On tonight’s broadcast of Paranormal Underground Radio (6 to 8 PM Pacific on ZTalkRadio.com), we’ll be talking to the newest guy on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters International, Scott Tepperman. One of the interesting little tidbits in Scott’s bio is that he’s a Juggalo – a fan of the band Insane Clown Posse. I’ve never listened to or heard the band, but I know they have a lot of fans.
One of the reasons that I’ve never heard the Insane Clown Posse is this – fear. I don’t have a lot of phobias, but I have a few. They are, in no particular order:
I find clowns creepy enough in and of themselves, and I can only guess that the band does the whole clown face painting thing. That would be enough to keep me cowering under my seat all by itself; but, if they are also (as advertised) insane – then I’m pretty sure I’d find insane clowns even more frightening than your garden variety creepy clowns. Just saying….
Funny thing, fear. It can be so irrational. One can see how I might be afraid of slimy snakes – after all, they are all slimy and wrappy and poison and bitey and stuff. And certainly the sensible shoes phobia would make a helluva lot of sense to you if you knew me well – given that I am also vaguely afraid of ugly handbags. The clowns one though – it doesn’t necessarily make any sense. Aren’t clowns happy icons of childhood, with their shiny balloons, menacing red noses and terrifying giant feet?
I would go on, but I now have myself freaked out and will very likely have to spend the next hour or so curled up in the fetal position in my shower crying as I try to scrub the images of creepy clowns from my mind.
I bring this all up for a reason, and not just to show you all that I’m slightly off kilter and could probably benefit from several months (years?) of therapy. I wanted to talk a little bit about fear.
When I was younger, I used to love really scary books and scary movies. Loved them. It was so much fun reading or watching something truly frightening and getting that delicious shiver of fear. I know I am not alone in this pursuit – there’s a reason why horror is such big business and why kids crowd around campfires to share ghost stories. With the safe fear that comes from listening to a story or watching a movie comes a tiny hit of adrenaline. Safe fear satisfies our primal need to feel victorious after surviving through a “fight or flight” situation.
So here’s my problem: I haven’t had the opportunity to feel triumphant like that in a while. It seems that as I’ve delved into the paranormal, it’s become more difficult to scare me. Books and movies that others find positively frightening just seem kind of “ho hum” to me. The most I can muster these days is a little bit of apprehension during an investigation – but not enough to really get that adrenaline pumping.
I’ll be honest. I kind of miss the fear. Nothing has come along in a good long time that has caused that shiver to run all up and down my spine. And maybe it isn’t that I’m braver now – maybe it is that nobody can write a good, scary story anymore. Or maybe it’s time for me to up the ante and find something that really gives me a good fright. A trip through the snake house at the Woodland Park Zoo. A day of shopping at the Naturalizer shoe store. Or maybe I should just head out to the nearest clown college or the next Insane Clown Posse concert or Juggalo convention. That ought to get my blood pumping.