Stephen King's Pennywise the Clown from IT: Funny Face or Darkest Fear?

Stephen King's Pennywise the Clown from IT: Funny Face or Darkest Fear?

     When I was a little child, eons ago, my sister (who is 10 years my senior) started her obsession with Stephen King, writer of fantastically depraved horror novels (a wide-known name I'm sure.) She used to have the book called IT which had a cover of Pennywise the Dancing Clown on it. It looked something like this:


Well, she would scare me right and proper with that picture, and to this day I am petrified by those happy-go-lucky clowns that everyone else seems to love. Just this summer (mind you I AM 19-years-old) I decided to read the book IT and face my fear all together. The 1100 page novel is a gargantuan tale of a shape-shifting monster that takes the form of your deepest fears. It has apparently lived since the beginning of time and comes out of hibernation every now and then to feast on children. I feel in love with the sheer terror of the novel. We had a very wet summer here in Illinois, and it didn't help that the first scene, where IT takes the form of Pennywise the Clown and kills a young boy. Of course it's during a horrible rainstorm that this happens. I remember texting my friend Gabby in fear that once the lightning subsided I would go to my window, draw up the blinds and see a clown sitting there staring me in the face from the gutter. I also watched the movie version of the novel, with starred Tim Curry, a magnificent actor of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame, playing Pennywise. This result in more feverish texts to my friend Gabby about the dreaded clown. She laughed, and still laughs, at how shaken up I got reading that book and watching that movie. 


     Pennywise the Clown shall go on scaring little children for years and years, but is there anything to really be scared of in just the form of a clown? It's the dark matter behind that white painted face that fuels the nightmares that keep us up at night in a solemn cold sweat, waiting in terror for something to take us. We all have fears that keep us connected to reality. Some fears are rational, i.e. losing a house and going bankrupt etc..., and there are fears that are not based in reality, like fearing a clown. Pennywise the Clown, for me, will always represent true fear. Nothing has ever scared me as much as that damn clown, and to be honest, I like being scared to the very core like that. It's fun to sit up at night sometimes and think of the terrible horrors that a creature like that could do. How much fodder would that be for a writer like me? I think we need a true horror story like this to surface to teach us that bad things could be lurking out there, yet we just don't know it yet. Scary stories are the root of many a childhood, and some parents are now cutting those things out all together. Children, deep down, really do enjoy these tales of terror and love hearing them, though they do get scared from time to time. Pennywise the Clown not only represents true fear for me, but I also get some sick pleasure every time I see his face. Knowing that a creature not to far from him could be lurking in the gutters outside my house delights me to no end! I guess I am just odd in that way, but it's true.
     I want you to comment and tell me your own unrealistic fears, such as clowns or bloody knife-wielders, anything really! Do you fear them in TRUE fear or do you enjoy being scared by them? I just want to hear you thoughts on your fears!



Leave a comment