Over the years, clowns have become a universal symbol for something that is meant to delight children but is in fact utterly terrifying. Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images This has been reinforced by popularity of The Joker, the rise of the Juggalo nation, and real-life psychos like John Wayne Gacy. Warner Bros Psychopathic Records But as scary as clowns get, they've got nothing on ventriloquist dummies. Ventriloquist dummies are the worst. Edward Gooch / Getty Images Maybe you're thinking "no way, they're not scary, just sorta weird." Maybe you're thinking of a dummy like this, which is a little unsettling but not exactly horrifying. Via Flickr: iluvcocacola But the truth is, dummies like that are an outlier. Most ventriloquist dummies are sinister, distorted simulacrums of humanity like this awful little dummy right here. Ralph Hockens / Via Flickr: rhockens Most ventriloquist dummies are part uncanny valley, and part bad acid trip. Fpg / Getty Images And for some reason, most old-timey dummies look like total dirtbags. John Pratt / Getty Images Apparently everyone in the early 20th century assumed that kids would love anything that looked and acted like their sleaziest drunk uncles. John Pratt / Getty Images Even the "classy" dummies look like they're up to no good. Hulton Archive / Getty Images (Here's that same dummy in blackface, to really amp up the awfulness of it all.) FPG / Staff Would you let the flesh-and-blood version of this evil perv lure your daughter into his weird box? Fred Morley / Getty Images Of course not. He's whispering "nothing matters, life doesn't matter, we all become dust" in her ear. George Konig / Getty Images And no, the female dummies were no less disturbing. Fox Photos / Getty Images That little girl on the left is right to look at this horrible mockery of humanity with total disdain. Ugh, just keep this creepy girl dummy away from the "toddlers." Go ahead and try to make it through even one minute of this without wanting to scream, or die. View this video on YouTube youtube.com "When children grumble and complain, it makes the whole family upset," says the world's worst fascist dummy child. There's just something very troubling when you see humans posing with these dummies like they're actually people. Hulton Archive / Getty Images That little wooden bastard may be your meal ticket, buddy, but he's not your friend. It's even worse when the dummies are made to be...sensual. Here we are in the 21st century, and we haven't improved ventriloquist dummies even a little bit. Still totally repugnant! TJ Ryan / Via Flickr: 48994449@N00 But at least these days they're rare, and not, like, at the center of popular culture. John Moore / Getty Images Thank your lucky stars.