Amy Tikkanen is the general corrections manager, handling a wide range of topics that include Hollywood, politics, books, and anything related to the Titanic. She has worked at Britannica for Harmless jokers or evil lunatics? While clowns usually aim for laughs, the reaction from many—especially those who suffer from coulrophobia fear of clowns —is more like fear. He also wore colorful outrageous clothing and specialized in the classic physical tricks. That year he took the name Grock. Unhappy with the circus setting, he began performing in music halls. This inaugurated a new chapter in clowning, as more performers began to appear in vaudeville and other stage shows. A gifted musician, Grock often incorporated instruments into his act.
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CNN The sinister clown scare is spreading worldwide. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Creepy clown sightings Story highlights Police in UK issue statements warning people not to scare their communities by dressing up Wave of creepy clown sightings have emerged in US Spike in clown-related incidents in lead-up to Halloween. The bizarre craze seemed to be confined to the US, where sightings of so-called creepy clowns emerged in the late summer.
I t began in the UK on Friday 30 September. Over the next few days, half a dozen such clown incidents were recorded. And so it began to spread. Soon, more clowns began to pop up: in Wales, Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool. Then just about everywhere. Concerned parents made Facebook pages about clowns, thus inadvertently helping to spread the meme. But being chased down the street at night by a clown, or anyone else, is frightening enough for adults and children alike.
The evil clown is a subversion of the traditional comic clown character, in which the playful trope is instead rendered as disturbing through the use of horror elements and dark humor. The modern archetype of the evil clown was popularized by DC Comics character the Joker starting in and again by Pennywise in Stephen King 's novel It. The character can be seen as playing on the sense of unease felt by sufferers of coulrophobia , the fear of clowns. The modern archetype of the evil clown has unclear origins; the stock character appeared infrequently during the 19th century, in such works as Edgar Allan Poe 's " Hop-Frog ",  which is believed by Jack Morgan, of the University of Missouri-Rolla , to draw upon an earlier incident "at a masquerade ball", in the 14th century, during which "the King and his frivolous party, costumed—in highly flammable materials—as simian creatures, were ignited by a flambeau and incinerated, the King narrowly escaping in the actual case. During the s the National Lampoon published a series of mock comic books in the pages of the magazine, entitled "Evil Clown", which featured a malevolent titular character named Frenchy the Clown. During that decade, American serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy became known as the Killer Clown when arrested in , after it was discovered he had performed as Pogo the Clown at children's parties and other events; however, Gacy did not actually commit his crimes while wearing his clown costume. Evil clown themes were occasionally found in popular music. Zal Cleminson , guitarist with the English Sensational Alex Harvey Band , wore black and white clown-style makeup and colorful clothes while on stage during the band's s heyday, while his "happy-sad-happy" demeanor helped give their performances an edge of menace. The modern stock character of the evil clown was popularized by Stephen King 's novel It , published in , which introduced the fear of an evil clown to a modern audience.