Why are we so afraid of clowns?

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(PIX11) -- One of the many costumes you're likely to see on Halloween night are clowns.

But nice and fun characters like Bozo have been replaced by something a bit spookier.

It begs the question: Just why have clowns become so scary in pop culture?

There's no question more and more clowns are popping up in our pop culture and these clowns are not the least bit funny.

So why are we so fascinated by clowns and scared of them?

The now famous Wasco Clown isn't helping matters any. This started as a photography project, just a clown posing all over the little town of Wasco, California. It went viral.

Sergeant Joe tried to calm things down. But it just got bigger and it spawned copycats, with crazy clowns popping up everywhere lately, freaking people out.

From one in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn earlier this year, to a really disturbing one caught on security camera in Florida, stabbing a pumpkin on a porch.

French police have arrested multiple people dressed in clown costumes -- some carrying deadly weapons -- with others actually assaulting innocent people.

But why clowns?

"There's the quick movements that they make and the noises that they make and the bright colors. And all that stuff. Put that all that together and again, I don't know who that person is," said psychotherapist John Tsilimparis.

Tsilimparis also adds that it's difficult to gauge a clown's emotions due to makeup, making them that much scarier.

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