Committed to develop the scariest monster that would bring fear in children like no other creature before, Stephen King created Pennywise the dancing clown.
It all started out as a novel in 1986 that was later adapted into a mini movie series in 1990. But the newest 2017 remake that has been just released in movie theaters has reminded adults of their childhood fear of clowns.
After recurring incidents of missing children strikes a small town in Maine, a group of kids that call themselves “The Losers” team up together to defeat Pennywise. Here we compiled some interesting facts about Pennywise that you probably didn’t know — whether you watched the remake or not.
Shall we float?
10. Pennywise existed way before the Big Bang.
Something that leads the audience in question is Pennywise’s backstory. His backstory is creepier than any horror icon to date. The creature’s preferred form as Pennywise the clown existed before the Big Bang and is older than the universe itself.
As in the novel, he belongs from a dimension called the Macroverse. Once he came on Earth, he hibernated until the 18th century. After that, it’s pretty obvious what he does. It’s claimed that Pennywise wakes up every 27 years for a batch of new victims. For instance, Pennywise killed 300 settlers in Derry which was written off as a mystery.
9. He’s a shape-shifting alien.
Pennywise is mostly in the form of a clown, though he appears as different creatures too. He has the ability to find out its victims deepest fears and shapeshift into them. As a being from another dimension, he is able to also read and manipulate with his victim’s minds.
8. He’s similar to Freddy Krueger.
Freddy Krueger from Nightmare On Elm Street was able to change forms and torment his victims in their dreams. Pennywise, similar to Freddy, has a dark sense of humor often cracking jokes at his victims. “Is you fridge running? Well you better catch it before it runs away.”
7. He added to the evilness of clowns.
The roots of the fear of clowns dates back to the release of the novel “It.” Pennywise helped kick off the entire ‘evil clown’ image which was later seen in other characters in movies like Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988), The Clown At Midnight (1999) and even inspired the Joker from Batman.
6. There’s a punk band named after him.
King’s novel not only inspired movie icons, but also music bands as well. The 4 piece punk band named Pennywise even sometimes performed in a clown costume because ‘it was their way of becoming more intimate.’ This later inspired other bands like Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse.
5. He was ranked #8 on Rolling Stone’s evil villains poll.
Rolling Stone magazine issued a poll in 2014 to rate the best horror icons. Pennywise won 8th place, which was pretty successful knowing that he only was part of a miniseries and not an actual motion picture. He created a unique widespread of clowns for the first time in history.
4. He symbolizes social anxiety.
Several incidents inspired by Pennywise have occurred throughout the world. In 2013, the residents of Northampton in England reported seeing a clown who looked “just like Pennywise” in their city. This ended being a group of 2-3 people who terrorized the residents for one month.
Same occurrences were later reported in Canada and eventually the U.S., with clown attacks happening in every state.
3. Why Pennywise scares children.
It’s believed that Pennywise goes to great lengths to chase and torment children because he thinks they taste better when they’re scared. He even says it at one point, “You all taste better when you’re afraid!” While he has enough powers to simple consume a child, he enjoys the process of scaring the children before his big meal.
2. He has weaknesses.
Even though he’s an almighty being from another dimension, Stephen King mentions in his novel that It has to obey the physical laws of any shape or creature he chooses to shift into.
This means that in any form It takes on, like Pennywise the clown, he’s able to feel pain, bleed and getting hurt. Other things that weakens him are when children stop being afraid and gain courage to defeat him.
1. Pennywise was inspired by a massive clown murderer.
Can I say that I saved the best for last? Even though It was one of King’s best performing novels, Pennywise wasn’t created out of thin air.
It’s said that Pennywise was inspired by real-life serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. He would dress up as “Pogo the clown” and attack teenage boys in his basement. He was later sentenced to death in 1980 for over 30 crimes – that were known of. It was believed that he had committed many more.
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