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This week on the podcast, we look at the rumors surrounding youthful encounters with a real life creepy clown inspired by a television sensation. (16 min) (7.31.20)

Ominous Origins

Welcome to the Ominous Origins Podcast, a Horror Shots production. If you were previously a fan of the Horror Shots Podcast, this is the same great show with the same compelling content focused on myth, mysterious creatures, unexplained events, spooky stories — and even some of the strangest and most disturbing true crime stories. As always, our goal is to entertain, but also to enlighten with short, well-researched episodes on a variety of fascinating topics.

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This is a weird one. It’s part urban legend, part reality, all very confusing. Back in the early 90s, the TV show In Living Color introduced a character called Homey D. Clown (played by Damon Wayans) — an ex-con turned silly clown that went around smacking misbehaving kids with a sock. The show itself was great, but the sketch inadvertently set off a strange panic in the Chicago area among elementary school kids. According to some reports, children were seeing a man — or even men — in clown outfits trying to lure kids into a white, blue, brown, or black van that had the words Ha-Ha printed across the door.

It’s perfect urban legend fodder.

I remember a similar story, from when I was in about the 4th grade, about a clown living in the sewers that we all worried was going to get us. Of course, the IT miniseries had just aired, and older siblings told their younger, impressionable brothers and sisters about Pennywise. That’s exactly how an urban legend is born.

However, in the case of Homey, the police took it seriously — or at least semi-seriously.

I did manage to find a couple articles relating to it, but it all felt very April Fool’s Day-ish to me. Nevertheless, it does make for an interesting story. And with what happened around 2016 with clownpocalypse, maybe there is something to these claims. Elementary and middle school kids didn’t have a 30 megapixel camera phone in their pockets back in 1991, so actual evidence would have been hard to come by.

Regardless of the truthfulness of it, coulrophobia is a real thing, and clowns are indeed a little creepy. But for the whole story, you’ll just have to listen.

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