Stephen King’s Creepy Clown Phobia: Horror Writer Says The Carolina Sightings Scare Him

Stephen King isn’t a man you would expect to be scared of anything, being a successful horror writer. However, he has a fear of creepy clowns, and the recent sightings in North and South Carolina are unsettling to him.

The truth is that horror writers have fears just like everybody else. They simply channel that fear into tales of fiction which are popular among readers. Clive Barker and Stephen King share their fears, and we love them for it.

King is known as one of the most long-standing horror writers of our time, with more titles under his proverbial belt than almost anyone at his level of fame. His long career includes the creation of the Dark Tower series, several novels long enough to take readers probably months to finish, a stint as an English teacher, and even a writer for a major news outlet.

One of King’s most famous novels was IT, a story about a monster called Pennywise the Clown, which was able to change form based on the greatest fears of its victims. It mostly stalked children, but made an exception toward the end as a group of adults who had survived its previous rampage returned to destroy it.

King had gotten his start as an independent publisher, but eventually started winning contests in various writing magazines. Carrie was his first commercially successful novel, followed by ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and The Stand. Eventually he would venture into the serial novel realm with The Gunslinger, the first of eight books which describe protagonist Roland Deschain’s journey as he chases “The Man In Black.” After a few years away, he’d returned to finish the Dark Tower series and deliver a shocking conclusion.

Stephen King’s works almost always center around, or feature, children as major characters, probably one of the reasons why IT features a monster which resembles a creepy clown. Reuters says that King explained to the local news how the recent sightings in North and South Carolina leave him a little unsettled.

“Kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people. The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”

In South Carolina, a creepy clown had been sighted in Greenville, haunting laundromats and roadsides and luring children into the woods with cash and green laser lights. Police also revealed a series of sightings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, over the past week, where creepy clowns were seen luring children with candy. This possibly indicates a migration north, possibly even toward Maine, the home of Stephen King.

The scary part of the last series of sightings is the name of the area, the second part of which shares the name of a fictional town in Maine where vampires had run amok in Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot (though the name of that town was actually Jerusalem’s Lot, cut down to ‘Salem’s Lot). It’s almost like the clown sightings are following a sort of theme of King’s books.

Authorities have warned residents of the southern states to keep their children inside after curfew to avoid any further incidents with creepy clowns.

Stephen King even mentioned a horror acting legend in his official statement, according to New York Daily News.

“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. 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.”

[Photo by George Koroneos/]

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