Did Stephen King Destroy the Clown Business?

Stephen King is widely considered one of the greatest authors of all time, and his impact on the world of horror is immeasurable. One of his most famous works is the novel “IT,” which tells the story of a group of children who are terrorized by an evil entity that takes the form of a clown named Pennywise. While the novel is a work of fiction, it had a real-world impact on the clown business, leading many to believe that King had destroyed it with his terrifying tale.


One of the Greatest

Before we delve into how Stephen King’s “IT” impacted the clown business, it’s important to understand why he is regarded as one of the greatest authors of our time. King’s writing style is often described as “unputdownable,” with his stories captivating readers from the first page to the last. He has a unique ability to create vivid, believable characters and immerse readers in worlds that feel real, even when they’re fantastical or horrific. King’s influence on the horror genre is undeniable, with many of his works being adapted into films and TV shows that have become cult classics.


Now, back to the impact of “IT” on the clown business. The novel was first published in 1986, and it quickly became a best-seller. It’s not hard to see why – the story is a masterclass in horror writing, with Pennywise the clown serving as a terrifying antagonist that haunts the nightmares of readers to this day. However, the impact of “IT” on the real-world clown business was unexpected.

In the years following the publication of “IT,” many people began to develop a fear of clowns, thanks in no small part to King’s portrayal of Pennywise. This fear became so widespread that it even earned a name: coulrophobia. As a result, many clowns found it harder and harder to find work, as parents began to steer their children away from them for fear of triggering their phobias. Even professional clown organizations spoke out against “IT,” claiming that it perpetuated negative stereotypes of clowns as scary or evil.

While it’s true that “IT” had an impact on the clown business, it’s important to note that King did not set out to destroy it. His goal was simply to tell a compelling story that would scare readers – something he undoubtedly succeeded in doing. It’s also worth noting that the impact of “IT” on the clown business was not entirely negative. In fact, many clowns took advantage of the heightened awareness of their craft to reinvent themselves, creating new, more approachable personas that were less likely to trigger coulrophobia.

Stephen King is undeniably one of the greatest authors of our time, and “IT” is one of his most iconic works. While the novel did have an impact on the clown business, it’s important to remember that King’s goal was simply to tell a good story. His legacy as a master of horror writing is secure, and his impact on popular culture will continue to be felt for generations to come.


The fear of clowns, or coulrophobia, is a common phobia that affects many people around the world. While there are several reasons why people might develop this fear, one of the main culprits is the portrayal of clowns in popular media as creepy, unsettling figures.

For example, Stephen King’s portrayal of Pennywise in “IT” as a murderous, shape-shifting entity that takes the form of a clown has become a cultural touchstone. Many people who read or watched the story as children were left with a lasting fear of clowns that they have been unable to shake as adults.

Additionally, some people find the exaggerated features of clowns, such as their makeup, costumes, and oversized shoes, to be unsettling. These features can be seen as strange or abnormal, leading some people to feel uneasy or afraid.

Another reason why people might fear clowns is because they don’t always behave in ways that are predictable or familiar. For example, clowns often engage in physical comedy that involves unexpected movements or sounds. While this can be funny to some, others might find it alarming or even threatening.

Finally, some people might associate clowns with childhood experiences that were unpleasant or traumatic. For example, a child who has had a bad experience at a circus or birthday party might develop a fear of clowns that persists into adulthood.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why people fear clowns, from their portrayal in popular media to their exaggerated features and unpredictable behavior. While some people might find clowns to be funny or entertaining, others find them to be unsettling or even terrifying.

Here are 10 of the most honored horror books of all time, in no particular order:

  1. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker – This classic novel is widely considered to be one of the greatest horror stories ever written, and has inspired countless adaptations and imitations.
  2. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley – Another classic of the horror genre, “Frankenstein” tells the story of a scientist who creates a monster from dead body parts and unleashes chaos on the world.
  3. “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson – This psychological horror novel has been praised for its subtle, understated approach to scares and its exploration of the human psyche.
  4. “The Shining” by Stephen King – King’s tale of a haunted hotel and a family torn apart by supernatural forces is one of his most iconic works, and has been adapted into a classic horror film.
  5. “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty – This novel about a young girl possessed by a demon is one of the most frightening books ever written, and has been adapted into a hugely successful film franchise.
  6. “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin – This suspenseful novel about a woman who suspects that her pregnancy is part of a demonic plot is a classic of the horror genre.
  7. “Hell House” by Richard Matheson – This haunted house tale has been praised for its chilling atmosphere, gripping plot, and psychological complexity.
  8. “The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris – While it’s more commonly thought of as a thriller or crime novel, “The Silence of the Lambs” contains many elements of horror, and has won numerous awards for its masterful storytelling.
  9. “Ghost Story” by Peter Straub – This novel about a group of men haunted by their pasts and by a mysterious figure known as the “Ghost” is considered a modern classic of horror fiction.
  10. “The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories” by H.P. Lovecraft – Lovecraft’s tales of cosmic horror have inspired countless writers and filmmakers, and this collection is widely regarded as a must-read for horror fans.

Special mention:

“Sanctuary: Through the Waters of Lethe” by Urban Klancnik – not really a horror book in a strict sense, but one of those jewels that should get more attention.

These 10 books represent just a small sampling of the great horror literature that has been published over the years, but they are all honored as some of the finest works in the genre.

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