He’s written factual studies about the mythical chupacabra, about spooky New Mexico folklore like the tales of La Llorona, of monsters who live in lakes. But in his latest book, New Mexico author Benjamin Radford turns his attention to a subject that for some people is much scarier than any of those legendary creatures:

Clowns. Evil clowns. Scary clowns. Creepy clowns. Sleazy clowns. Bad clowns.

While most people don’t think much about clowns — finding them at worst corny or mildly annoying — images in recent decades of serial killer John Wayne Gacy and Stephen King’s character Pennywise, and frightening film portrayals of Batman’s old enemy The Joker by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have creeped many people out.

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