While Nevada’s Clown Motel may seem like the product of a horror writer’s fevered imagination with its army of glassy-eyed clown dolls and convenient proximity to a Wild West cemetery that holds the (possibly unquiet) remains of local miners, but the dusty little lodging is just a fan of merriment.
Catering to bikers, truckers, and other long haul travelers that find themselves off the beaten path, the Clown Motel is the final port of call before the yet another stretch of unbroken Nevada desert.
It must be this location’s oasis-like location that has kept the establishment in business for so long, as the ever-watchful eyes of the ubiquitous clown figurines seem to serve more as a warning than a draw.
From the moment travelers enter the adjoining offices they are greeted by a life-size clown figure sitting in a chair, cradling smaller figurines like familiars.
In fact the entire office is covered in shelves and bookcases full of clown dolls, statues, and accoutrement of every stripe.
Stuffed animals, porcelain statues, wall hangings, and more make up the mirthful menagerie, staring down at guests from every angle.
Leaving the office with key in hand, visitors might also notice an arch just feet away heralding the “Tonopah Cemetery.”
Just beyond the gate is a century-old miner’s graveyard made up of a gaggle of wood and stone markers. The very Platonic ideal of a haunted cemetery.
Remarkably, there do not seem to be many extant stories, horror or otherwise, surrounding the Clown Motel.
Its possible that this paucity of history is because it simply arose, fully-formed from the dark parts of the American subconscious, or it could also be because no one has made it out alive.
It’s no secret that clowns make people uncomfortable.
Believe it or not, that’s the point: Clowns were created to test social conventions and speak truth to power, wagging their gloved fingers at institutional tomfoolery. When they’re right, we cheer them on—and when they’re wrong, usually in the most familiar, human way possible, they get their comeuppance in the form of painful or embarrassing pratfalls.
To top it all it all off, clowns put many people on edge with their suspiciously cheerful costumes, exaggerated facial features, and seeming lack of impulse control.
“In many cultures, clowns would do things that were considered forbidden.”
You would think that, as the New York Daily News erroneously assumed, since clowns are more reviled than ever, no one in their right mind would want the job, and the tradition would be dying out in the United States and Canada.
But the truth is North America still has more clowns than it knows what do to with.
In the same article in which the Daily News asserted a shortage, it also reported that 531 clowns applied to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus last year, and “The Greatest Show on Earth” only hired 11.
That’s 520 out-of-work clowns—quite the opposite of a shortage.
Clowns line up during the 22nd Latin American clown convention at Revolución monument, Mexico.
Image Credit: Photograph by Edgard Garrido/Reuters.
In order to be able to treat coulrophobia, one needs to analyze what is the origin of clown phobia:
• Is it the fear of unknown?
• The fact that behind the smiley face there could be anyone?
• Is it that the clown has no social norms, can break up barriers of interaction and that makes one person uncomfortable with them?
• Or is it a childhood experience?
• Maybe a movie?
In a broader sense even Charlie Chaplin could be catalogued as a clown because of his characters, but there is no fear of Chaplin.
Is it just the mask that makes the difference?
Unfortunately there is no cure for clown phobia. It depends on each person.
But if coulrophobia is something you can’t live without, you should gradually accommodate yourself to the idea of clowns.
Maybe first watch some videos of clowns performing funny acts over the internet.
Sometimes, clowns putting their make up in front of the public can help relieve the tension of some coulrophobiacs as they can see it is just a mask, and they could see the real person behind the mask.
With some people, this is just enough, but obviously this cannot be possible in every social situation.
The fear of clowns is not something you should be ashamed of.
Many people share the same fear and if you have any positive experience in overcoming your fear, share it below so that fellow coulrophobes can learn too.
Children are frightened by clown-themed decor in hospitals, a survey suggests. How did the smiley circus entertainers become a horror staple?
Anyone who has read Stephen King’s “It” would probably never choose to decorate a children’s ward with clowns.
And it probably comes as no surprise to horror fans that a University of Sheffield study of 250 children for a report on hospital design suggests the children find clown motifs “frightening and unknowable”.
It is the fear of the mask, the fact that it doesn’t change and is relentlessly comical
One might suspect that popular culture is to blame.
In It, made into a television movie in 1990 and re-made as a cinema release in 2017 Stephen King created a child-murdering monster that appeared as a demonic clown.
King’s It has sparked a slew of schlocky movies over the past 20 years, known as the killer clown or evil clown genre.
Examples include Clownhouse from 1990 where three boys at home alone are menaced by escaped mental patients who have taken on the identities of clowns they have killed.
S.I.C.K., Killjoy and the Camp Blood Trilogy are other low-budget examples of the genre.
But perhaps the highlight is 1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space, with the tagline “In Space No One Can Eat Ice Cream”.
The frightening Clownville series, created by photographer Eolo Perfido in collaboration with the make-up artist Valeria Orlando, featuring strange and disturbing clowns straight out of a horror movie or a Stephen King book.
Perfect to add some fuel to your darkest nightmares!