Fan Fest ’31 Days of Slashers’: 6 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Pennywise
Happy October, my fellow geeklings! Now that October has finally stumbled upon us, we can officially begin our haunting season. For the month of October, we will be doing ’31 Days of Slashers’, which will feature facts, spotlights and even some interviews from some of our favorite iconic horror villains.
Are you ready for Halloween?! We sure are!
Today we will be covering 6 Facts You Probably Didn’t know about Pennywise!
6. He’s Older Than The Universe Itself
Pennywise existed long before The Big Bang occurred, in a dimension known as the Macroverse. After coming to Earth, he entered a state of hibernation and awoke in early 18th century America to sustain himself on human victims before returning to his slumber. He then established a hibernation pattern that allowed him to wake up every 27 years to begin culling new victims. In the mid-18th Century, for instance, he was behind the disappearance of 300 settlers in Derry.
5. He Gave Stephen King Writers Block
It’s not easy to stump a writer as illustrated as Stephen King, but the character of Pennywise certainly did it. According to an interview with IMDB.com, “The length derived from King’s desire to have all his favorite monsters in one place. King remarked that if he’d written the script for It (1990), it would have been a 32 hour miniseries. It’s also King’s last monster oriented story to date, as well as the last about traumatized children. This book gave him writer’s block, a rare thing for King.”
4. Pennywise has Limitations
Pennywise may seem like he is an all-powerful entity, but in reality he isn’t all that. Stephen King stated in his novel that ‘It’ has to obey the physical laws of whatever form it takes on. For example, if Pennywise were to take on the form of a mummy it was only as physically capable as supernatural mummy would be. If he were to be the shark, he would only be physically capable as a supernatural shark. Stephen King also established that feelings as courage and friendship can defeat ‘It’ in its most powerful form.
3. He was Inspired by a Real-Life Serial Killer.. and Iconic Clowns
All authors derive their inspiration from somewhere, and Pennywise was certainly an inspiration. The antagonist side of Pennywise was inspired by John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer known as “Killer Clown” who came to the spotlight in the late 1970s. John Wayne Gacy would dress up as a clown to murder teenage boys, and was responsible for at least 33 crimes in the state of Illinois.
King also drew inspiration for the character from both Ronald McDonald, and Bozo the Clown. According to an interview with Conan O’Brien Stephen King mentioned an encounter with Ronald McDonald, the author expressed how he fundamentally believes that clowns were always just entertaining for parents, but ultimately terrifying for kids.
2. He’s Mentioned in Other King Novels
Although Pennywise may have originated in It, he has also been teased (or featured) in other novels. Pennywise appears in The Tommyknockers, and was mentioned in 11/22/63, Gray Matter, Dreamcatcher, and Insomnia.
1. He’s a Major Cause of Coulrophobia
Coulrophobia is defined as the fear of clowns. Since the appearance of Pennywise in the original 1990 series, there has been a spike in Coulrophobia all across the vast populations. I mean, had I seen the original IT as a young child, I would probably be petrified of clowns. Then again, I do still find a certain creepiness to them.
Sources: ScreenRant, WhatCulture