|Twisty the Clown|
|Twisty the Clown|
|Franchise:||American Horror Story: Freak Show|
American Horror Story: Cult
|Introduction:||"Monsters Among Us"|
|Final:||"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark"|
|Actor:||John Carroll Lynch|
Twisty the Clown is a fictional killer clown and a recurring antagonist featured on the FX Network television series American Horror Story. He was one of the regular characters featured in season four, which was titled "Freak Show". Twisty was introduced in the season premiere, "Monsters Among Us" and was played by actor John Carroll Lynch. The seventh season of American Horror Story, titled Cult, features Twisty as the antagonist of the fictional comic series based on Twisty titled "The Twisty Chronicles", a favorite of Oz Mayfair-Richards.
Known only as Twisty, this poor individual was a mentally challenged man who worked as a carnival clown around Central Florida in the 1940s. Gifted with a kind nature and an overwhelming desire to please children, he loved his job and seeing the joy at bringing a smile to a child's face. Others at the carnival were not so eager to please however. A troupe of dwarfs disliked Twisty, and mocked his low intellect, referring to him as a simpleton. They often made jibes at him that he was doing inappropriate things with the children, which was quite untrue. One night in 1943, the dwarfs convinced Twisty that the police were "on to him", and were on their way to arrest him. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, Twisty was fired from the carnival.
Unable to find work as a carnival clown, he then focused his attention on making toys for children. He tried selling his hand-crafted wares to various retail stores, but nobody had any interest in his work. On one instance, Twisty became so desperate that his eagerness to showcase his toys to children terrified some customers in a toy store.
Eventually, Twisty fell into a state of deep depression. His mental faculties had continued to diminish and he attempted to kill himself by placing the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth. The shot blew off the bottom half of his jaw, but he survived. As he had noted, he was even "too stupid to kill myself". He found a gruesome smiling half-mask and put it on to cover up his own disfigurement. Pledging to save children from their "bad parents", the true "Twisty" was born. 
The Killer Clown
Adorned in a gruesome mask and a tattered, dirty clown costume, Twisty wandered around to different locales looking for victims to either kill or abduct. Those whom he felt were worth keeping alive, he would bring back to an abandoned school bus that he kept hidden beneath a large pile of underbrush and debris. Twisty was handy with several different weapons, but his favorite appeared to be a bowling pin, which he would use to bludgeon his victims.
In 1952, Twisty wandered out by Lake Okeechobee where he found two youths picnicking - Bonnie Lipton and Troy Miller. He stabbed Troy multiple times then killed Bonnie, bringing her back to his school bus. Twisty also kidnapped a young boy named Corey Bachman, whom he locked inside of a caged off section at the back of the bus along with Bonnie. 
Twisty later broke into a toy store to gather some toys for Corey. He murdered the proprietor of the store, cutting off his head and leaving it upon a shelf. A store clerk came into the establishment and took note of a walking robot toy making its way across the floor. The toy left behind bloody footprints and when the clerk followed them, Twisty appeared behind him and stabbed him through the throat. He brought the toy back to the bus and gave it to Corey.
Twisty then had a strange chance encounter with a woman named Gloria Mott. Having only recently killed the two men from the toy store, he was walking down the street when Gloria spotted him in her car. Seemingly unaware of his grotesque costume, Gloria asked him if he would be willing to accept money in exchange for entertaining her depressed adult son, Dandy. Twisty said not a word, but also offered no resistance to Gloria's offer.
Gloria brought Twisty back to her family's mansion and kept him in an immense toy room. She introduced Dandy to him, who stared at the clown with great curiosity. Dandy even tried entertaining Twisty himself by putting on a puppet show. While Twisty was distracted, Dandy began rummaging through the clown's belongings. Twisty knocked him across the back of the head with a bowling pin and then ran away.
Twisty returned to the bus and tried to entertain Bonnie and Corey with his new wares. Noting that the terrified boy was unimpressed with the bloody wind-up toy, he pulled the severed head of the store keeper out and presented it to him. Both of the prisoners screamed and Bonnie whacked Twisty across the face with a piece of wooden plank that she had loosened earlier. The two ran out of the bus, but Dandy Mott was there, and intercepted them. He returned them to Twisty as a good faith gesture towards becoming his new partner. 
On Halloween night, Twisty was able to move about public areas without raising too much attention. He observed a young girl named Jessie who had been the subject of cruel torment by her older brother, Mike, who also dressed up as a clown. He did so in part to further terrorize his sister, who was scared of clowns.
Later that evening, Twisty broke into the family's home and stalked down the hallway where Mike was stealing Jessie's candy, and forcing her to refer to him as "Master". Jessie's eyes widened as Twisty came up behind the boy and he abducted him, taking him back to his prison bus. 
Twisty's other captive, Bonnie, managed to cut through her bonds, pushing the clown to the side and run out into the road. Twisty gave chase, caught up with her, clubbed her on the back of the head and brought her back to the bus. As it was, there were two witnesses to this event, Jimmy Darling and Maggie Esmerelda, who were members of Fräulein Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities. Jimmy and Maggie followed them through the woods, hoping to help Bonnie out, but they were captured by the sudden appearance of Dandy Mott. Dandy, put on his own self-styled stage show where he had placed Maggie inside of a wooden box, which he was then going to saw in half. Twisty was thoroughly amused by this, and accented the show by sitting on the ground, playing a toy piano. Jimmy used his lobster claws to escape and rescued Maggie. Twisty attacked and likely would have killed Jimmy right there, but for an incredible unforeseen circumstance.
Edward Mordrake was the ghost of a former carnival curiosity born with two faces. His second face, located on the back of his head, whispered depraved commands that Mordrake was required to carry out. As part of a curse associated with Mordrake, his ghost would appear on Halloween night and claim the soul of a freak show performer, who would then become a member of his ghostly troupe. Mordrake selected his targets based upon the pain and anguish of their past sins.
The ghost of Edward Mordrake, and those of his coterie, appeared outside of Twisty's bus just as he was getting ready to kill Jimmy Darling. His presence transfixed Twisty, and he used his power to establish communication with him. Twisty told him his sad tale of being a normal carnival clown, and Mordrake decided that he was "the one". He stabbed Twisty in the chest, killing him. His body fell to the ground inert, but his spirit became part of Mordrake's troupe. 
Bonnie Lipton, Corey Bachman and Mike all returned home to their families. Nobody knew what really happened out in the woods, but Jimmy Darling was hailed as a hero. Many believed that it was he who had killed the psychopathic clown, and while the assertion certainly made Jimmy feel uncomfortable, he did not deny it either.
Dandy Mott, who also took some measure of credit for Twisty's demise, decided to carry on the killer clown's work. He found Twisty's half-mask and placed it upon his own face (without even washing it, mind you), and was psychologically transformed. Now Dandy Mott was truly ready to hone his skill at the perfection of murder. 
Notes & Trivia
- The character of Twisty the Clown was created by series showrunners Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
- Twisty is liked based on real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy. John Carroll Lynch would later play Gacy in the episode "Devil's Night".
- Twisty is the first character from Freak Show to reappear in another season.