Stephen King

Funny, as Hell

“A clown can get away with murder.”
—John Wayne Gacy

Somewhere in a past blog post, I have probably already revealed my dislike of clowns. OK; maybe dislike isn’t a strong enough word—let’s switch it to terror. From Ronald McDonald to Bozo to Stephen King’s diabolical Pennywise, they’re all hell-spawned demons to me. Remember that clown scene in the classic movie Poltergeist? Scariest bit in the whole film, if you ask me. In my most terrifying recurrent nightmare, I’m abducted by sinister clowns, thrown into a clown car and suffocated by balloon animals.

You may think this is silly— or perhaps not, depending on your own clown disposition, but an “irrational” fear of clowns is quite common. So common that it’s clinically known as coulrophobia. I looked into a support group a few years back, when my angst began to interfere with my ability to photograph children’s parties. The only group I found was facilitated by a guy named Barnum Ringling. Obviously, I never went: it just sounded too much like a setup for a bad joke in which I’d be the mutilated punch line.

I hope you enjoy the disturbing photo.

"Funny, as Hell", Nikon D800, ISO 640 f/10 at 1/200sec., 112mm

“Funny, as Hell”, Nikon D800, ISO 640 f/10 at 1/200sec., 112mm

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