|Greetings! *bows*I will be serving as your guest editor this week. *creakily straightens*
Clowns have been with us through the ages. Pygmy clowns served as court jesters for Pharoah Dadkeri Assi during Egypt's Fifth Dynasty, sometime around 2500 B.C..
There are records from 1818 B.C. of jesters in China. When Cortez conquered the Aztecs in 1520 A.D., he found Montezuma's court had jesters similar to those in Europe.
During Queen Elizabeth's reign, the role of court jesters took a theatrical turn. And, in 1768, an act called Billy Buttons took its bow as the first circus clown.
Clowns have spent centuries entertaining royalty, and later, the common people. They made people laugh. They are happy, cheery entities.
Then why do they frighten us so badly?
While doing research on clowns, I found the one reason that stood out among many was the fact that one can't see their face due to the heavy makeup. What is that makeup hiding? It is fear of the unknown and that fear has fed many a horror making machine.
Of course, clowns have a phobia reserved just for them, coulrophobia.
Clowns, as mentioned, have been fuel for horror stories and movies. Who could ever forget that clown in the first Poltergeist movie? Certainly not me. That clown sealed my fear of the happy, painted-faced ones. If that child's clown didn't make your fear levels rise, then how about Pennywise from Stephen King's IT? In the book and in the mini-series, King made no effort to hide what was behind Pennywise's makeup. He did show his true colors, although only when deemed appropriate.
Clowns are great fodder for the horror genre. They have an air of mystery and of the unknown. Two of the best ingredients needed to quicken a reader's heartbeat.
Thank you for allowing me to entertain you this week.
© Copyright 2006 Nikola (UN: nmarshall at Writing.Com).
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