Whether they terrify, entertain, or utterly delight you, a common figure in society has always been Clowns. From Royal Courts to street corners, films, & music. We have always had clowns.
Clowns have been dated back to 2500 BCE. The pharaohs had pygmy clowns that would bring comic relief to the heirachry, in Ancient China, the Emporer had one named Yu-sze and he was the only one allowed to make fun of the plan for the Wall of China.
In Medievil times there were court jesters who eased tension during times of high stress. These clowns were actually sanctioned and protected by the courts.
Back to ancient Rome, clowns would perform impressions of the deceased at their funerals!
Clowns were even present in Native American Culture. For centuries, the Cherokee people of North America have performed a ritual reacting against outsider intrusion. The Booger Dance begins with a prelude in which tribe members dance together for around 30 minutes; then a group of up to 10 males arrive, wearing masks representing foreigners often disfigured as though infected with smallpox.
It wasn't until the late 18th century that clowns took a more putwardly sinister turn. What went from dressing as silly versions of Royalty gave way to the Pantomime Clown and eventually more manic behavior. Clowns were no longer reserved to serve the courts but could be found on streets performing.
Now in Circus History, clowns have always had a darker side. Their personas mirror back society. Their acts were based off of food, sex, money, poverty, the ridiculousness of world leaders. The make up became more extreme and the deeper the character they portrayed became. There used to be phrase called "Clowning Around Town" in Sarasota Florida when the locals would abduct unsuspecting clowns from the cirvus while they were overwintering there. We know that two victims had been killed and their limbs chopped off. Innocent circus workers killed by ignorance and fear.
Psychology tells us that more often then kot children are afraid of them, and surprisingly enough not because of the things they do but because of their appearance being odd.
The 1940's gave birth to the outwardly portrayed sinister Clown, the Dark Prince of Gotham himself, the Joker. And then in 1985, my personal favorite clown of all time entered the scene. A horror writer from Maine from the depths of his mind delivered to us the legend himself, Pennywise. The epitome to amplify the fears from children about Clowns.
Then we had the creepy clown surge in 2015. People dressing up as clowns, turning up in parking lots, on jogging trails, people's doorsteps. Sadly, invoking panic and leading to arrests.
I miss the long gone days of the circus clowns and when Bozo entertained us on Saturday mornings. I hope just as most things do, clowns make a come back as with all the madness going on in the world today, we could sure use some good laughs.
Until next time, stay creepy my lovelies.