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22 Pictures That Prove Clowns Have Always Been Scary

A spooktacular look back in time, presented by Getty Images.

In light of recent "killer clown" sightings across America and the UK, BuzzFeed dove deep into the Getty Images archives to discover the origins of our deep-seated clown anxieties.

Sleep tight ;-)

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Lon Chaney as the character "He" in the 1924 MGM silent movie, "He Who Gets Slapped," directed by Victor Seastrom.

Fpg / Getty Images

A young boy appears traumatized by the experience of riding miniature horse during a visit by the circus to a children's hospital, circa 1930. The clown doesn't seem to be helping much.

Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images
Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images

A photographic carte-de-visite of the clown named 'GL Fox', taken at Sarony studios in New York City, circa 1870 (left). Photograph of an unnamed clown posed in Glasgow, Scotland, circa 1885 (right).

Vintage Images / Getty Images

A group of young girls dance in clown costumes, early 20th Century.

Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

Comedian and clown named 'Spain' with three of his clown children in 1937.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Actor Lon Chaney dressed as a clown for his role in the film 'He Who Gets Slapped' in 1924.

Keystone-france / Getty Images

A young girl is visibly upset after being picked up by a clown during the early 20th century.

Weegee / Getty Images
Getty Images

A happy circus clown smiles for the camera after applying is makeup, circa 1950 (left) A clown applies his false eyelashes before a performance in 1955.

Fpg / Getty Images

A heavily made up clown wearing a fake collar laughs heartily, circa 1940.

Keystone-france / Getty Images

On the graduating day of a clown school in 1954, a clown gets dressed with a smile as his teacher looks onward (left). A little boy's dreams become reality as a huge inflatable clown looms over his bed in 1954 (right).

Fred Morley / Getty Images

A group of children pose with a clown during a holiday party for a firm engaged in war work during WWII in 1941.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

Waitresses are shown being made up as clowns for the annual supper of the Circus Fans' Association in January, 1936.

Allan Grant / Getty Images
George Hurrell / John Kobal Foundation / Getty Images

Actor and singer Bing Crosby is seen dressed as a clown for a charity show to benefit St. John's Hospital in Hollywood, 1948 (left). Portrait of actor Lon Chaney (right) in clown costume, as he appears in the movie 'Laugh Clown Laugh' in 1928.

Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

A clown offers a group of children candy, circa 1950s.

Hamlin / Getty Images
Getty Images

A 78 year old clown named 'Whimsical Walker' is pictured in London, England, 1928 (left). A clown of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is seen showing a pig to child in 1941 (right).

Imagno / Getty Images

The clowns of the Bertram Mills-Circus are pictured in 1936.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

American actress and singer Liza Minnelli as a child in the arms of Bozo the Clown at a children's Easter party in Hollywood, 1948.

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