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I'm just one of those guys who's never understood the whole clown thing. My kids know a gal who goes into total freakout mode if she sees a clown or even a balloon, but she's the only person I know who's actually afraid of clowns. We did do a Pennywise from It this year, but once we got him done we looked at him and said "yeah, this isn't scary at all", so we had to cut away part of the face and create a subface underneath with the creature skin showing through.

As for the circus/carnival thing, that's always a challenge too as I see lots of folks making creepy ticket booths or entrances, and then... nothing. There just aren't a lot of manageable props that can be made for these environments that I've seen. Aside from making like creepy game booths, or refreshment stands, there isn't much.
 

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It's super scary for some folks, but totally not scary for many others. This is why I'm generally against themed haunts all together. :( Our haunt has always transitioned through multiple settings. Like this year we go from a spider room, to a haunted room, to a Universal Monsters room, to werewolves, to the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers, to Michael Myers, to Pennywise the Clown from It, and then out to the street. That way we can usually get a scare out of everyone who comes through.
 
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