In today’s world, we live in what contains fear and horror, and what stems from that are monsters. Monsters are told through story and viewed through visuals in media. Portrayed in many ways, these so-called monsters take on many beliefs from different parties. We either see them as a horrific and grotesque beings, or cute little monsters that cause mischief. Whatever persona they take, they are called monsters for a reason, and it is because they are seen to the public as different in views and practice. It exist around us in the daily world, at every corner we are plagued by the emotion of fear and that is in part due to these monsters. We read them through story and see them in media such as movies or cartoons. Do we shy away from this, or do we embrace it? Clowns are a both a symbol of joy and fear. They take on the role of children’s entertainment at their birthday parties, while other clowns take on the role of masked killers that kill and hunt children. Last but not least, they are represented as a comic; an individual that contains jokes that makes the people laugh and giggle. However, we portray clowns, they still play the huge part of the disturbing monster that so close to homes, that really exist in the world and that is why they create such a fear.

Taking the clown from “It”, a well-known horror movie that first started as a novel by Stephen King, is where the fear really launched off for the clown. The disturbing visuals that captured the attention of not so lucky viewers brought the fear and horror to the living room of the world. What first started off as a fun, loving individual; was now a person that would hunt down and kill children using the fears they had acquired personally. While still relating with a whimsical personality, he was an unknown being that fed off the fear of the children and killed to survive. In the new adaptation of the face painted clown killer, Stephen King’s It is brought to life with even more sadistic acts and creepier ways of imagination. People are attracted to this sort of stuff, just like the holiday of Halloween. As written about in Thesis VI, Monster Culture, people desire fear. The audience that is attracted towards fear get a rush by reading or seeing these horrors in the comfort of their homes because they know that no true harm will be made,; they are enveloped in the safety net of reality, just as seen in this passage of Monster Culture, “We want to have a safeguard from a monster with signs of envy towards, it while still being able to loathe it. As a civilization we like having the horrors of the unknown, venturing out sometimes to explore and find what it is. It gives us something to do, rather than living a boring life of simplicity without excitement”.

Apart from the scary clown Pennywise, we have the more enjoyable and lovable clown, Ronald McDonald who is the star icon of the famous restaurant McDonalds. He is colored with a  stripes of yellow and red and has all the characteristics of a clown. Ronald is meant to be loved by his audience and bring in families to enjoy his food. He could still be represented as a monster I guess by promoting food that isn’t so healthy and encouraging the children of today’s world to put in processed foods into their body which causes obesity, leading to higher risk in death; but for the most part, Ronald is just an icon that wants to show care and love in the world. People still do see the creepiness that he brings to the table, with odd commercials that just don’t sit well and still having that creepy clown face that is unsettling. That is due to the fact that the clown is widely known to be a scary site. Some kids even go to the length of carrying a phobia that includes having the fear of clowns.” During their hospitalization, the children of the EG interacted with two clowns who were experienced in the field of pediatric intervention. All participants were evaluated with respect to clinical progress and to a series of physiological and pain measures both before and after the clown interaction. When compared with the CG, EG children showed an earlier disappearance of the pathological symptoms. Moreover, the interaction of the clown with the children led to a statistically significant lowering of diastolic blood pressure, respiratory frequency and temperature in the EG as compared with the control group”.

Going in the direction of a darker path, we deal with the everyday monsters. The real-life monsters that put real fear into the public eye. That fear is John Wayne Gacy, an individual who led a normal life of being a part of a big name fast food chain, and having jobs that included being a clown and entertaining children. Who also led a life of a serial killer, a man who used that clown get up to be closer to children and lure them in and kill them. He used this alter ego as his escape from reality, a reality that was filled with abuse and torture as a young child growing up. His gay sexual tendencies that were to be kept away because of how it wasn’t the norm. A similar relation to this would be Thesis IV, “ The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference’, where it is stated that, “ Individuality is negative and will lead to the formation of a monster–whether this be in the form of cultural views, political affiliations, sexualities, genders, race, etc”. In the form of reality, he brought the fear to us, he made us believe that fear of clowns and what they can do is just in our backyards. Gacy was just another person living in the world that was brought up to be a challenged individual who lusted seductions that were past the norm, using this clown to get what he wanted.

The icon of the clown is to be portrayed in many ways. Ranging from lovable to deadly, this get-up is an entertainment aspect to both the audiences of horror lovers and cheerful go getters. This icon is brought to be a monster, in several different occasions, and it is so close to our daily lives that it can bring actual relevant fears to the world today. The clown is something special because of what it brings to the table. Its appearance can throw one off a bit but once understood what its intentions are, this clown could either be friendly reminder of happiness or in other cases bring the fear of death. Evaluating this monster shows the judgment people have against them, and it isn’t far-fetched to say that they are wrong to believe that they can cause such disturbances in peoples lives. We’ve seen it in the world, with serial killers and horrific acts that included the icon of the clown. We’ve seen it portrayed in movies as the clown children love until it kills the children and eats them. We also have the clown that represents happiness and love, that fills people with the joy of food. No matter the aspect of the clown, we will always have that vision in the back of our minds of what this clown can be. What intentions it carries and what kind of monster it can be. It is a nightmare that if allowed can haunt an individual for the rest of their lives. These conversations allow us to wonder our thoughts to what can and cannot be dangerous in the world today. Anything from lovable getup can include hidden horrors that we just don’t know about. But it is in today’s world that we need to understand the monsters that are roaming with us. Whatever their personas are, whatever they come off to be or want to come off as, we have monsters, close ones. They are the symbol of fear and at the same time a symbol of joy, a bundle that when unwrapped can show to light what its real intentions are. Im not saying to not trust these clowns, but to just keep an eye out, because behind the face of makeup and smiles, this person can be a monster inside.


Bertini, Mario, et al. “Clowns Benefit Children Hospitalized for Respiratory Pathologies.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 15 Mar. 2011,

In this scholarly article, we see that children that are hospitalized and are in need of some form of entertainment are brought to the attention of these clowns that show up and give them a laugh and a smile. It is recorded that many children so not fear but love their presence because it is stated that it brings them out of the harsh setting they are already placed in to.  


Cohen, J. J. (1997). Monster theory: Reading culture. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

From this excerpt of Monster Culture, I included thesis VI which was the desire of fear. I included that the thesis was very similar to what I had written about when stating that many people love the enjoyment or are attracted to the horrors they read or see on media. The audience knows that they have a safety net of knowing that it isn’t up close and personal and is just being read or viewed without the repercussions of danger.


            Cohen, J. J. (1997). Monster theory: Reading culture. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

From this excerpt of Monster Culture, I brought to the attention that thesis IV, “The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference”, closely related to what I had stated. Having the killer John Wayne Gacy with all the troubles he would have internally, he was brought to use the vision of a clown to kill many.