Revisit " Sister, Sister " and more '90s TV throwbacks that need a revival now. See our picks list. A serial killer dressed in a clown mask and a long black robe terrorizes a small town and murders people randomly and for no apparent reason. A man whose girlfriend gets killed by the clown seeks revenge and enacts his own brand of vigilante justice. Julian Cheah directed and starred in "Killer Clown", which turned out to be a major snoozefest.
The evil clown is a subversion of the traditional comic clown character, in which the playful trope is instead rendered as disturbing through the use of horror elements and dark humor. The modern archetype of the evil clown was popularized by DC Comics character the Joker starting in and again by Pennywise in Stephen King 's novel It. The character can be seen as playing on the sense of unease felt by sufferers of coulrophobia , the fear of clowns. The modern archetype of the evil clown has unclear origins; the stock character appeared infrequently during the 19th century, in such works as Edgar Allan Poe 's " Hop-Frog ",  which is believed by Jack Morgan, of the University of Missouri-Rolla , to draw upon an earlier incident "at a masquerade ball", in the 14th century, during which "the King and his frivolous party, costumed—in highly flammable materials—as simian creatures, were ignited by a flambeau and incinerated, the King narrowly escaping in the actual case. During the s the National Lampoon published a series of mock comic books in the pages of the magazine, entitled "Evil Clown", which featured a malevolent titular character named Frenchy the Clown. During that decade, American serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy became known as the Killer Clown when arrested in , after it was discovered he had performed as Pogo the Clown at children's parties and other events; however, Gacy did not actually commit his crimes while wearing his clown costume.
Clown sightings: the day the craze began
Amy Tikkanen is the general corrections manager, handling a wide range of topics that include Hollywood, politics, books, and anything related to the Titanic. She has worked at Britannica for Harmless jokers or evil lunatics? While clowns usually aim for laughs, the reaction from many—especially those who suffer from coulrophobia fear of clowns —is more like fear.