It’s the day before the spookiest day of the year, although in my old hometown of Concord, New Hampshire, things have already gotten pretty spooky.
According to a report from Concord Patch, an overnight custodian at a local grade school was showing up at work in a creepy clown costume in the hopes of winning a contest.
At least a few residents were unnerved that the school where they sent their kids every day was playing host to a guy in a malevolent looking clown outfit.
Now, it’s no big surprise that a clown face that’s designed to look extra scary… looks extra scary.
But some people are freaked out even by the friendliest-looking clowns.
And there’s actually science that explains why so many people find so many clowns so creepy.
So “why are people creeped out by clowns” isn’t a rhetorical question!
A piece in Psychology Today pointed toward a phenomenon called the Uncanny Valley.
That’s when we see someone that looks very human-like but just different enough that it’s weird and off-putting.
Take characters from 3D animation: the more lifelike they look, the less we think of them as realistic because they’re just a little too close to the real thing.
Most viewers tend to be fine with animated characters that look more cartoonish and less realistic.
That, the article suggests, is what’s going on with clowns.
People see a human being, but it’s a human being who has face paint on that’s skewing or exaggerating their features.
Their brains recognize that the situation is not quite normal.
And in some cases people take that to mean, all clowns are terrifying.
But to be fair, not everyone feels this way.
And many professional clowns have, in fact, pushed back on the phenomenon.
Back in 2016, when there were a bunch of creepy clown sightings all over the country, a group of working clowns spoke out in the news to say, we’re just trying to entertain people and make them laugh and we don’t want these creepy clowns wandering around and scaring everybody, it’s spoiling clowning for all of us!
So the answer is, there’s science that explains it, and a few other things too.
A crow in Latvia just gave an assist to another creature out in the world.
A hedgehog was trying to cross a road, but anytime it would see a car drive by, it would curl up and try to hide… which meant it was still IN the middle of the road.
So, as a driver’s video showed, the crow nudged the hedge until it made it to the curb.
Every good deed helps!
Why Do We Find Clowns So Creepy? (Psychology Today)