Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares

Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares

Jacob Miller - November 21, 2017

Clowns are terrifying. No two ways about it. There is something unearthly about the fact that clowns are always smiling. It’s impossible to see behind the mask. Facial recognition is a crucial function of human behavior. When we can’t read their emotions we feel discord.

Clowns are unknowable. Clowns are abstract creatures, brought to life. They are impossible to categorize and give us anxiety because they shouldn’t exist…but they do.

“In the textbook titled New Ideas in Psychology, researcher Francis McAndrew conducted a study, explaining different stimuli that constitute “creepiness.” He defines being “creeped out” as feeling slightly threatened but not enough to run away.” One is forced to wallow in this sense of discomfort and unease while being around the object of our discomfort because you are ignoring your natural instincts to run away due to politeness.

In 1919, Sigmund Freud, in his publication “The Uncanny,” surmises that we are frightened by what is familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time. Clowns have similar features to humans: mouths, noses, ears, hands, feet, and hair. The problem is that their features are exaggerated: giant shoes, huge mouths, ghastly white faces, and big, red noses. These differences are at odds with the similar features to humans that clowns have. Leaving discomfort and fear.

Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A little girl taking some jello from a clown on a sunny day. Ranker
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A 1951 circus barber shop. Flickr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A circus performer doubles over backwards. Imgur
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A clown being followed by a skeleton. Tumblr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A pose of clowns posing for a photograph. Ranker
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A Ringling Brothers clown in a dressing room posing for a photograph that will haunt your dreams. Tumblr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A ventriloquist with his horrifying dummy. Tumblr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Clown standing behind a woman. Tumblr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Two clowns posing for an eerie photograph. Flickr
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Simply horrible. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Out of the mouth of babes. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Two horrors sharing a meaningful glance. Pinterest
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Never trust anyone wearing such a small hat. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
An emotionally dead clown staring into the soul of the photographer. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Bad touch. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
A horrifying display. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
The horse needed a lot of therapy after this ride. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
This circus looks like it was not fun. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Did he even try to look child-friendly? etsy
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
It has been confirmed that nobody likes clowns. Nobody. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Don’t look into its eyes. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
It’s coming for you. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Whoever made these costumes and thought ‘won’t this look nice? must have been a sadist. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Let take a monster and make it 15 feet tall. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
It gets worse the longer you look at it. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
I’m gunna need a bigger beer. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Why do this? BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
It’s not even smiling. BuzzFeed
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
John Wayne Gacy’s Pogo the Clown is an obvious choice. theghostdiaries
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
1924: American actor Lon Chaney (1883 – 1930) dressed as a clown for his role in the film ‘He Who Gets Slapped’, directed by Victor Sjostrom for MGM. Chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
An unidentified clown in full costume poses in an unidentified photo studio in an unknown American location around 1860. chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
20th April 1934, Coco the Clown appeared all over the world and was to be the leading clown wherever he appeared. At the time of the photograph, he was traveling with Bertram Mills Circus. chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Close-up portrait of American circus performer Felix Adler (1895 – 1960) in white-face clown make-up (and a jewel on the tip of his nose) as he smiles from behind an enormous bow tie, backstage, 1940s or 1950s. chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Photographic print, by Sarony, one half of a stereo view, featuring a head and shoulders portrait of the famous clown GL Fox, New York, New York, circa 1875. chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
Portrait of professional clown Oleg Popov, of the Moscow State Circus, circa 1955. chron
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
The patent hair grower is only one of numerous ingenious ‘props’ used by the funny men to lampoon modern customs and conventions, 1931. National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“Dainty equestrienne and grotesque clown may come from opposite ends of the earth. Offstage they fraternize like a happy family. Many of them have friends outside the show, but those who marry usually find mates among their fellow performers” 1931. National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“Clowns must tell their jokes by pantomime, for their voices cannot be heard throughout the huge tent. At the center are the originators of burlesque boxing. A member of a famous circus family referees. The female impersonator provokes laughter by tumbling from high-piled tables,” 1931. National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“Not a glance does the fat clown draw from these surly chariot pullers. Whether one- or two-humped, members of the camel family have double-barreled tempers, swivel joints permitting kicking in any direction, and no sense of humor.” National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“Majesty goes into the parade led by buffoonery. Even these ridiculous grooms cannot destroy the age-old dignity of the stately dromedaries, and the girl riders laugh at the contrast. No two clowns look exactly alike. Once a man “makes up” in a peculiar manner, he has a moral copyright on that type of appearance.” National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“The merry old clown, who loves children and is popular with them wherever he goes, enjoys giving a tiny visitor a special treat. He knows stories of famous performers who were born in the circus, cradled in trunk tills, and reared under the big top.” National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
“Stilts, once used by armies in the Low Countries for marching across flooded areas, have become an important adjunct of modern clowning. The taller of these lanky fun makers must stoop when he passes through the performers’ entrance to the “big top” behind him.” National Geographic
Horrifying Vintage Photographs of Clowns That Will Give You Nightmares
He is telling them about his pet pig, Pork Chops, which follows him around the hippodrome track and drinks from a bottle like a baby. National Geographic
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