With McDonald's dialing down on their usage of Ronald McDonald in advertising over the past decade and us being too old to have clowns at our birthday parties, our coulrophobia (intense fear of clowns) hasn't been as bad as it was when we were kids. Out of sight, out of mind! Then clowns started wandering around the streets at night in random cities all over the world last year and Warner Bros. just came out with a remake of Stephen King's It, so we're back to being terrified of anyone with white face makeup and a big red nose. All the commercials and ads we keep seeing of It's Pennywise the Dancing Clown make us shudder every time we see them, but they're not half as bad as these absolutely horrifying clown pictures!
15 Real-life security camera footage
Throughout October 2014, a number of clowns wandered around the streets of Wasco, California at night. They started out by simply walking around the town's parks, but soon took things a step further and started roaming around neighborhoods and even backyards. This picture is actually a screencap of security camera footage from someone's house! Just imagine looking outside your bedroom window and seeing this creepy AF clown. To make matters worse, some of the Wasco clowns had a bit of an evil streak—one child reported to the local news station that he was chased down the street by a clown carrying an ax, and a deputy from the county sheriff's office said that he'd received several reports of crimes committed in the area by people in clown costumes. We would have packed our bags and moved out of that town immediately!
14 Alamo Drafthouse's all-clown screening of 'It'
The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain made its way into the news earlier this summer when it offered a screening of Wonder Woman for an all-female audience. That was an awesome idea, and we were totally #teamdrafthouse... right until they announced they were also going to do an all-clown screening of It. The only thing scarier than watching a movie about a murderous clown is imagining yourself watching it while being surrounded by entire theater full of clowns! This is a picture of that absolutely terrifying screening, and it's everything we knew it would be. Even the tamer clowns who just threw on a tiny bit of white face paint and a red nose look scary, and we're sure it was worse once the lights in the theater turned off and the movie started to play.
13 These babies, who have no clue how scary they are
Babies are basically just large dolls that their parents can dress up however they want. While most parents simply take embarrassing pictures of their babies wearing overly cutesy dresses or suits, more twisted adults apparently adorn their kids in clown outfits and apply the most terrifying make-up imaginable to turn their little ones into nightmare-inducing monsters. These babies were probably really adorable before their killer clown makeovers, but we can't see past their terrifying eyes or creepy smiles! It's a good thing they're too young to really realize just how scary they look, because otherwise a quick glance in a mirror could completely traumatize them! If this is how kids are going to look this Halloween, we're going to lock ourselves in our homes and cry the whole night.
12 World's scariest brothers
Yeah, we love dressing up in costume and eating copious amounts of candy, but screw Halloween. Most kids will likely be wearing the standard superhero or SpongeBob SquarePants costumes this year, but we're sure the popularity of clowns this year means we'll get at least a few children looking like this at our doorstep on October 31, and we are not about that life. We didn't think it got any worse than adult clowns like Pennywise, but somehow, short and evil-looking kid brother clowns in practically identical outfits are 10 times more disturbing. These siblings look like they'd have a blast breaking into your home at night and absolutely terrorizing you. Why couldn't they have just dressed up as Batman and Robin like normal brothers?!
11 Nope, still creepy
Here's the ultimate proof that all clowns are scary, no matter what they look like! This birthday performer couldn't have done a better job trying to dial down the scariness of her clown look. She drew cute swirls on her rosy cheeks, she has bright blue hair and a very colorful outfit, and looks like she belongs on the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. With all that, she can't possibly frighten anyone, right? Wrong! Be honest, even though you find her slightly adorable, you'd still totally panic and lock all your doors and windows if you saw her standing outside of your house at night. She just has that "I'll make you a balloon animal... and then I'll kill you" look in her eyes!
10 Beach day... ruined
Tiana, the little girl in this picture, loves making killer clown videos with her cameraman father and posting them on YouTube. This particular screencap comes from her video "Scary Killer Clown Attacks Kids On The Beach," which has an incredible 47 million views. All fathers and daughters have different ways of bonding with each other, and we're doing our best not to judge them for bonding over terrifying killer clowns. What we are judging them for is forcing all of the other people on this beach to witness a clown emerging from the ocean and attacking a little girl! The innocent bystanders in the video certainly weren't expecting a freaky clown to ruin their beach day, and now we have to add oceans to the list of places we can't go for fear of running into a clown.
9 Perfect for parents who like torturing their kids
Believe it or not, this is actually a popular birthday clown in Lucerne, Switzerland! Dominic Deville is a self-proclaimed evil clown, who parents can hire to stalk their poor children for up to an entire week, sending them scary texts, making prank phone calls, following them from a distance and ultimately attacking them with a cake to the face. The stalking can be put on hold at any time if the kids get too freaked out or the parents ask him to stop, but the fact that there are parents who are actually cruel enough to hire and pay him for this is terrifying. Even Deville himself admits, "I'd probably be in therapy right now if this service was around while I was growing up."
8 This guy wasn't even trying to be scary, though
Dominic Deville tried looking like a evil clown, but not all clowns want to purposely scare the life out of kids around their birthdays. Some simply try bringing some joy to a party with some jokes or balloons... but they end up freaking everyone out anyway! This clown didn't want to stalk anyone or attack them with a cake to the face, but his mere existence was enough to totally ruin the birthday girl's day. Just look at how uncomfortable these girls look, and how close together they're standing—it's pretty obvious that they don't want to stand next to this dude with his depressed expression and pitch-black eyes. This is why magicians will always make for way better birthday party entertainment than clowns!
7 Send it back! Send it back!
Your doorbell rings and you open the door to find a giant box with your name written on top sitting right outside. You bring the box into your home and cut it open, expecting to find a present from a friend or family member inside, but instead a killer clown pops out. This is the sort of stuff you'd think could only happen in a nightmare, but this picture brings that terrifying story to life. Good luck opening any large packages on your birthday or during the holidays for the rest of your life now! We don't care if this was just a prank... this little girl is never going to be able to visit a circus ever again. And quite frankly, neither are we.
6 Traumatized for life
In this prank video, mischievous little kids are attacked by evil clowns for trying to drive their parents' cars. It's definitely a clever concept and a great way to keep kids from getting into trouble... but what happens when this experience makes them too afraid to ever sit behind the wheel? You don't just forget being attacked by a clown with gigantic crooked teeth, a horrifying smile or those evil eyes! Several years from now when this girl is old enough to legally drive, she's still going to be too traumatized to do so and won't be able to get her license. We hope these parents are cool with the fact that their prank guaranteed they'll be driving their little girl around for the next several decades.
5 Always check your backseat
This was just a joke. This clown wasn't actually a threat to this cute little girl. That's not really his face, it's just a super scary mask. We understand all that, but it doesn't make us any less horrified to look at this picture! Just look at his freaky nose, sharp teeth and nightmarish eyes. Monsters popping up in the backseat of a character's car just when they thought thought were finally safe is a classic gag that happens way too often in horror movies—we always expect it, but still find ourselves jumping out of our seats when it does. Seeing it happen to a little girl here is just too much for us to handle. We're already checking in our closets and under our beds every night; do we have to inspect our backseats and car trunks too?!
4 Accidentally terrifying
We're right there with you, girl! This well-intentioned dad bought a clown costume to wear while trick-or-treating with his daughter on Halloween, and thought he found one that wouldn't freak her out too bad. He was sorely mistaken, and we totally don't blame her for being disturbed—his mask is like, ridiculously freaky. Between the huge glowing eyes, the yellowed teeth and the open mouth, it looks like he wants to devour her in one huge bite! When the dad tried picking his adorable princess up, she totally lost her sh*t and unsurprisingly started bawling her little eyes out. It's time to get it into your heads, parents... there is no such thing as a "non-threatening" clown costume. All clowns are monsters!
3 We can't even look at this one
We've seen a lot of clowns in our days. Way, way too many for our liking. But this has to be the most terrifying clown we've ever seen... and hopefully, will ever see. It would have been scary enough if this clown had normal eyes with that creepy smile and white face paint eerily dripping down his neck, but no, this guy had to make his look infinitely worse by giving his eyeballs a set of teeth! That's a horrifying three set of teeth this clown can eat you with. We can't unsee this picture, and we fully expect this clown to show up in our nightmares for at least the next year. Thank goodness Stephen King didn't make Pennywise look like this, because if he had... we'd have to break our televisions in fear of coming across an It preview.
2 This Fourth of July clown
We understand that parents commonly invite clowns to their kids' birthday parties. We'd never subject our own kids to that torture, but clowns have been birthday staples for years, so we get it. We don't get the idea of having clowns at a Fourth of July party, however. Independence Day should be a holiday where you can enjoy your friends and family and not have to worry about bumping into a clown like this. Sparklers are decently safe (which is why even little kids are allowed to play with them), but somehow this clown makes them look like the world's freakiest weapons. Just imagine sitting outside on a pitch-black night, and seeing a pair of sparklers illuminate this clown's haunting eyes and bloody smile.
1 The world's OG evil clown
Here he is, the OG killer clown—Ronald McDonald. The man who gave us coulrophobia long before we knew what that word meant and made us unable to even think about going to a circus ever since we first saw his red wig and creepy grin. We loved Happy Meals and the toys that came with them, but we were always too nervous to walk into a Mickey D's because we might see a poster or cardboard cut-out of Ronald in the restaurant. Ronald was all smiles when he picked this little girl up for a photo op, but her expression proves that McDonald's probably should have chosen Grimace or the Hamburgler to be their mascot. Thankfully, they've stopped including him in commercials and ads lately, so we're finally able to enjoy our Big Macs in peace.