• Graveyard Shift

Small Details About Pennywise The Dancing Clown That Most Fans Should Know (But Probably Don't)

List RulesVote up the most interesting details regarding the terror of Derry.

Since his inception in 1985, Pennywise the Dancing Clown has been doing his part to make sure coulrophobia continues to stay on the rise. From the original Stephen King novel It to the effectively-terrifying miniseries from the '90s to his more recent big screen antics, Pennywise has been an influential character of modern nightmares for four decades. But how much do people really know about the harlequin of horror? 

Fans of the book, the miniseries, and the movies have been sharing small details and forgotten lore about Pennywise. Here are a few hidden details you might not know about the Dancing Clown. 

  • 5
    143 VOTES

    A Horrific Event Usually Causes Pennywise To Wake From It's Hibernation

    Photo: IT: Chapter 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Redditor u/feels-good-inc:


    1715 – 1716: It painfully awakes.

    1740 – 1743: It starts a three-year reign of terror that culminates in the disappearance of over three hundred settlers from Derry Township (similar to the ,lost Roanoke Colony, which was founded as a logging town.)

    1769 – 1770: It awakes again.

    1851: IT awakes when a man named John Markson poisons his own family, then commits suicide by eating a white nightshade mushroom, causing an excruciating death.

    1876 – 1879: It awakes, then returns to hibernation after murdering a group of lumberjacks who were later found near the Kenduskeag Stream.

    1904: It awakes when a lumberjack named Claude Heroux murders a dozen men in a bar with just one axe. Heroux was promptly pursued by a mob of townsfolk and hanged. In 1985, when Mike asks a witness, if he saw anyone he didn't know that night or seemed out of place.  He remembered seeing "a comical sort of fella". He also said he had seen him a few more times since.

    1906: It returns to hibernation when the Kitchener Ironworks explode, killing 108 people, 88 of whom were children at an Easter egg hunt.

    1929: It awakes when a group of Derry citizens ambushes and kills the Bradley Gang, a group of robbers and murderers. The town, including its police chief, pretends it never happened. However, a witness later recounts the tale to Mike Hanlon, including seeing a clown in farmer's attire participating in the slaying.

    1930: It returns to hibernation when the Maine Legion of White Decency, a Northern counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan, burns down "The Black Spot", a nightclub known to cater to African-Americans at the nearby army base. IT appears at the location as a giant bird with balloons on its wings, witnessed by Mike's father William Hanlon.

    1957: It awakes when Dorsey Corcoran is beaten to death by his stepfather, Richard Macklin. In October, Georgie Denbrough dies from blood loss, when his arm is torn off by Pennywise. This prompts Bill Denbrough (Georgie's older brother) to investigate, leading to the discovery of IT. He, along with several other victims of IT's torment, (the losers club) performs the Ritual of Chüd, which wounds It and forces it to return to an early hibernation.

    1984: It awakens when three bullies assault Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty, a homosexual couple. The bullies throw Mellon off a bridge and IT, in the form of Pennywise, attacks and kills him.

    Creepy bit of lore?
  • 6
    108 VOTES

    Stephen King Picked A Clown Because 'It Scares Children More Than Anything Else In The World'

    Photo: IT: Chapter 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    According to author Stephen King:

    I had an idea when I was in Colorado that I wanted to write a really long book that had all of the monsters in it. I figured if people think I’m a horror writer - I never considered myself to be that myself, I’m just a writer-writer - I thought to myself, ‘I’ll get all of the monsters together as I possibly can; I’ll get the vampire, I’ll get the werewolf, and I’ll even get the Mummy.’

    The Mummy has never really scared me because it’s like the Mummy is after us, let’s all walk. It’s not a terribly scary monster, but he had to be there because he’s one of the classics. But then I thought to myself, ‘There out to be one binding, horrible, nasty, gross, creature kind of thing that you don’t want to see, [and] it makes you scream just to see it.’

    So I thought to myself, ‘What scares children more than anything else in the world?’ And the answer was ‘clowns.’

    Creepy bit of lore?
  • 7
    97 VOTES

    It Is Implied That Pennywise Might Have Visited (And Destroyed) Other Planets

    Photo: IT: Chapter 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures


    From Redditor u/jbafofi4:

    Maturin is the creator of worlds, he created our universe by accident.

    Pennywise is the destroyer of worlds. He eats them.

    [In the book], Maturin died via choking on a galaxy or two....

    So....yes, it seems Pennywise does in fact consume worlds. He is the destruction element to Maturin's creation element.

    Creepy bit of lore?
  • 8
    166 VOTES

    Pennywise Is A Being That Is 'Older Than Time'

    Photo: It / ABC

    From the Redditor u/zedzulzorander:

    It came from outer space. From outside our universe, it is a being of pure evil, made of eternal malignant light clusters. It is a being older than time. Way before men walked the Earth, it landed as an asteroid on what is now the town of Derry. It slept for thousands of years, and got hungry and awoke when food presented itself: humans.

    Creepy bit of lore?