10 Vintage Clowns Guaranteed to give you Nightmares

Did you think clowns couldn’t get more disturbing than ‘Cho-Cho the health clown‘ who terrified young children into good dental hygiene habits in the 1920s? Well it turns out they can be a darn site scarier. I don’t think any of these clowns were intended to terrify but they’ll certainly haunt my dreams. Wish I’d never started looking for these pics now. Which do you think is the creepiest?

Scary vintage clowns

He’s behind you…. I have no idea who this clown was but the photo was taken at Ashton’s Circus in Queensland Australia in 1935.

Scary vintage clowns

If this isn’t the stuff of nightmares I don’t know what is. Ringling Circus clowns Albert “Flo” White and Gene Lewis in Sarasota, Florida 1945.

Scary vintage clowns

There is no information as to the age of this photo, where it was taken or whether that forehead is real… That somehow makes him all the more frightening…

Scary vintage clowns

Clown photographed in a studio in 1958. His badge reads ‘Come up and see me sometime’. No thanks.

Scary vintage clowns

Ringling Circus clown Charlie Bell with his dog: Sarasota, Florida 1950

Scary vintage clowns

Clowns that look like tramps – not disturbing at all. Ringling Circus clowns: Sarasota, Florida 1947.

Scary vintage clowns

Another photo of Ringling clown Charlie Bell with his pet fox terrier – Sarasota 1953.

Scary vintage clowns

Why are there no people in those bleachers? Because he’s eaten them all… A clown in pointed hat standing in front of empty bleachers before a marquee, somewhere in Queensland. C. 1920

Scary vintage clowns

A Pierrot clown with a monocle who seems to be wooing another man dressed as a woman. They’re rehearsing for a play but it’s still pretty weird. C. 1918.

Scary vintage clowns

Ringling Circus clown Lou Jacobs with Carla Wallenda: Sarasota, Florida 1941.

Image source and copyright: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, No known copyright restrictions

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  • http://cakesandcakesvintage.blogspot.com cakesandcakesvintage

    I don’t really find clowns all that creepy most of the time, but the 3rd one from the bottom, with the pointed hat – super weird. I kind of love that photo.

    • http://weheartvintage.co/ Mary, WHV

      he looks rather depressed doesn’t he?

  • Missy

    We had a clown who had a TV show in my home town, Rusty Nails … I don’t know if you’ve ever watched The Simpson’s, but their TV clown, Krusty was named after him … Rusty wasn’t very scary though … Of course the scariest clown of all was John Wayne Gacy the clown/serial killer …!

    • http://weheartvintage.co/ Mary, WHV

      Ha ha, Krusty the clown in one clown I do love. The clown in Stephen King’s IT was pretty scary too though…

  • Karrie Smith

    definitely the clown in front of the bleachers. definitely that guy. Although the clown in the first pic is SUPER creepy, if that girl doesn’t know he’s behind her. I feel like she does because it looks like the are talking to a 3rd person and he’s listening to what the girl looks like, and they are looking in the same spot (the person’s eyes?) I don’t like clowns either. My younger sister was more creeped out than me of clowns. I don’t like them. Especially when I realized they were creepy, and there was nothing good about a clown. I feel sorry for the professional clowns in Ringley’s who saw the demise of the clown, but it was something that HAD to happen. I have no idea why adults thought it was a good idea to have them around kids EVER.

    I was born in 79 and had this weird plastic clown face attached on the outside of my crib. I remember it in pictures and seeing it in our attic when I was 4, more than I remember it as an infant/toddler. Thank GOD it wasn’t looking inside the crib. It was on the short side, so when you walked in the room, you saw the face looking back at you. We found it (again) in our 20s and my sister almost peed her pants when I scared her with it. She was for real scared. I felt bad, bc I didn’t realize how scared she was of clowns. I used to make her watch IT all the time when we were young, but I didn’t realize it scarred her, where I thought it was mildly creepy at the time. I still feel really bad about it.

    • Karrie Smith

      I meant to say in the 3rd sentence: …and he’s listening to whoever the girl is looking at. See? My words don’t sense now that I saw 10 really scary super disturbing clowns!! I hated and loved this post!!!