This Gallery Of Vintage Clowns Proves They’ve Always Been Scary

First off, if you suffer from coulrophobia*, this gallery is definitely not for you.

Children’s entertainment today is usually cute, friendly, cheerful, and above all an enjoyable experience everyone. Turns out, that’s something of a new concept. As anyone who’s checked out a book of 19th century fairy tales will tell you, vintage children’s entertainment used to be WAY scarier, and clowns are no exception. Our friends at Flashbak, who are clearly much braver than we are, have compiled this gallery of creepy clowns from days of old. Far from the goofy birthday party entertainers we know today, these “clowns” look like they just stepped out of your nightmares. It’s a miracle any of the kids in these photos grew up to be functioning adults.


*Fear of clowns, and not fear of Full House star Dave Coulier. (That gallery is coming next week.)

1. Pictured: the last time this woman got a good night’s sleep for the rest of her life.

2. Apparently the thought process for clown outfits used to be, “Dress up like a murderer and then add makeup.”

3. It’s a shame only two of this man’s 17 personalities showed up.

4. Well, at least this’ll have kids eating healthier.

5. This Happy Meal comes with a side of existential despair.

6. “No, I haven’t had any problems since going off my meds. Why do you ask?”

7. Seriously, who thought “clowns staring over women’s shoulders” was cute?!

8. Might be time to find a new babysitter, ma’am.

9. If you look at this photo past midnight, everyone climbs out of it and eat you.

10. Oh cool! He’s right in the middle of the classic trick where he makes a dog balloon animal and then devours her soul!

11. Dad thought it would be safe to approach a clown in broad daylight. He thought wrong.

12. “If I just look straight ahead and don’t turn to the left, he’s not really there.”

13. The other kids in this gallery had it easy. These kids have clowns for parents.

14. It’s a wonder anyone ever ate at McDonalds.

15. “You know what, honey? I don’t think the kids are having enough nightmares. Let’s take ’em to see that clown.”