween, we're having a clown scene that brings chainsaws into the picture. I think Clowns and chainsaws are an ultimate scare.

BruiseMuse
04-22-2009, 04:23 PM
Would it be to instense to have a baby on a noose? My cousin pitched the idea for a prop, for my clown character. But im not so sure.

I think that depends on your location and how much patrons may complain (and whether the owners care if there are complaints). I've done acts involving dead babies/baby parts and some places are fine with it and other haunts consider it too taboo for their clientel.

Dr. Giggles
04-22-2009, 06:33 PM
Yeah, i had a bit where i said "They Took my baby! Have you seen my baby!? Course' you havnt i crushed its head with a brick!" a split personality phsyco. I got a few complaints but my boss said i could keep it because "I like the baby scare, so just watch it, if they are sensitive back of on the baby"
Anyway, i agree on the cliche thing, if it didnt work out so well then they wouldnt be cliches.

Allen H
04-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Doc,
I think that unless you have a really realistic baby prop, then it will end up being a doll in a noose to the eyes of the public.
Personally I stay away from babies, its to cheap of a scare to count, threatening mothers about babies is about as fun as threatening two year olds. Its hitting them where they are weakest.
If you back up and look at the bit and line, there is not anything frightening about it. It does not threaten the people you are talking to it threatens you and things you hold (or should hold) dear. It also does not make you seem dangerous as you pick on babies, they all know they are tougher than babies. The effect you are going for is disgust, not doubt you achieve it, but there are stronger reactions to get from your limited time with them.
This is just my opinion and it is not a criticism, just an observation. Had you not asked for advice on the prop I never would have given it.
Allen H

Dr. Giggles
04-23-2009, 01:39 AM
No i understand what your saying Allen and i appreciate it. But i am not yelling it at them. I murmer the last part, very subtle about it. Not sure how thats different, but i only did that character one night. Wasn't having to much fun with it.
But you do make an excellent point, even if it is a criticism i appreciate it. It'l help me better my technique.
Used to feel attacked by that sort of thing. But i figure, you have been around a while. And you have helpful things to say. So i reckon it will only benefit me if i listen.

Jim Warfield
04-25-2009, 12:25 AM
When I was searching for a wrecked, junk motorcycle for a display many people were offering me bikes instead.
A "Bike" sort of says "Youngster" or "A Kid", whereas a motorcycle says "Adult-azzwhistle"!
Think about it, even bikers who love their bike and ride often have no doubt had their problems with some other person on a motorcycle who was not being gracious or smart or safe.
So the wrecked motorcycle went into the big dent on the passenger side of my 79 Ford Thunderchicken, complete with an adult (naturally) skeleton rider mashed in there too.
Complete with the fiberglass replica WW2 German helmet with Maltesse crosses, holding his tach looking down at it , the bike's twisted-up mirror was actually used as my mirror on that side of the car.

naberhoodhaunts
04-27-2009, 12:01 PM
Ok ,so what you all are saying is, don't do the normal clown as seen in some haunts take the clown to the next level. Make it taller and not in the traditional costume of a clown. What would you suggest that a modern haunt clown should look like? Clowns don't bother me but most posts here i think are right its the covering of your own identity for some other reason then good. I dont mean to high jack this thread if you have a problem with it i will start a new thread.

Dr. Giggles
04-27-2009, 02:10 PM
No problem with it, as it rather died out. I suppose the modern haunt clown is up to the person playing the clown. As we all portray the clowns differently, or give it their own personality. So we kind of need to take from that and give our character a costum that suits its personality. For mine as it has changed drastically over the season, i have red and white striped loose fitting pants. That come down to about my shins. The stripes are horizontal. I then have Shin high socks that are striped black and white, with combat boots. I have a bloody white tank top, that is not flattering. I also have some subdued colored suspenders, with a ringmasters jacket. Along with my little cap with the green ball on the end, and one juggling knife.
Its a very dirty, almost gross costume. Because the way i play my clown, is very malicious, cruel, and crass. So i adapted the costume to fit that.

naberhoodhaunts
04-28-2009, 11:50 AM
lol, me in a tank top would make anyone afraid and run! I would be the more the quiet stalker type clown, my bother-in-law would most definitely be more like your version and he would love it. I hope i can get some more clowns to tell me what they do and look like at their huants.i really could use some ideas.

Dr. Giggles
04-28-2009, 01:20 PM
Ha, what i would suggest is looking in the mirror. Use some of your lines, come up with nuances and character traits. It will help give you a gist for the costume. My costume originally was striped footy pajama's with a ringmasters jacket. I wuold suggest going through normal costume websites, seeing what they have, and either using that or put your own spin on it. Like for a normal clown jumpsuit, cut it in half. Use suspenders and a straight jacket. Thats my other clown character, call him Freakshow. Just go through trial and error, i doubt you will get it right on the first try, but if you do, congrats! Ha

naberhoodhaunts
04-28-2009, 01:29 PM
thanks my wife asked me why i was naked in front of the mirror i told her i was looking for my character lines but i couldn't find any.

Dr. Giggles
04-28-2009, 01:37 PM
Well..hahahaha, i am not sure if naked is how you need to do it. Do you have any lines that you enjoy saying to people? A few of mine are "Don't Laugh its not funny!" or "I will make you squeal like a stuck pig!" things like that. "Hello Sunshine! Ready to play?"
Its all in the delivery of the lines, or rather your whole demeaner. I have had this clown character since the beggining, so its very refined. Almost like a second nature. So it really is down to your character, get that down pat. Then think about it from the characters point of view. Would i wear this?

naberhoodhaunts
04-29-2009, 01:55 AM
this is going to be my first season as a clown. so i really dont have any lines yet.

Dr. Giggles
04-29-2009, 07:59 PM
Come up with some my friend!

naberhoodhaunts
04-30-2009, 11:06 AM
i will try and do that thanks for you help Dr. Giggles