So says Uncle Stevie, aka Stephen King, who was actually quoting Lon Chaney in his interview with Bangor Daily News.
BDN went to King for commentary on why he chose a clown as the face of evil in his novel IT, and why he thinks clowns are so scary. His “expert” opinion is interesting, especially in light of the creepy clowns in South Carolina who were reportedly trying to lure kids into the woods. (Reports have now spread to North Carolina, where a local man chased a creepy-masked clown into the woods, machete in hand, according to The Washington Post. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, boils and ghouls!)
King compared the situation to other “low-level hysteria” phenomena like The Slender Man, but the article notes that people have turned to clowns to scare and prank the public in the past in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The article is an amusing, quick blurb of a read, but like most clowns, it made me smile uneasily. I love King’s take on the situation, but at the end of the day, I’m grateful it’s not MY town with the clown infestation!
“Lon Chaney said (or is reputed to have said), ‘There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.’ Meaning, I suppose, a clown seen outside of its normal milieu, in the circus or at the fair,” King said. “If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too.”
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in the upcoming IT, due out September 2017.