‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Confirms That Clowns Really Are Terrifying [Video]

Here’s a vocabulary lesson for you — the word is coulrophobia, and it means “fear of clowns.” Yup, that’s really a thing, and after you watch these trailers, you’ll see why. Because just when we thought that the trailers for American Horror Story: Freak Show couldn’t get any creepier, the producers send in the clowns.

The show released three more trailers this week, and two of them featured clowns. And these clowns are enough to make Pennywise look tame. The first video, called “Open Wide” shows a clown in white make-up so thick it appears clotted, eyes without whites and so dark they appear black, and mouth painted a wet crimson that looks more like blood than clown paint. Slowly, the clown smiles — an unnatural smile that quickly turns into a look of horror.

Here — watch for yourself below, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

The second video is called “Twisted Smile,” and in this preview, we learn that the only thing creepier than a clown is a clown who dances. And those teeth!

Even with the warnings from American Horror Story: Freak Show co-creator Ryan Murphy telling us that this season would include “the most terrifying clown ever,” this seems like the show has taken it a little too far!

In American Horror Story: Freak Show, Jessica Lange plays Elsa Mars, who owns the last remaining freak show in America. It takes place in Jupiter, Florida, during the 1950s. The show also stars Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson (who plays a set of conjoined twins), Angela Basset, Frances Conroy, Evan Peters, and Denis O’Hare.

Apparently, Murphy and Jessica Lange have long thought about the idea of having a season that focuses on an “old-time” freak show concept, but, according to Murphy, all the versions they had discussed had been lighter… but he’s pretty pleased with how the show has turned out.

As he told Entertainment Weekly, “I just love it. It feels really right. I thought it was going to be light but it’s turning out to be quite terrifyingly dark, which it feels much more like the ‘Asylum’ season. But look — if you have a character named the Clown Killer, it’s going to be dark.”

So far, the trailers have given us a lady with three legs, a man with a split tongue, a horrifying and unexplained claw, a caged woman, and a sword swallower.

The season premiers October 8 on FX.