Are you ready for the most twisted season of “American Horror Story” yet? According to Ryan Murphy, the man behind the hit FX anthology, he’s creating a “Freak Show” villain so terrifying it will put Rubber Man, Bloody Face and all the other nightmare-inducing creatures he’s created over the past three seasons to shame.
“I’m worried that people are going to have cardiac arrests,” he teased during his interview with BuzzFeed of the Season 4 villain, Twisty the Clown (John Carrol Lynch).
“We said in the writer’s room that if we were going to do clowns, we were going to create the most terrifying clown of all time,” Murphy revealed. “That was our goal when we were writing him, but I’m worried about people being too afraid of our clown. It’s heart-stopping what he does.”
Murphy explained that the clown’s intro in the Season 4 premiere is “brutal.”
“Two crew members told me they have had nightmares about this clown since we started shooting -- and they’re not even scared of clowns. I think he’s pretty extraordinary because, when you see why he’s a clown and why he’s wearing the mask … just you wait,” he teased.
Twisty wouldn’t be the first clown to send us to bed with the lights on. Coulrophobira, the fear of clowns, is a distress that the TV/movie industry has used to advantage to spook us silly. Check out the 7 scariest clowns we’ve seen on the small and big screen throughout the years. Warning: Things are about to get seriously disturbing.
1. Pennywise from Stephen King’s “It”: Tim Curry played the role of the deranged clown from the 1990 psychological thriller. We don’t know what was more scary, Pennywise’s pointy teeth or the fact that he ripped off little Georgie’s arm in the very first scene. Way to set the tone, King.
2. “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”: As if aliens weren’t scary enough, the Choido Brothers decided to create a science-fiction horror comedy that featured circus clowns from space that had an appetite for human flesh. Since watching the klowns store their victims in cotton candy-shaped cocoons, we haven’t been able to look at the fluffy treat treat the same way again.
3. Gurdy From “100 Tears”: After being wrongly accused of crimes he didn’t commit, this lonely circus clown sought revenge on those who unjustly condemned him. Years later, the urban legend has been told that Gurdy is now an unstoppable murderous circus performer. Cue the bloody vengeance of a freaky circus performer!
4. Zeebo From “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”: The '90s Nickelodeon series managed to hit the nerve of every viewer with its creepy story plots. But the haunted tale of Zeebo the Clown was an episode that had most of us sleeping with the lights on. Note to self: Don’t steal a clown’s nose -- especially when there's a legend that he’ll come back from the dead to retrieve it.
5. Ghost Clowns From “Supernatural”: The Winchester brothers have had their fair share of clown interactions -- mainly because Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam on the hit CW series, has a serious phobia of them. Watch Sam fight off two clown ghosts in “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magic Menagerie,” from Season 7:
6. Captain Spaulding From “The Devil’s Rejects”: Sid Haig set the new standard for killer clowns when he appeared in the Rob Zombie sequel. We love to hate him in this film.
7. Killer Clown From “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: While enjoying a sweet dream about chocolate, Xander (Alexander Harris) comes to a halt when he sees a treat from his past -- one he hasn’t seen since his sixth birthday when he was spooked by a clown. His dream turns into a nightmare when he hears the laughter of a clown. Soon the creepy circus performer appears from behind a sheet with a knife.
Are you afraid of clowns? Don't forget to tune in to see the "scariest clown of all time" when "American Horror Story: Freak Show" premieres on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 10 p.m. EDT on FX.