Pennywise the Clown: Stephen King's Take on Every Kid's Worst Nightmare

Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Sounds innocent enough, right? If you've never read Stephen King's IT, or seen the film and TV adaptations, you might think the name conjures a friendly image of a happy clown entertaining children with a funny dance. Of course, if you are familiar with Pennywise, you know nothing could be further from the truth. And if you're one of the millions of adults suffering from coulrophobia (the deep-rooted fear of clowns we've discussed in a past article), Pennywise will terrify you whether you know the truth or not!

Clowns can be scary enough on their own, it's true. But Pennywise takes this a step further, as the clown persona is just a disguise IT uses to lure in vulnerable children. Its true form is impossible to understand and drives people insane just by looking at it, and it appears on Earth as a massive pregnant spider, which brings to mind all sorts of terrible implications. If that's not a perfect recipe for horror, we don't know what is.

Now, if you're ready, we'll delve a bit into the backstory and mythology of Stephen King's most notorious villain.

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