A poem to close Halloween

dark-forrest

The darkness surrounds you

Walking down and an endless corridor

Should you turn round

What will you see

A mind that cuts right through you

A hand that tickles you with claws

Like those of a rabid eagle

The air is intoxicating

The relentless rhythm of footsteps

Catching up with you

As your heart races

There’s no going back

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Creepy clowns, they are at it again!

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They are at it again…nowhere is exempt, the most recent attack a formal dinner at the hallowed ground of Cambridge University,  a creepy clown equipped with a machete.  Maybe this can be put down to university high jinx…

However…there has been a recent spate of people in the UK,  dressing up as clowns, jumping out and trying freak people out.  It has been dubbed “the creepy clown craze”.  The craze is not only limited to the UK, needless to say creepy clowns have been terrorizing America, clowns in at least 10 different states being sighted, some yelling at people in cars on desolate country roads, and worse besides carrying machetes and knives. Even Stephen King has had to weigh in telling the  US to ‘cool the clown hysteria’ after wave of sightings

 Horror films, must take some responsibility for this phenomenon, as they  are littered with sinister clowns, Pennywise from It, Mr Jingles, Chucky, the killer clowns from outer space  to name but a few.

This increasingly prevalent phenomenon has been fueled significantly by a Facebook page which shares photos and videos of the scary sightings. There’s even a label we can use for fear of clowns “coulrophobia”

Of course the primary function of a clown is to make an audience laugh. If we go back to the Middle Ages we discover that of the clown didn’t serve this function, they would pay heavily, meaning they would find themselves mutilated, to make their own smiles permanent. Our normal perception of smiles is usually positive, but constant smiles are unnerving . Clowns date back long before the Middle Ages, according to Dr Richard Talbot “The first recorded description of a clown was of a pygmy-type figure in Ancient Egypt, around 2000 BC”. Historically Britain’s first modern clown was Joseph Grimaldi, who in his time had a massive following, and could be deemed a real star . In the early 1800s, he is accredited with inventing  the trademark clown painted white face and red smile. The external image he projected was very different to what was going on in his own head, as he said himself “I am GRIM ALL DAY, but I make you laugh at night.”

Why is it that clowns are so unnerving?  In the world we live in, the face is one of the first things we look at. We search constantly for clues, to help us have a sense of how the other person is feeling. With clowns, that’s impossible. As Doctor Talbot puts it “There’s a technical confusion. There’s a painted face which stays static but the facial muscles are still moving underneath, so our brains can’t quite make sense of it.”  His idea mirrors an idea Sigmund Freud – the founder of psychoanalysis – called the “uncanny”. It’s when you look at something that’s recognizable but not quite right. And it makes you feel weird.

Clowns primary audience are supposed to be children. Maybe not so much these days but parents used to consider clowns for their children’s birthday parties.  However do children like clowns a survey done in 2008, by University of Sheffield, England, discovered of 250 children interviewed between the ages of four and 16 found that most of the children disliked and even feared images of clowns. A  child psychologist made the point , “Very few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don’t look funny, they just look odd.”

Part of a Halloween holiday  blog hop, read other articles by writers and bloggers.

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Clowns: Our Fascination and Our Fear

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Clowns: Our Fascination and Our Fear

By Tiffany Apan

Throughout the ages, many creatures have served as a fascination for our imaginations while terrifying us in the process. Vampires, werewolves, black-eyed children…and clowns. Yes, that seemingly innocuous person making balloon sculptures at many a children’s party. They simultaneously bring joy and terror.

Clowns are a morbid curiosity. They also have a long history, dating back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They have long been associated with the term, “rustic fool” and the concept of a circus clown didn’t even arrive until the 19th century. Until then, a clown was typically a “fool” character in theatrical productions. He was often lower class, dressed in a tattered servant’s attire, and often the comedic relief in an otherwise serious plot of a play. But if clowns were meant to bring humor and joy, how did they come to have such a sinister reputation?

There are many different theories, and an article on LiveScience.com suggest that perhaps this is partly due to that even as court jesters their comedy was often quite dark. There is also suggestion of long time association with being quite otherworldly. Some examples include how they seem to be able to cram themselves into a tiny car, twenty at a time before emerging seemingly unaffected by the cramped space. They perform acts of magic and are often unpredictable in their feats and actions. This can evoke strong emotions in different individuals, and sometimes, those emotions are negative ones. Perhaps it is these seemingly supernatural abilities and such unpredictability that gives reason for authors and filmmakers to feature the clown as a malevolent character, even a killer. Many individuals suffer from coulrophobia, or a clinically diagnosed fear of clowns. While this is not the average person, clowns tend to invoke feelings of disconcert among much of the population. Even Stephen King, author of the novel “IT” which features a demonic killer clown, is quoted as saying the clowns can be quite terrifying. According to the LiveScience article (along with a few interviews by King himself):

King admitted that seeing a clown outside of the character’s typical context, such as a circus or a birthday party, could be unnerving — yes, even for him.

“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,” King said.

For me, clowns are mainly harmless. But I will also agree with King, in saying that if I saw some random clown standing somewhere in a field, under a bridge, or a street corner, I would be pretty unnerved myself.

For more of Tiffany’s work, check out her official website and blog:

http://tiffanyapan.com

http://tiffanyapanwritingproject.blogspot.com

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A poem for Halloween

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You sent me a poisoned cake for my birthday

laced with shards of glass,

the colour of black bile

when I swallowed it whole

you laughed

and you laughed

and you laughed

You danced like a jittery shadow

Spinning a pernicious web,  you  confined me

With needles and pins you jabbed me

Till midnight came around

Then all fell silent

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Author Cheryllynn Dyess gives her thoughts on creepy clowns!

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I asked authors concerning  their feelings about the phenomenon of “creepy lowns”

Cheryllynn Dyess replied…

It’s not long at all… but this is my experience and where it all started .

Why clowns creep me out all begin with the movie Poltergeist in 1982! I was a whopping ten years old and my mother thought this would be a good movie to watch. Yeah, well not so much but it did start the life-long trend of not liking clowns.

I remember when we sat down and watched this movie. I remember the room we were in while watching the moving.  I remember it being night because of course who would show this to their ten-year-old in the middle of the day, right? I even remember eating popcorn as it played and how my mother and her friend sat on the floor to get in closer.

That clown terrified me. I would never look at clowns the same way. While that has been 34 years ago, I still don’t handle clowns well. I am not terrified of them as I was in my childhood, but I do tend to give them their space and watch them ever so closely.

I have been to amusement parks where clowns try to be cheerful and I just stand back and shiver inside. Around 2008, I remember going to a theme park for Halloween and a scary clown came at me, I hit him. Poor clown was just doing his  job.

About Cheryllyn

Cheryllynn’s vivid imagination comes through in all she does in life. Her writing started in junior high, although she never truly shared her work until recently. They were kept hidden away in an old tattered orange folder. Original works she wrote as early as 1984 still hold ink on the pages and are just now coming to life. Paranormal and Fantasy are her favorite genres with Mystery and Thrillers close behind.

Born in Northwest Florida and raised in Southeast Georgia she developed a love for nature and the outdoors. Her experiences outdoors allows her to create universes with vivid detail. After a detour of almost twenty years in the health care industry and obtaining her Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Administration/Healthcare Information Systems she has returned to her love of writing.

Currently living in Central Texas with her family, she has begun a new chapter in life that has opened her heart and soul to many great adventures. Her hobbies include fishing, crochet, gardening…and of course reading.

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creepy clowns, thoughts and a poem by Giselle Marks

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I asked authors concerning  their feelings about the phenomenon of “creepy clowns”

Gina Marks replied

I have no real childhood memories of clowns good or bad. I don’t like them and am suspicious of them because you can’t see their real faces, but they do not terrify me as such. I was terrified as a toddler of a five foot tall rubber Bugs Bunny that a friend of my father’s gave me. I screamed so much they eventually gave it away. So I asked a friend who I know suffers from coulrophobia, (that is fear of clowns, lol.) for her story and combining with the news reports I wrote you this.

Scary Clowns

Performing clowns can be very funny

they caper crazily to earn their money.

The feelings of children are rather mixed,

while others with terror stand transfixed.

Now killer clowns threaten our lives

posing for pictures with sharp knives.

Do they think it is some kind of clever joke?

I fear our sense of humour has gone up in smoke.

Scary clowns, now you take special care

We’ll find you and then you best beware.

Author bio Giselle Marks

Giselle Marks is an English writer, poet and novelist, born in London, who has been writing in many forms most of her life. Currently Giselle lives in the beautiful Isle of Man. Her family is grown, contented and expanding. She spends most of her time writing.

Her book ‘The Fencing Master’s Daughter’ is receiving good reviews. Together with her fellow writer and cover artist Sarah J. Waldock, Giselle wrote and illustrated ‘Fae Tales’ an anthology of fae and mythic tales updated to modern times and intended for teenagers and adults. Both books are available. Following ‘The Fencing Master’s Daughter’ she will be releasing ‘The Purchased Peer,’ a Georgian romance at the beginning of November.  This will be followed by ‘Princess of Zenina,’ the first in the sci-fi / fantasy Zeninan Saga. She has also completed two more Regency romances, ‘The Marquis’ Mistake’ and ‘A Compromised Rake’ and the first of a Regency gypsy series, ‘Jessica’s Tale – Book One, The Gypsy Countess series,’ although she is considering alternate titles.

Other long- term projects include a possible book of her poetry. Her poems have been published in Female First and she has entered two of their contests, scoring a win and a commendation. Giselle has had short stories published in a number of anthologies.

 

@GiselleMarks1

http://ginafiserova.wix.com/gisellemarks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7304857.Giselle_Marks

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Bizarre happenings on Halloween

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When children tuck in to their Halloween candies, they might get more than they bargain for. Ronald O’Bryan had his own distorted vision of Halloween when he laced Trick or treat sweets with cyanide.

Kevin Toston a five year old also met a tragic end when he took his uncle’s heroin stash to  be sweeties. The family later tried to cover up the crime to protect the uncle, sprinkling heroin over sweeties. Drugs creep their way into Halloween sweets, a twenty three year old Mancuria  gave out packets of cocaine to children instead of sweets – despite the fact he didn’t hide it in any sweets, and police said he’d given the items “in error.”

If you get a sudden doorbell ring late into the night, think twice before you open the door.   Peter Fabiano was just about to go to bed, when the doorbell rang.  Grabbing some candy he went to accost his late night visitor,  only to find on his doorstep, not a child  enacting trick or treat, but a grown up porting a cheap mask.  On top of this the late night visitor was carrying a gun, concealed in a paper bag, pointing at his chest.  Once the late nigh visitor had slain Peter, she sped off.  The police at first were mystified by this “senseless murder” .

Peter who worked as a hairdresser was hardly the type to have enemies who would want to see to his demise.  They unearthed an ex-employee, namely Joan Rabel, aided by an anonymous caller they discovered the gun used to shoot Peter.  The locker was rented however by Goldyne Pizer,  who happened to be Ravel’s lover. Rabel twisted the mind of Pizer with stories about how Fabiano abused his wife.  It was Pizer who arrived and just about managed to fire the bullet that was to end Fabiano’s life.  In reality Rabel’s motive was to rid Betty Fabiano of her husband, because she herself was Betty Fabiano’s lover. In the consequential trial followed Rabel pleaded not guilty, and Pizer pleaded insanity.

An important part of Halloween is the decorations. It is true that Halloween has become very commercial. So imagine if you are driving in your car and see a woman hanging, the chances are you would simply deem it to be just another decoration.  Four days before Halloween in Frederica Delaware, there was a woman dangling 4.5 meters directly above the road.  When somebody realized this body was real and not some morbid decoration, the police were called to the scene. Sadly it turned out to be a 42 year old woman who took her own life.

In Ohio there was a similar occurrence, again it took a while before people dared to  verify whether they were looking at a genuine corpse.

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