Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Santas, Clowns, Mimes & Other Phobias

My family went to the mall tonight to pick up a birthday gift for a friend and while we were there, I tried to bribe the teens with us to have their picture taken with Santa. Santa wasn't busy. The mall was pretty much dead. There wasn't a line. Please???

Unlike all those families who have yearly photos with Santa, I have... one. Maybe two. Because my kids have always been creeped out by the man in red. But more surprisingly was the fact even the 'spare' teen aka second daughter we had with us has the same phobia. Pics with Santa? No way. Not because they're too cool or too old, but because of a seemingly real phobia of Santa being a weirdo perv in disguise who ranks right up there with birthday clowns and Grimm reapers wandering the streets at Halloween. 

I've always liked the idea of masquerade parties etc because of the hidden identity factor. How fun to dress up and be... anyone? But creepy, ghoulish Halloween costumes? Those creep me out. Now that I think about it, I can see why the girls' aren't too keen on having their photograph taken with the mall Santa, what with his hidden identity. I'm sure the Santas have a thorough background check but now I have comparisons in my head of Santa as a criminal fugitive or zombie-in-waiting. LOL 

Are you afraid of disguises and costumes? Do they creep you out? Any super-fears of mimes, clowns, Santas etc? What's the weirdest thing you're afraid of??? 

I'll choose a winner from those who comment and they'll receive winner's choice of either SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT or THE CRASH BEFORE CHRISTMAS. 

So, what creeps you out?



Snookie said...

LOL, my son hates clowns to this day and he's 18 now. He would avoid Santa and the Easter Bunny everytime we went to a mall. I have no pictures of him with either. He would walk all the way around things just to avoid them. I was never afraid of clowns or Santa or the Easter Bunny and neither was my husband. Not sure why he doesn't like them.

Mary Preston said...

Clowns are way up there on my weird-o-meter. There's something rather sinister about them I think.

I'm also creeped out my magicians. It does NOT amuse or entertain me, but leaves me feeling very uneasy.

Sonya Heaney said...

When I was in Estonia last year there was a festival that took over the entire walled Old Town. You’d round a quiet corner, and there’d be people in full mediaeval dress playing instruments and dancing.

But they also had “the Black Death”, so sometimes you’d find people dropping “dead” on the cobblestones.

At one point, in a quiet alley, I ran into the Grim Reaper – about eight feet tall, and really creepy in the ancient setting! I took some pictures, but didn’t get too close! I’m not generally creeped out by stuff like that, but he was a little realistic for me!!

Beth Andrews said...

Kay, first of all I can't believe Santa is already out there getting photo ops! I'm not even close to being ready for Thanksgiving and already the Jolly One is running amuck? :-)

Nope, no Santa pictures for us, either (though I have a few from when my sisters and I were little) and my husband thinks clowns are majorly creepy *g*

Sonya Heaney said...

Beth, in Australia we have no Halloween and no Thanksgiving to hold things up, so Christmas is well and truly here!
Santa appeared in the shopping centres here on the 2nd of November!

Jo's Daughter said...

I never liked Santa's. Wasn't scared of them or anything but did not like them at all.

Am afraid of clowns though. Not sure what it is about them that sares me. I mean I know it's somebody dressed up weirdly but... they just give me the creeps.

Laney4 said...

I was a clown in a parade when I was 16. Enjoyed acting goofy but it was a long parade. I was dragging a wagon with a 3-year-old boy in it. I had been his babysitter since birth, but he didn't know it was me, so he cried continually.
I think most clowns remind us of "dirty old men", for lack of a better phrase, so maybe that's why people stay clear. Nowadays, we are ultrasensitive to anything "outside the norm" because we just can't trust everybody anymore.
Sad state of affairs....

Pamela Hearon said...

My mom and dad have a picture of me with with Santa when I was four. My mom tells me that I told her he had bad breath as we walked away--she's still cringing. So no real phobia, I guess. Just not a very pleasant association.

My son had a phobia about the tooth fairy. he didn't want anyione he didn't know sneaking into his bedroom and messing around his pillow.

Gotta love kids and their weird ways, huh?

Kristina Mathews said...

The only Santas my kids have ever sat on the laps of are usually people we know. Whether or not they could tell who was under the beard, they were smart enough not to let on.

I have a fear of heights, and I'm not real fond of huge crowds. As excited as I was when the SF Giants won the World Series, there was no way I was going to the parade. They had well over a million people lining Market Street. I recorded it and watched the speeches on TV.

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liztalley said...

Clowns are creepy. I guess it's because their faces are so elaborately distorted.

Santa doesn't bother me...anymore. My two year old self disagrees. One of my mom's fav pics is me screaming my head off in the big man's lap. Rite of passage, right?

You so should have made her do it :)

Kay Stockham said...

I was never afraid of Santa. Santa always represented something good to me. It wasn't until I was older that I even knew some kids were afraid of him, and I thought they were crazy. LOL Maybe I was just too naive to see the potential for weirdness. ;)


Kay Stockham said...

LOL Liz, let's just say we're not above bribery. The deal is if she and the friend go to have the picture done: 1) they can make any face they want to (smiles not a must!) 2) they can pick out one small item from the mall as a reward 3) I've now requested the photo as a birthday present and birthday requests can't be denied! Heee! I so hope they'll do it.


Anonymous said...

Ladders creep me out. I can climb one, but if I look down, I freeze. I have to look straight ahead to be able to get back down.

I had a pic of me and Santa in Wal-Mart a bajillion years ago. Now that I think about it - he was kind of odd.


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Summer said...

I wasn't great with Santa as a kid either, and clowns terrified me. My brothers weren't necessarily afraid of Santa but we have a classic photo of the two of them on Santa's knees, where the younger brother burst out crying and so the older one followed suit. It's a terrible yet funny picture.

Kate said...

I had to think about this. I'm okay with Santas, but generally anyone wearing a mask creeps me out. I worked backstage in the theatre about a hundred years ago, and any time there was a murder in the play (usually committed when all the lights were out) it would make me very, very nervous. Those prop guns look real!

Kay Stockham said...

Hey, guys,

Just a note of apology about the spam posts. Not sure what's going on but have left a note with the gals able to correct the issue so hopefully it will be removed soon.


mary sullivan said...

Kay, I've always found mimes to be a little creepy. That silence....and those sad looks. Hmm. They don't impress me.

Eli Yanti said...

Lol.. Santa is so cute but not clown :/

I don't scare with any custom but I really scare with mouse especially when the mouse run to you, ick

Lisa said...

Discussing this at all speeds up my heart rate, but I'll be brave and share that I am totally and completely terrified of clowns. I'm coulrophobic, and have endured this since I was ten years old ... so for a fun-filled eighteen years I've been battling the "irrational" urge to run or cry when I see a clown. I can thank the film adaptation of Stephen King's IT as well as Killer Clowns from Outer Space for making me hyperaware of this fear. The older I've become, the more sensitive I am to this (example: I almost peed my jeans at age 20 when a gruesome clown tore out of a port-a-potty during a haunted corn maze. Seriously, I still don't even believe that guy worked there. Something weird about that.) And then there's the fact that a scary number of people have committed crimes while disguised as clowns.

No, I've never been to the circus. I did not want to participate on the Bozo Show, even after my brother was chosen as an at-home player.

I'm quite sure this isn't something I'll grow out of, but it's always so nice to be reminded that other people share this fear. Plus I firmly believe that everyone's afraid of something.

And what do you know? Typing about this wasn't so bad after all! Cheers to you.

-- Lisa

Kay Stockham said...



Please email me privately with your choice. :)

Thanks for sharing your phobias with me!


JV said...

The first time I ever heard of a clown phobia, I thought the person was making a joke. Then, I learned that there are quite a lot of people who are afraid of clowns and others in costumes (especially those that disguise their faces).

I'm not afraid of people in costume, per se, though in certain circumstances I'm perhaps hyper aware that costumes can hide a lot of evil intent. For example, if anyone ever came into a bank in costume or burst into my home in costume (or even without one), I'd be afraid for obvious reasons.

I can't think of anything that I'd consider a real phobia, though I am something less than comfortable with heights. I can be up high (ladders, etc.), but I'm not very comfortable with it. Also, I'm fairly risk-averse, so I have a healthy fear of things I consider risky.

My daughter loves costumes. For the opening night of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, she dressed as a pirate, and several of the moviegoers thought she was a representative from the movie studio. She goes all out for Halloween parties every year, which she loves probably because it's very close to her birthday. She also loves haunted houses and has been several times to Waverly Hills Sanitorium which has been featured on several programs in the U.S. and by the BBC as one of the most haunted places on earth. However, once when she was small, we were riding a carousel in a mall and "Santa" got on the carousel. Surprisingly, she started to cry, so I guess she was afraid of him.

She has a crippling phobia of bees, however. I worry about her because she really can't enjoy anything outside very much. She constantly worries that anything that flies by her is a bee. I live in fear that a bee will get in the car with her one day, causing a catastrophic accident.

JV said...

Oh, my husband put a mask on one day that he found in a Halloween box, and our dog went ballistic. So, even though dogs tend to go by their noses instead of by sight in determining what's what, she obviously has a fear of costumed people.

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