When Was the First Scary Clown Movie?

If you have ever experienced coulrophobia, or the fear of clowns, then you may want to know when the first scary clown movie was. The answer might surprise you!

Early Depictions of Clowns

Clowns have been around for centuries and were initially portrayed as comedic characters in theater productions. However, over time, their portrayal changed, and they became a symbol of horror.

The First Scary Clown Movie

The first scary clown movie was released in 1924 and was titled “He Who Gets Slapped.” The film starred Lon Chaney Sr., who played a scientist who is betrayed by his wife and assistant. He ends up becoming a clown in a circus where he is repeatedly slapped by his fellow performers.

This film set the standard for future films that would feature clowns as terrifying figures. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that clowns became synonymous with horror in pop culture.

The Rise of Killer Clowns

In 1986, Stephen King released his novel “It,” which featured a demonic entity that took on the form of a clown named Pennywise. The book was adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990 and sparked a wave of killer clown movies.

One of the most iconic killer clown movies is “Killer Klowns from Outer Space,” which was released in 1988. The film depicts aliens who come to Earth disguised as clowns to harvest humans for food.

Since then, there have been numerous films featuring scary clowns such as “Clownhouse,” “Stitches,” and “Gacy.”


So, when was the first scary clown movie? It was released back in 1924 with Lon Chaney Sr.’s performance in “He Who Gets Slapped.”

However, it wasn’t until the release of Stephen King’s “It” in 1986 that clowns became truly terrifying in pop culture. Nevertheless, scary clown movies continue to be made and continue to terrify audiences worldwide.