Clowns are one of the seemingly most universal fears shared by people worldwide. Despite their supposed job of being funny and entertaining children, years of legit horrifying depictions of clowns (and serial killers dressing up as them) have pretty much tarnished their reputation for everybody. In particular, you can blame these 12 bozos for making us terrified of the circus.
Poltergeist - Possessed Clown
The second that clown appears in an earlier scene, you just KNOW it's going to come alive and do something scary. Even though it takes forever to happen and we knew it was coming, somehow that still wasn't enough preparation.
It - Pennywise
Whether it's Tim Curry in the original or Bill Skarsgard in the 2017 remake, the demonic Pennywise is legitimately terrifying, and even though he takes on plenty of other creepy forms, the clown is by far the most iconic (and scariest).
Are You Afraid of the Dark? - Zeebo
When a kid gets dared to steal the nose from an animatronic clown, he unleashes pure horror as the clown follows him home, with constant comments of "GIVE IT BACK!" If this didn't haunt your dreams as a kid, you're either a robot or lying.
Batman - The Joker
Whether he's played by Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, or Heath Ledger, the Clown Prince of Crime can go from hilarious to genuinely terrifying at the drop of a hat (and often does). He's the most memorable villain in comic book history, and he's been terrifying us for decades.
Air Bud - Happy Slappy
Happy Slappy isn't terrifying so much as he's a dick who abuses Buddy and then has the nerve to try to take him away from a family that loves him. Still, I'm positive that this jerk was one of the many reasons we now hate clowns.