One of the Scariest Things About Movie Clowns?

Their toys.

Let’s get this out of the way first: The new Poltergeist remake is not very scary, especially if you’ve seen and loved the original. But the one thing that may creep you out are the clowns, which are admittedly low-hanging fruit. Clowns are weird, unsettling, the stuff of nightmares. That’s just the truth—it’s the reason that so many movies and TV shows meant to terrify you turn to them for them that extra horrific jolt. 

And besides the painted faces and off-kilter cackles, the “toys” they use to haunt and kill their prey may just be the scariest thing about them. Balloons are never threatening—until they’re in the hands of a clown. Watch the video above to enjoy our favorite scenes of clowns turning childhood delights into abject terror.