In the list of unexplained fears, coulrophobia — fear of clowns — is one of the strangest, yet it’s incredibly common. Some children will burst into tears and tremble when faced with one. Many clowns get upset by this, but others have decided to embrace the terror and turn their juggling and slapstick talents toward evil. We’ll showcase ten incredibly terrifying clowns, some who are closer than you think.
Attempted Ax Murder Clown
Typically when you post a Facebook status saying that you’re going to be “cleaning up the mess you made your life,” you don’t follow that up by dressing up as a clown and bursting into a woman’s house with an ax. Tell that to Jimmy Raybon of Hickory, North Carolina. In August of 2015, Raybon posted an inspirational message to his wall, but just four days later for an as yet unexplained reason, he tried to hit a female friend with a weapon, but she managed to escape and he also fled. A few days later, Raybon turned himself in and was booked on charges of breaking and entering and assault with a deadly weapon.
Klutzo: The Child Molesting Clown
One of the biggest terrors that clowns provide is that, behind the makeup, they could be hiding anything. Meet Amon Paul Carlock, a former police officer who traveled the world as “Klutzo the Christian Clown,” making balloon animals for young people. When he returned to the United States from a missionary trip to the Philippines, authorities discovered a porn cache of naked children on his computer. Klutzo was booked into the county jail during the investigation but died there after a corrections officer tased him after he wouldn’t stop screaming.
Wrinkles: The Terror Clown
Fear is a powerful tool in parenting, and if your little one is freaked out by clowns, why not use that to your advantage. “Wrinkles” is a clown for hire in Naples, Florida who is deliberately unsettling, from his ill-fitting mask to the black rubber gloves he covers his hands with. He doesn’t do tricks – instead, his whole business is in scaring the crap out of people. For a fee, he’ll show up at a party or other event to scare the living hell out of your misbehaving kid (and other targets). Behind the mask, Wrinkles is a military vet from Rhode Island who decided to pursue a second career in horror clowning.
The Northampton Clown
What would you do if you were out for a pint at the local pub and walked out the front door to discover a clown standing motionless on the street staring at you? In 2013, residents of the British town of Northampton were terrified by the mysterious appearance of a white-faced clown who held a bundle of balloons. He never made any aggressive motions, but his mere presence was enough to really freak people out. In October, a newspaper identified him as 22-year-old student and aspiring filmmaker Alex Powell, who just wanted to mess with people’s minds a little bit.
Kid-Chasing Knife Clown
The run-up to Halloween often makes people do weird things. Just ask Nathaniel Dunivin, who got himself into quite a bit of trouble in October 2015 by getting dressed in full clown regalia and scaring the hell out of a bunch of schoolchildren waiting at a bus stop. Dunivin was wielding a butcher knife and chasing kids, but thankfully nobody was hurt. Police came to the scene and easily identified the culprit as he was still wearing a clown mask and carrying a knife. His father blamed Dunivin’s acts on PTSD from his military time in Afghanistan.
“El Tin Larin”: The Child Rapist Clown
Can you think of a more terrifying experience than being pulled into a car by a man in full clown makeup? The victim of Jose Guadalupe Jimenez, who worked Los Angeles birthday parties under the name “El Tin Larin,” unfortunately did. In 2002, Jiminez pulled up to a fast food restaurant then kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl, afterwards, bringing her to a motel. The girl managed to escape, but her assailant wasn’t found until El Tin Larin was busted on another child abuse case in 2010 and had a DNA test done. His results matched up with the earlier crime and the perverted Bozo got ten years in the pokey.
French Clown Gangs
One of the reasons that bad people dress up like clowns, aside from the built-in fear factor, is anonymity. Slap on enough white face paint and a big red nose and your victims won’t be able to pick you out of a lineup. That’s what authorities believe was the inspiration for the wave of clown-related violence that swept France in 2014. Multiple arrests were made around the country, most notably in the case of a man in Montpellier who brutally attacked another person with an iron bar while in full clown costume. The town of Vendargues even banned clown costumes for any reason in wake of the violence.
Dominic Deville: An Evil Birthday Stalker Clown
Unlike many of the other clowns on this list, Dominic Deville carries out his offensive actions legally. That doesn’t make them any less creepy. Deville is the alter ego of a man in Switzerland who saw a market for evil clowns and will even stalk your child for a fee. When you hire him, he’ll spend up to a week stalking your intended target, leaving them terrifying notes and popping up at unexpected intervals. At the end of the contract, Deville attacks, smashing a cake into the victim’s face. Let’s be frank: if somebody did this to us, we’d be filing lawsuits.
John Wayne Gacy (a.k.a. “Pogo The Clown”)
Probably the most notorious killer clown in human history, John Wayne Gacy was a Chicago serial killer responsible for the murders of at least 33 young boys. As “Pogo The Clown”, Gacy performed at children’s parties during his time off from working as a building contractor. In 1972, he brought a teenage boy named Timothy McCoy to his house and killed him, disposing of the body in the crawlspace. He would go on to lure dozens more to his murder den before he was caught in 1978. Imprisoned for life, he started a second career as a painter, creating images of himself in full clown makeup.
The West Palm Beach Clown Murderer
Let’s close this baby out with the story of a killer clown who was never brought to justice. In 1990, a Wellington, Florida woman named Marlene Warren opened the front door of her house to see a clown holding a bunch of balloons and a bouquet of flowers. Her delight quickly turned to terror as the clown pulled out a pistol and shot her once in the face. Warren’s son came running and saw the killer clown jump into a Chrysler LeBaron and peel out, but he didn’t get the license plate. The murderer is still out there somewhere, but it’s unknown if he’s a full-time clown or was just moonlighting.
THE 10 SCARIEST CLOWNS IN THE WORLD