via Flickr: Sarah_Ackerman
At the beginning of October, there was a creepy clown sighting in Fort Worth. That’s right. The clowns have made it to DFW. The thing is, we had clown phobias long before the recent clown hysteria spread across the world.
We don’t like clowns. We tell ourselves they should be fun and we should like them, but deep down, these grotesque jesters terrify us. This is why movies, books, and video games highlight our fears by granting justification for our horror. This is also why the rash of clown sightings and attacks have us glued to our televisions and reading the news with paranoid fascination.
For many of us, these night terrors began in childhood. That said, let’s take a look at some of those scary clowns that made, or are still making, sleeping at night a bit harder. After all, nothing’s worse than a monster under your bed…unless it’s a clown.
WARNING: IF CLOWNS TERRIFY YOU, DON’T SCROLL ANY FURTHER.
When a Penny Wasn’t Wise
Stephen King’s It was a horrifying, bloody fear fest that surrounded one creepy, sadistic clown. Not only did Pennywise traumatize children that saw the movie, but he traumatized children within the film as well, and the reverberations of his chilling presence were felt by all of the adults later in life.
The Old and the New
The clown in Poltergeist. We all remembered him with fear, then a remake vamped up his scariness. Just to think of that creepy clown scuttling under the bed, disappearing from his chair, and attacking Robbie Freeling is enough to give anyone the shivers. But for a child who watched either of these films (the original or the remake), welcome to a recipe for nightmares.
The 1980s Space Invasion
What would now be considered the perfect selection for “B Movie Night” with some friends is also the source of many clown nightmares. Killer Clowns From Outer Space was a late 1980s film that featured alien clowns on a killing spree. Gory and disturbing, many of us still shudder at the memory.
Captain Spaulding, leader of twisted and creepy, is one of the leaders of clowns that cause bad dreams. One of the main characters in House of a 1000 Corpses, Spaulding spends close to two hours creating clown phobia fodder. The worst part is his teeth. He rarely stops smiling, and the image tends to stick in your memories.
The Nightmare Trickster
When the first Saw movie dropped in 2004, it seemed like a regular horror film, but the clown face of the villain really spoke to those of us who fear clowns. Not only is this clown evil, but he’s a manipulative, twisted psycho. Millennials saw this movie, and if they recognized the clown stereotype here, their nightmares were guaranteed.
The New Definition
Killjoy: Causing sleepless nights since 2000. A full film series has been created around this demonic clown. He is everything us clownphobics are scared of. It seems no matter what, Killjoy can’t be put down, and if it seems like he is, well he just comes back.
It’s not like escaped, murderous mental patients isn’t scary enough. Let’s throw them in some clown suits to up the ante. Clownhouse remains one of the top scary clown films, and why not? It only features death and mayhem from giggling jesters.
American Horror Story
Finally, we get to the new generation of clown fears: Twisty. If you had managed to not have a clown phobia prior to AMC’s American Horror Story: Freak Show season, you probably have them now. Twisty was an aptly named, truly grotesque and definitely gory clown, which makes him perfect for creating a new generation of clown fears.