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South Carolina is currently experiencing some sort of scary clown invasion, freaking out the residents and taxing local law enforcement. While coulrophobia (the actual full-blown phobia of clowns) is relatively rare, it is undeniable that a lot of people find clowns pretty goddamn creepy. And who better to talk to about the reasons we fear sinister clowns than author Stephen King, creator of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from his 1986 novel It?

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The Bangor Daily News asked King his thoughts on why people are so scared of clowns, and in an email, he responded: