Welcome, my dear playfellows. Enter, yes! Please do. Nighty has been waiting. (Grins slyly, as
Nighty motions with one long, taloned finger… bidding you to join her)
A bit of fog in the air tonight. Just follow my voice. Oh, and pay the screams no never mind. Nighty’s minions are at play. They’ll settle down once they’ve had their fill…eh, er- once they’ve become deviously spent. (Muffled laughter is heard beneath her black veil, now concealing an evil grin) Come along, no lagging behind. Nighty, would hate for you to become lost in the mist. (Now the laughter, no longer stifled, echoes the cold, dark realm). That’s right, pull up a tombstone. Stay Scared awhile- you know you want to-
(Cackles hellishly)
Oh yes, here in Nighty’s realm, you know, we love to scare! Hmm… Speaking of that lovely word…what scares you, my playfellows? What’s that you say? Nighty detects a lovely quiver in your ever so delicate throat.
Clowns? CLOWNS?
Oh, those maniacally magical, masquerading menaces, of the most malicious Netherworld! Nighty, does enjoy their playful ways, however deadly they may be!
(Nighty claps in devious delight)
Are you aware these powder-caked, lipstick wearing masters of menace have been creeping their way into your worst nightmares for centuries? Oh yes, Pennywise has nothing on these evil elders of the dark!
Just think what lay beneath all those layers of greasepaint. It’s hideous I assure you. Why do you think they wear that mask of the macabre? To hide- to deceive. And that my dear playfellows, they do quite well. Hmm… Yes, these demons from hell.
(Yes, oh that pun was indeed intended)
Ah, Nighty the poetess peaks beneath the dark once more! (A spine tingling howl reverberates from somewhere deep within the darkened realm)
Coulrophobia, (Yes, there is a word for the fear of all that wear a powdered face and lipstick- and I’m not speaking of drag queens here… although, I suppose there may be a phobia related to them as well. BUT, that’s another column.) Well, where was I? Ah, yes… Coulrophobia, may be a simple fear to many. Possibly silly to some. But believe Nighty, these pranksters of pandemonium have no intent on “clowning around.” Laughter is not their gain. Oh, quite the opposite, my deviants of all things dark. So, my dear playfellows, your fear is warranted! Indeed, it is!
When did clowns become the personification of darkness and evil? Perhaps they always were.
Clowns, as pranksters, jokers, court jesters and tricksters have appeared in most cultures throughout the centuries. In 2500 BCE what made the Egyptian Big Wigs fall off their golden asses… oops… oxen? They used “pygmies as clowns”! Uh huh- Nighty can hardly contain herself!

The depravity of clowns infiltrated the Native American culture;
Within the Cochití Tribe, clowns often exhibit obscenities. According to Native American Roots, “Sodomy, coitus, masturbation, etc., was performed to greatest perfection, men coupling with each other on the ground or standing, and to the great delight of the spectators (certainly over one hundred), men, women, girls and boys, Mexicans and Indians looking on with the greatest ingenuity and innocence, not the slightest indecent look on the part of the women, and applauding the vilest motions.” Vile? Disturbing? No wonder they have a reputation, my dear playfellows! Look at their background! I’d hide behind a freaking mask too! Oh, the twisted evil!
(Nighty, screams demonically!)
Academics note, a clown’s comedy was derived from a voracious appetite and manic behavior. Food, my dear playfellows… hmm… and what do you suspect satisfied that hunger? We ain’t talkin’ McDonalds™ here!
Clowns are mysterious, frightening and eerie. Games of evil, they love to play! Is there a person beneath the greasepaint, or something far more sinister? Until you get close enough to feel their hot and putrid breath upon your vulnerable skin, you may never know. At that point, it may be far too late.
A few modern clowns of the paranormal kind, may prevent you from attending any circus that may pay your town an unearthly visit.  Hmmm… (Giggling, evilly beneath her breath)
The Harlequin. Ah yes, ever heard of this clown of the ethereal persuasion? Well, let Nighty enlighten you. The Harlequin, is a recurring character in many a children’s tale; or is he? White-faced with black, hollow eyes, he is only visible to those misfortunates under the age of 6, and known for his high-pitched laughter.
In the U.K, “Zozzaby,” (a clown of course) killed himself! How, you ask? Well, Nighty has no clue! But, of this, Nighty is certain; this ghostly clown appears to awaken children with his laughter as he points straight at them, staring from hollowed eyes. Imagine that, my dear playfellows! You are all snug as a creepy little bug in a 70’s shag rug, when this crazed clown with no eyes is standing at the foot of your bed, pointing a deathly finger at you! Then, as you scream and hide beneath that fuzzy rug, he vanishes- leaving the foul scent of embalming fluid in his wake! I think by that moment, you may need a new shag rug and a clean pair of skivvies!
Now, my dear playfellows, if clowns are your penchant for fear, and the aforementioned failed to do the trick (Again, Nighty made a funny) there are those clowns, behind which lay a human mask. “John Wayne Gacy,” was known as the “Killer Clown.” An unspeakable, serial killer and rapist- convicted of the assault and murder of thirty three teenage boys! He told authorities, these horror movie like acts, were committed by an alternate personality! Do you think so? He was a freaking CLOWN, for Hades sake!
A clown! A clown hired for children’s parties! Oh, my dear playfellows, take heed and rent an inflatable bouncy castle instead!
Need “more” clown horror? Let Nighty, enlighten my evil followers… There are plenty to choose from in the literary world! One in particular, (Cackles maniacally, in utter hellish glee)
is a tome Nighty finds disturbing to all who fear the dreaded clown, as well as those who may find them creepily, amusing; “Floppy Shoes Apocalypse,” an anthology (JEA/WETWORKS) to be released this fall. Word has it, a narrative poem by a particular Horror Host from a dark and evil realm, is housed within its pages! (Screams hellishly)
What lay ‘neath that greasepaint? Oh, Nighty knows… but that is meant for a mortals most terrifying nightmares… Unless, you care to join me. A few await within the darkest corners of my realm. Those demons, with their painted faces and sharpened teeth… hungry and waiting to squirt your eyes with the fake flower they wear upon their lapel…filled with acid. This, to blind you, while their teeth dig deep into your supple flesh. Oh, those clowns… those playful deranged demons, choosing the perfect moment to catch you off guard! Do you hear that ever familiar honk of a plastic horn? Those huge shoes slapping the cold pavement somewhere in the distant dark? Come a bit closer… oh, I see… You’re SCARED! (Nighty screams, then cheers in devious laughter)
Well then, for those faint of heart…
It’s that time of year my dear playfellows! The circus has come to town. Beware the all too familiar calliope, and by all means, refrain from inviting one of these party-loving, rabbit-from-a-hat-pulling, unicycle riding, painted faced demons, to any future parties! The fun, will be a SCREAM! Yours, most assuredly. Let us not forget their voracious appetite! Oh, you must remember that! They see you as the proverbial “Happy Meal™”! (Nighty, claps in wicked delight)
They work for peanuts you know… (Cackles fiendishly)

In the meantime, be extra mindful of dark corners… but do, oh yes, do… Stay Scared…
You never know when you may be visited by a hollowed eyed clown, pointing an icy clawed finger at you as you sleep.
Perhaps a certain, lover of the dark with eyes that glow red, may one day pay you a visit…Ooh, yes… do… Stay Scared! So very, very SCARED!
(Nighty walks into the mist, her laughter echoing the realm, growing in intensity)