Start Clowning Around
Clowns have been around for ages. They’ve appeared in most cultures, appearing before Egyptian pharaohs in 2500 BC, in ancient imperial China and Rome, in medieval Europe and in Native American civilizations.
They’ve been popular throughout American culture as well with Howdy Doody’s Clarabell, Bozo, Ronald McDonald, Emmett Kelly, and of course, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Not all people find clowns silly and entertaining though. In fact, some find them literally quite frightening.
John Wayne Gacy, the “Killer Clown,” The Simpsons Krusty the Clown, and Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight perfectly illustrate just how dark clowns can be. Not to mention, Stephen King’s very terrifying character Pennywise in IT.
Not a lot of people actually suffer from a debilitating phobia of clowns, called coulrophobia (pronounced “coal-ruh-fow-bee-uh”) as it’s actually quite rare; a lot more people JUST. DON’T. LIKE. THEM.
That’s not the case, however with Jeff Somerville, a Clearwater resident who actually loves scary clowns SO much he has, well… quite a few of them displayed all over his front lawn.
Somerville also loves the fact that most people find clowns scary. His first clown was in fact Pennywise. “The scare factor from that was so great,” he says. “So that’s where it began. I just went with it and it blew up from there.”
Somerville does not set his display up every night because of the weather and work. It takes him about 30 minutes to set it all up and another 30 minutes to take it down.
“You can hear music from the animated props, so it sounds just like a scary carnival!” Somerville says.
Like Pennywise said (played by Tim Curry in the miniseries version): “I’m every nightmare you’ve ever had. I’m your worst dream come true. I’m everything you ever were afraid of.”
Come out and get your own fantastical fright. You can next see his scary clown display on the following nights at 1004 S San Remo Avenue in Clearwater:
Friday, October 21, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Tuesday, October 25, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Friday, October 28, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Saturday, October 29, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Sunday, October 30, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Monday, October 31, 4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Videos and photos courtesy of Jeff Somerville