History Main / CircusOfFear

20th Oct '17 1:27:33 AM Kkachi
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* A K-pop version is the video for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjBHPvYW3GkI Midnight Circus]] by the group Sunny Hill.
30th Sep '17 12:13:46 PM NWolfman
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* The Website/{{Tumblr}}-based webcomic ''[[http://circus-of-freaks-webcomic.tumblr.com/ Circus of Freaks]]'' is about two Victorian-era {{CircusBrat}}s who join a freak show, with the impending doom that the two of them, who are able-bodied, will be [[BodyHorror mutilated into curiosities]].

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* The Website/{{Tumblr}}-based webcomic ''[[http://circus-of-freaks-webcomic.tumblr.com/ Circus of Freaks]]'' is about two Victorian-era {{CircusBrat}}s {{circus brat}}s who join a freak show, with the impending doom that the two of them, who are able-bodied, will be [[BodyHorror mutilated into curiosities]].
24th Sep '17 11:06:15 AM Storygirl000
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* Circus Gothica in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''.

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* Circus Gothica in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''. It's a cover to rob towns, and the ringmaster (appropriately named Freakshow) uses his staff to brainwash ghosts and force them to work for him. Not to mention what almost happened to Sam when she was forced onto the tightrope...
6th Sep '17 9:53:55 AM Necrodomo
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* ''[[NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' has the [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Circus Carnivorous]], a blood-soaked amphitheater in the heart of FireAndBrimstoneHell. A giant obelisk of living stone-flesh festering with the unholy madness of the dark god [[EldritchAbomination Tholaghru]] occupies center stage, and needless to say it's not safe to sit in the audience.
4th May '17 10:27:04 AM CosmicFerret
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* ''Endless Quest'' also had an entry actually titled ''Circus of Fear.'' Decide for yourself whether the title's talking about the circus being run by bad guys or all the usual circus animals and attractions being replaced by creatures from the D&D bestiary.

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* ''Endless Quest'' ''Literature/EndlessQuest'' also had an entry actually titled ''Circus of Fear.'' Decide for yourself whether the title's talking about the circus being run by bad guys or all the usual circus animals and attractions being replaced by creatures from the D&D bestiary.
21st Apr '17 8:14:38 AM QuizzicalPieridine
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* Take your average Circus Of Fear, add in [[LethalLavaLand untold volumes of molten rock]] for all the geothermal power you'll ever need, have the whole thing built in a week due to harnessing the powers of a monster, and staff it with robots out the ass. [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Welcome to Eggmanland.]] Enjoy your stay.

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* Take your average Circus Of Fear, add in [[LethalLavaLand untold volumes of molten rock]] for all the geothermal power you'll ever need, have the whole thing built in a week due to harnessing the powers of a monster, and staff it with robots out the ass. [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Welcome to Eggmanland.]] [[ThatOneLevel Enjoy your stay.stay]].
16th Apr '17 9:57:33 AM SomewhatMisleading
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* The cover art, title track and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXrUKjTV7t0 its music video]], and associated merchandise (comic books, action figures and a CD-ROM game) of the 1998 Music/{{KISS}} album ''Psycho Circus'' make use of this concept.

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* The cover art, title track and [[http://www.[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXrUKjTV7t0 com/watch?v=BWIW6Ti0PbE its music video]], and associated merchandise (comic books, action figures and a CD-ROM game) of the 1998 Music/{{KISS}} album ''Psycho Circus'' make use of this concept.



* The second Soviet mission of ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Red Alert 3]]'' which takes place in a vagrant carnival built on an abandoned rocket test site. It seems sparsely populated until the Soviets activate the abandoned launch facility upon which Japanese troops (including a Psychic Commando) burst out of the tents and surround the Soviets. The actual mission itself is called something along the lines of "Carnival of Hatred".

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* The second Soviet mission of ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Red Alert 3]]'' which takes place in a vagrant carnival built on an abandoned rocket test site. It seems sparsely populated until the Soviets activate the abandoned launch facility upon which Japanese troops (including a Psychic Commando) burst out of the tents and surround the Soviets. The actual mission itself is called something along the lines "Circus of "Carnival of Hatred".Treachery".
15th Apr '17 6:44:27 PM nombretomado
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** With patch 4.3, it gets even creepier, as you now go to Darkmoon Island. When you enter the portal, you end up in a very ominous forest with gnarled, apparently dead trees. The signs that point you to the fair mention "ignoring the eyes" in the forest. There was some mention of never wandering too far into the woods... And if you decide to look around you might find some cages filled with humanoid skeletons, and a forsaken woman selling some [[IAteWhat rather]] [[{{Squick}} questionable]] [[ImAHumanitarian meat]] [[SoylentGreen products.]]

to:

** With patch 4.3, it gets even creepier, as you now go to Darkmoon Island. When you enter the portal, you end up in a very ominous forest with gnarled, apparently dead trees. The signs that point you to the fair mention "ignoring the eyes" in the forest. There was some mention of never wandering too far into the woods... And if you decide to look around you might find some cages filled with humanoid skeletons, and a forsaken woman selling some [[IAteWhat rather]] [[{{Squick}} questionable]] [[ImAHumanitarian meat]] [[SoylentGreen [[HumanResources products.]]
5th Apr '17 6:56:03 PM Pichu-kun
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* In episode 20 of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', Spike faces off against Mad Pierrot in a creepy circus inspired by ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
** It's also called ''Space Land'', and can be seen as a mockery of Bebop itself.

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* In episode 20 of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', Spike faces off against Mad Pierrot in a creepy circus inspired by ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
**
''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. It's also called ''Space Land'', and can be seen as a mockery of Bebop itself.



** Another short manga by Junji Ito, ''Circus ga Kita'' also has a travelling circus where performers die one by one during the show. [[spoiler: It doesn't matter that the circus loses performers or that the audience witness these horrors, since every single spectator will become part of it.]]

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** * Another short manga by Junji Ito, ''Circus ga Kita'' also has a travelling circus where performers die one by one during the show. [[spoiler: It doesn't matter that the circus loses performers or that the audience witness these horrors, since every single spectator will become part of it.]]



* ''Music/{{Nightwish}}'s'' song ''Scaretale'' has a part like this.

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* ''Music/{{Nightwish}}'s'' ''Music/{{Nightwish}}'s'':
** The
song ''Scaretale'' has a part like this.


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* The titular Music/EvelynEvelyn ConjoinedTwins spent their teenage years a part of a freak show act. It was better than their previous place, though that's not saying much as they used to be pimped out to people. It's implied they were sexually abused by the clowns, the elephants were fed so poorly that they died, and the twins were overworked and beaten. The only good thing about their experience at the circus was that they learned how to play the ukulele, which helped them get interested in a music career.
21st Mar '17 5:58:42 PM AthenaBlue
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* The BigBad for the movie ''[[WesternAnimation/WereBackADinosaursStory We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story]]'' runs a 'literal' Circus of Fear. Everything in it is geared towards horror. Except for the clown, ironically enough.



* The BigBad for the movie ''[[WesternAnimation/WereBackADinosaursStory We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story]]'' runs a 'literal' Circus of Fear. Everything in it is geared towards horror. Except for the clown, ironically enough.



%%* ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'' and its "Flesh Fair".



** Oddly enough, this has been mostly averted with ComicBook/TheJoker in his most recent live action outings--though he does come close in {{Film/Batman}}
* The movie ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' both used and defied this trope. The [[TheGrotesque freaks are all loving and caring people]], the clowns are good-natured and charming (although one of them has a hilarious [[AcceptableTargets speech-impediment]]), and the animal trainer is frigging gorgeous. There's a bit of black comedy involving a pair of conjoined twins, one of who is getting married, and the soundtrack is slightly creepy, but that's about it. Unless you get them angry, as the evil female trapeze artist and misogynistic strong man do. Do NOT get the freaks angry.

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** Oddly enough, this has been mostly averted with ComicBook/TheJoker in his most recent live action outings--though he does come close in {{Film/Batman}}
''{{Film/Batman}}''.
* The movie ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' both used 1968 British horror film ''Film/{{Berserk}}'' starring Creator/JoanCrawford and defied this trope. The [[TheGrotesque freaks MichaelGough is set in a circus where there are all loving a series of gruesome and caring people]], the clowns are good-natured and charming (although one of them has a hilarious [[AcceptableTargets speech-impediment]]), and the animal trainer is frigging gorgeous. There's a bit of black comedy involving a pair of conjoined twins, one of who is getting married, and the soundtrack is slightly creepy, but that's about it. Unless you get them angry, as the evil female trapeze artist and misogynistic strong man do. Do NOT get the freaks angry.unexplained murders.



* No prizes for guessing what the Hammer horror film ''Vampire Circus'' is about.
* Before he gets to the famous HallOfMirrors Michael O'Hara from ''Film/TheLadyFromShanghai'', is dumped in one of these.
* The monsters in ''Film/KillerKlownsFromOuterSpace'' are aliens that look like clowns and come to Earth on spaceship that looks like a circus tent.



* The movie ''Film/{{Waxwork}}'' is about a group of teenagers coming across an evil waxwork museum.



* ''Film/TheDevilsCarnival'' is about a carnival run by... guess.
* The movie ''Film/{{Freaks}}'' both used and defied this trope. The [[TheGrotesque freaks are all loving and caring people]], the clowns are good-natured and charming (although one of them has a hilarious [[AcceptableTargets speech-impediment]]), and the animal trainer is frigging gorgeous. There's a bit of black comedy involving a pair of conjoined twins, one of who is getting married, and the soundtrack is slightly creepy, but that's about it. Unless you get them angry, as the evil female trapeze artist and misogynistic strong man do. Do NOT get the freaks angry.
* ''[[Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies]]'', one of the worst movies of all times, is set in a carnival where patrons are transformed into zombies. The film actually features surprisingly few zombies and much, much, MUCH more bad singing than would be expected.



%%* ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'' and its "Flesh Fair".
* ''[[Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies]]'', one of the worst movies of all times, is set in a carnival where patrons are transformed into zombies. The film actually features surprisingly few zombies and much, much, MUCH more bad singing than would be expected.
* ''Film/TheDevilsCarnival'' is about a carnival run by... guess.
* The 1968 British horror film ''Film/{{Berserk}}'' starring Creator/JoanCrawford and MichaelGough is set in a circus where there are a series of gruesome and unexplained murders.

to:

%%* ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'' * The monsters in ''Film/KillerKlownsFromOuterSpace'' are aliens that look like clowns and its "Flesh Fair".
come to Earth on spaceship that looks like a circus tent.
* ''[[Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies]]'', Before he gets to the famous HallOfMirrors Michael O'Hara from ''Film/TheLadyFromShanghai'', is dumped in one of these.
* No prizes for guessing what
the worst movies of all times, is set in a carnival where patrons are transformed into zombies. The film actually features surprisingly few zombies and much, much, MUCH more bad singing than would be expected.
* ''Film/TheDevilsCarnival'' is about a carnival run by... guess.
* The 1968 British
Hammer horror film ''Film/{{Berserk}}'' starring Creator/JoanCrawford and MichaelGough ''Vampire Circus'' is set in about.
* The movie ''Film/{{Waxwork}}'' is about
a circus where there are a series group of gruesome and unexplained murders.teenagers coming across an evil wax museum.



* ''Literature/GiveYourselfGoosebumps #1'' is called ''Escape from the Carnival of Horrors''. And then much later there came "''Return'' to the Carnival of Horrors", because apparently you ''just can't stay away''. (To be fair you're bullied into it by the book itself in the first entry (after all what the point of reading it). In the second entry you brave it once again to get your oblivious cousin out.)



* ''Literature/GiveYourselfGoosebumps #1'' is called ''Escape from the Carnival of Horrors''. And then much later there came "''Return'' to the Carnival of Horrors", because apparently you ''just can't stay away''. (To be fair you're bullied into it by the book itself in the first entry (after all what the point of reading it). In the second entry you brave it once again to get your oblivious cousin out.)



* Averted/inverted in Iain Lawrence's ''Ghost Boy.'' The main character discovers that the freaks are kind and good-natured, but they still unsettle him a little, and the non-freaks are much better at being charming.
* ''[[Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents The Carnivorous Carnival]]''
* Angela Carter's ''Literature/NightsAtTheCircus'' doesn't feature an ''evil'' circus per se, but some scary and strange crap definitely goes down.
* One of Creator/{{TSR}}'s [[ChooseYourOwnAdventure Endless Quest]] books was actually called ''Circus of Fear'', involving [[spoiler:a circus run by evil dopplegangers looking to assassinate the current ruler and take over the kingdom.]]
* In several ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality'' books, ghosts run an ethereal amusement park, where the ghosts try, and often succeed, in scaring the visitors. Amusingly, people kissing seems to scare the ghosts, in return. However, the rest of the amusement park is typical, if ghostly, fare such as a smoke ring toss.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'', where the "Cirque Du Freak", though intended to be nightmarish and slightly horrifying (and potentially dangerous), actually provides a warning beforehand of what it will be like, and gives patrons an opportunity to leave. If any are injured, the show is halted until they are fixed up. Also, the "freaks" are rather friendly and personable people, and the Circusmaster, Mr. Tall, actually runs the cirque as a means of providing people with strange abilities with shelter, family, the opportunity to travel, and a circumstance where their unique abilities can inspire wonder rather than fear.
** The Cirque is a beacon of home and safety for the main characters to the point where it even becomes something of a sanctuary from the vampire wars of the later books - and when [[spoiler: it is invaded, that is the clearest of signs that we've reached a point of no return.]]
* ''Literature/SomethingWickedThisWayComes''. Its carnival is strongly implied to thrive on fear and unhappiness.
* ''Literature/ThePiloFamilyCircus''. An extradimensional travelling circus of madmen, magicians, and monsters, where the employees are paid in bags of management-controlled wishing powder made from the crystalised remains of human souls- extracted from the audience. Oh, and the managers have a nasty habit of causing global chaos on Earth via the [[ChessMaster Fortune Teller]] and the [[MonsterClown Clown division]], on behalf of a race of reptilian demigods [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned beneath the showgrounds]].
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s Slagar the Cruel runs a traveling show which ''seems'' perfectly benign (except that all the performers are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil weasels and stoats]]). The show is used to distract the good guys while a performer drugs their drinks and Slagar himself hypnotises them, and when they wake up the "show" has vanished, taking their children with it.
* Count Otto Black, a RunningGag recurring villain in Creator/RobertRankin's insane versions of novels, is often seen running a circus.

to:

* Averted/inverted There's a G-rated version in Iain Lawrence's ''Ghost Boy.'' the children's picture book ''The Amazing Spider-Man: The main character discovers that Big Top Mystery''. To be sure, the freaks are kind and good-natured, but they still unsettle him a little, and the non-freaks are much better at being charming.
* ''[[Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents The Carnivorous Carnival]]''
* Angela Carter's ''Literature/NightsAtTheCircus'' doesn't feature an ''evil''
circus per se, in itself isn't scary, but some scary and strange crap definitely goes down.
* One of Creator/{{TSR}}'s [[ChooseYourOwnAdventure Endless Quest]] books was actually called ''Circus of Fear'', involving [[spoiler:a circus run by evil dopplegangers looking
it becomes this way once Spidey learns that he has to assassinate the current ruler and take over the kingdom.]]
* In several ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality'' books, ghosts run an ethereal amusement park, where the ghosts try, and often succeed, in scaring the visitors. Amusingly, people kissing seems to scare the ghosts, in return. However, the rest of the amusement park is typical, if ghostly, fare such as
stop a smoke ring toss.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'', where the "Cirque Du Freak", though intended to be nightmarish and slightly horrifying (and potentially dangerous), actually provides a warning beforehand of what it will be like, and gives patrons an opportunity to leave. If any are injured, the show is halted until they are fixed up. Also, the "freaks" are rather friendly and personable people, and the Circusmaster, Mr. Tall, actually runs the cirque as a means of providing people with strange abilities with shelter, family, the opportunity to travel, and a circumstance where their unique abilities can inspire wonder rather than fear.
** The Cirque is a beacon of home and safety
saboteur from causing deadly "accidents" for the main characters to performers and spectators. Among the point where it even becomes something of perils are a sanctuary from the vampire wars of the later books - panicky elephant, a [[PantheraAwesome crazed lion]], and when [[spoiler: it is invaded, that is the clearest of signs that we've reached a point of no return.]]
* ''Literature/SomethingWickedThisWayComes''. Its carnival is strongly implied to thrive on fear and unhappiness.
* ''Literature/ThePiloFamilyCircus''. An extradimensional travelling circus of madmen, magicians, and monsters, where the employees are paid in bags of management-controlled wishing powder made from the crystalised remains of human souls- extracted from the audience. Oh, and the managers have a nasty habit of causing global chaos on Earth via the [[ChessMaster Fortune Teller]] and the
[[MonsterClown Clown division]], on behalf of a race of reptilian demigods [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned beneath the showgrounds]].
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s Slagar the Cruel runs a traveling show which ''seems'' perfectly benign (except that
murderous clown]] who had "arranged" all the performers are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil weasels accidents and stoats]]). The show is used to distract whom Spider-Man had [[LaserGuidedKarma rescued from the good guys while a performer drugs their drinks aforementioned lion]] [[TheFarmerAndTheViper earlier in the story]]. After he is finally caught, arrested, and Slagar himself hypnotises them, and when they wake up questioned, the "show" has vanished, taking their children with it.
* Count Otto Black, a RunningGag recurring villain in Creator/RobertRankin's insane versions of novels, is often seen running a circus.
clown admits that he wanted to prevent the owner from selling the circus so he wouldn't lose his job]].



* The ''Theater des Vampires'' in ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'', who are vampires hiding in plain sight. They manage to be both scary and complete jackasses at the same time. They ''act'' out vampires killing humans on stage while the human audience watches in oblivious entertainment, and sometimes even satirically offer themselves in place of the victim they don't believe is a victim.
* Not a circus, but an amusement park - ''Literature/FullTilt'' by Neil Shusterman. Good ''god'', ''Full Tilt.''



* ''Literature/TheManualOfDetection'' has [[Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari Caligari's]] Travels-No-More Carnival, which is this trope in spades.
* Nick Harkaway's ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'' subverts this by having a circus help and support the good guys.



* The setting for the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' novel ''Carnival of Fear''.
* According to the short story "A Boy and His Monster" in ''Franchise/StarWars: Literature/TalesFromJabbasPalace'', Malakili the Rancor Keeper was previously employed by the Circus Horrificus, where Hutts paid to see weird creatures get tortured to death.
* There's a G-rated version in the children's picture book ''The Amazing Spider-Man: The Big Top Mystery''. To be sure, the circus in itself isn't scary, but it becomes this way once Spidey learns that he has to stop a saboteur from causing deadly "accidents" for the performers and spectators. Among the perils are a panicky elephant, a [[PantheraAwesome crazed lion]], and [[spoiler: a [[MonsterClown murderous clown]] who had "arranged" all the accidents and whom Spider-Man had [[LaserGuidedKarma rescued from the aforementioned lion]] [[TheFarmerAndTheViper earlier in the story]]. After he is finally caught, arrested, and questioned, the clown admits that he wanted to prevent the owner from selling the circus so he wouldn't lose his job]].
* The Fun Fair, ''Literature/{{Nightside}}'''s first amusement park ended up this way. It's considered a very bad place (and this is Nightside we're talking about) and requires services of major exorcists just to keep it quiet. The protagonist even comments on the nerve and bravery of someone who graffittied the front gate sign.



* The ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''Welcome to Horrorland'', which spawned a sequel (''Return to Horrorland'') and two spinoff series (''Goosebumps: [=HorrorLand=]'' and ''Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors'').
* The Peabody-Ozymandias Traveling Circus & Oddity Emporium of the eponymous novella in the Literature/RepairmanJack universe by F. Paul Wilson serves as this. Peabody is more or less a regular owner of a circus, but Ozymandias's freaks bear an otherworldly taint.



* Not a circus, but an amusement park - ''Literature/FullTilt'' by Neil Shusterman. Good ''god'', ''Full Tilt''.
* Averted/inverted in Iain Lawrence's ''Ghost Boy''. The main character discovers that the freaks are kind and good-natured, but they still unsettle him a little, and the non-freaks are much better at being charming.
* Nick Harkaway's ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'' subverts this by having a circus help and support the good guys.
* The ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''Welcome to Horrorland'', which spawned a sequel (''Return to Horrorland'') and two spinoff series (''Goosebumps: [=HorrorLand=]'' and ''Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors'').
* In several ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality'' books, ghosts run an ethereal amusement park, where the ghosts try, and often succeed, in scaring the visitors. Amusingly, people kissing seems to scare the ghosts, in return. However, the rest of the amusement park is typical, if ghostly, fare such as a smoke ring toss.
* ''Literature/TheManualOfDetection'' has [[Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari Caligari's]] Travels-No-More Carnival, which is this trope in spades.
* Angela Carter's ''Literature/NightsAtTheCircus'' doesn't feature an ''evil'' circus per se, but some scary and strange crap definitely goes down.
* The Fun Fair, ''Literature/{{Nightside}}'''s first amusement park ended up this way. It's considered a very bad place (and this is Nightside we're talking about) and requires services of major exorcists just to keep it quiet. The protagonist even comments on the nerve and bravery of someone who graffittied the front gate sign.
* ''Literature/ThePiloFamilyCircus''. An extradimensional travelling circus of madmen, magicians, and monsters, where the employees are paid in bags of management-controlled wishing powder made from the crystalised remains of human souls- extracted from the audience. Oh, and the managers have a nasty habit of causing global chaos on Earth via the [[ChessMaster Fortune Teller]] and the [[MonsterClown Clown division]], on behalf of a race of reptilian demigods [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned beneath the showgrounds]].
* Count Otto Black, a RunningGag recurring villain in Creator/RobertRankin's insane versions of novels, is often seen running a circus.
* The setting for the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' novel ''Carnival of Fear''.
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s Slagar the Cruel runs a traveling show which ''seems'' perfectly benign (except that all the performers are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil weasels and stoats]]). The show is used to distract the good guys while a performer drugs their drinks and Slagar himself hypnotises them, and when they wake up the "show" has vanished, taking their children with it.
* The Peabody-Ozymandias Traveling Circus & Oddity Emporium of the eponymous novella in the Literature/RepairmanJack universe by F. Paul Wilson serves as this. Peabody is more or less a regular owner of a circus, but Ozymandias's freaks bear an otherworldly taint.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'', where the "Cirque Du Freak", though intended to be nightmarish and slightly horrifying (and potentially dangerous), actually provides a warning beforehand of what it will be like, and gives patrons an opportunity to leave. If any are injured, the show is halted until they are fixed up. Also, the "freaks" are rather friendly and personable people, and the Circusmaster, Mr. Tall, actually runs the cirque as a means of providing people with strange abilities with shelter, family, the opportunity to travel, and a circumstance where their unique abilities can inspire wonder rather than fear.
** The Cirque is a beacon of home and safety for the main characters to the point where it even becomes something of a sanctuary from the vampire wars of the later books - and when [[spoiler: it is invaded, that is the clearest of signs that we've reached a point of no return.]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': ''The Carnivorous Carnival''
* ''Literature/SomethingWickedThisWayComes''. Its carnival is strongly implied to thrive on fear and unhappiness.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** According to the short story "A Boy and His Monster" in ''Literature/TalesFromJabbasPalace'', Malakili the Rancor Keeper was previously employed by the Circus Horrificus, where Hutts paid to see weird creatures get tortured to death.
* The ''Theater des Vampires'' in ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'', who are vampires hiding in plain sight. They manage to be both scary and complete jackasses at the same time. They ''act'' out vampires killing humans on stage while the human audience watches in oblivious entertainment, and sometimes even satirically offer themselves in place of the victim they don't believe is a victim.



* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** During the Seventh Doctor's tenure, "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E4TheGreatestShowInTheGalaxy The Greatest Show in the Galaxy]]" featured the Psychic Circus. Initially a genuine circus staffed by kindly hippies, it was corrupted by a group of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, who forced the performers to lure innocent people to take part in a "talent contest", and then to torture and kill them for their entertainment. Really, it's a surprise that it took twenty-five seasons for the show to do a story focussing on this.
** There was also an untelevised script for a Sixth Doctor story called ''The Nightmare Fair'', later released as a novel, then an audio play (unofficial) and then an audio drama (official). The circus in question belongs to an old enemy, the extra-dimensional HumanoidAbomination known as the Celestial Toymaker.
** In the Third Doctor's story "Terror of the Autons", the Master takes over Rossini's Circus with a mixture of hypnotism and threats and forces the staff to act as his mooks. A downplayed example, as there is no actual circus performance in the story.
** Subverted in the Third Doctor's ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E2CarnivalOfMonsters Carnival of Monsters]]'', with the showman Vorg portrayed as ignorant of the horrors he's leading.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' series 2 had the Night Travellers in the episode "From Out of the Rain".
* ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' series 2 had Spellman's Magical Museum of the Circus in the story ''The Day of the Clown''.
%%* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', first-season episode.



* One episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had a circus that was run by an anthropomorphic manifestation of fear (depicted as a MonsterClown, naturally).
* Papa Lazarou's circus in ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' might qualify as a subversion. While Papa Lazarou's appearance is pure Nightmare Fuel and he spends all his spare time kidnapping women ("You're my wife now!") Royston Vasey is already so full of freaks that the circus soon flees in terror, as the town is too weird even for them.

to:

* One episode The first phase of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had a circus that was run by an anthropomorphic manifestation ''Series/BigBrother 17's'' final competition required players to survive hanging on "candy apples" in one of fear (depicted as a MonsterClown, naturally).
* Papa Lazarou's circus in ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' might qualify as a subversion. While Papa Lazarou's appearance is pure Nightmare Fuel and he spends all his spare time kidnapping women ("You're my wife now!") Royston Vasey is already so full of freaks that the circus soon flees in terror, as the town is too weird even for them.
these.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E1TerrorOfTheAutons "Terror of the Autons"]], the Master takes over Rossini's Circus with a mixture of hypnotism and threats and forces the staff to act as his mooks. A downplayed example, as there is no actual circus performance in the story.
** Subverted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E2CarnivalOfMonsters "Carnival of Monsters"]], with the showman Vorg portrayed as ignorant of the horrors he's leading.
** There was an unmade script for a Sixth Doctor story called "The Nightmare Fair", later released as a novel, then an audio play (unofficial) and then an audio drama (official). The circus in question belongs to an old enemy, the extra-dimensional HumanoidAbomination known as the Celestial Toymaker.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E4TheGreatestShowInTheGalaxy "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy"]] featured the Psychic Circus. Initially a genuine circus staffed by kindly hippies, it was corrupted by a group of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, who forced the performers to lure innocent people to take part in a "talent contest", and then to torture and kill them for their entertainment.
** ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' series 2 had Spellman's Magical Museum of the Circus in the story ''The Day of the Clown''.
** ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' series 2 had the Night Travellers in the episode "From Out of the Rain".
* ''Dumbo's Circus'', a popular puppet show on the Creator/DisneyChannel in the 1980s, had a HalloweenEpisode whose climax was the musical number "The Day the Spooky Circus Came to Town" (with a bass line, believe it or not, filched straight from Music/MichaelJackson's ''Music/{{Thriller}}''). Somewhat ironically, the {{Aesop}} of the episode was to teach kids to ''not'' be afraid of Halloween (or circuses, for that matter).
* An episode of ''Series/GetSmart'' involves Max tracking down a murderer and jewel thief in a circus. Turns out most of the circus members are part of the crime ring.



* Papa Lazarou's circus in ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' might qualify as a subversion. While Papa Lazarou's appearance is pure Nightmare Fuel and he spends all his spare time kidnapping women ("You're my wife now!") Royston Vasey is already so full of freaks that the circus soon flees in terror, as the town is too weird even for them.
%%* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', first-season episode.



* ''Dumbo's Circus'', a popular puppet show on the Creator/DisneyChannel in the 1980s, had a HalloweenEpisode whose climax was the musical number "The Day the Spooky Circus Came to Town" (with a bass line, believe it or not, filched straight from Music/MichaelJackson's ''Music/{{Thriller}}''). Somewhat ironically, the {{Aesop}} of the episode was to teach kids to ''not'' be afraid of Halloween (or circuses, for that matter).
* The first phase of ''Series/BigBrother 17's'' final competition required players to survive hanging on "candy apples" in one of these.
* An episode of ''GetSmart'' involves Max tracking down a murderer and jewel thief in a circus. Turns out most of the circus members are part of the crime ring.

to:

* ''Dumbo's Circus'', a popular puppet show on the Creator/DisneyChannel in the 1980s, had a HalloweenEpisode whose climax was the musical number "The Day the Spooky Circus Came to Town" (with a bass line, believe it or not, filched straight from Music/MichaelJackson's ''Music/{{Thriller}}''). Somewhat ironically, the {{Aesop}} of the episode was to teach kids to ''not'' be afraid of Halloween (or circuses, for that matter).
* The first phase of ''Series/BigBrother 17's'' final competition required players to survive hanging on "candy apples" in one of these.
* An
One episode of ''GetSmart'' involves Max tracking down ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had a murderer and jewel thief in a circus. Turns out most of the circus members are part that was run by an anthropomorphic manifestation of the crime ring. fear (depicted as a MonsterClown, naturally).



* Mort from ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' creates one of these at Antimony's suggestion to scare her classmate Paz.

to:

* Mort from ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' The Website/{{Tumblr}}-based webcomic ''[[http://circus-of-freaks-webcomic.tumblr.com/ Circus of Freaks]]'' is about two Victorian-era {{CircusBrat}}s who join a freak show, with the impending doom that the two of them, who are able-bodied, will be [[BodyHorror mutilated into curiosities]].
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': In his [[Recap/GunnerkriggCourtChapter4NotVeryScary introductory chapter]], [[BedsheetGhost Mort]]
creates one of these at Antimony's suggestion to scare her classmate Paz.



* The Website/{{Tumblr}}-based webcomic ''[[http://circus-of-freaks-webcomic.tumblr.com/ Circus Of Freaks]]'' is about two Victorian-era {{CircusBrat}}s who join a freak show, with the impending doom that the two of them, who are able-bodied, will be [[BodyHorror mutilated into curiosities]].
This list shows the last 10 events of 160. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.CircusOfFear