Poltergeist is one of the most iconic horror movies of all time, and some even call it the greatest haunted house thriller ever made. One of the most iconic scares of all time involves an ominous clown that pulls young Robbie Freeling under his bed. A scene that shocked and scarred an entire generation growing up in the 80s. Can you imagine having that clown in your own bedroom, starring at you at night? One man sure can, and interestingly enough, he found the screen-used clown hiding on eBay.
Horror's Hallowed Grounds host Sean Clark is the proud owner of the original possessed clown doll featured so prominently in the 1982 classic Poltergeist, which was created and produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre). Clark is a noted collector of horror artifacts and screen-used props, some of which are considered holy grails in the horror community. His story of procuring the infamous Poltergeist clown has always been fascinating considering the fact that he won a simple auction on eBay in the website's early days.
Ebay used to be a treasure trove of movie antiquities and memorabilia that was hard to come by for the average collector back when the site first got started and sellers didn't entirely understand how to properly use it. Before online Hollywood prop auctions became a big deal, those willing to hunt long enough could find some great deals and unexpected treasures that are worth thousands if not millions today. Now, more collectors and sellers have easier access to some of horror's biggest props and screen used items, and they all usually go to a real auction house where the highest bidder is willing to pay top dollar. While you can still find certain seemingly unobtainable objects on Ebay, iconic 80s movie gold is almost impossible to come by for an average fan.
That wasn't the case when Sean came across an authentic screen used clown from the original Poltergeist. Clark recently appeared on the latest episode of Collection Complete, where he discussed finding the coveted prop.
"In this episode of Collection Complete, filmmaker Sean Clark (Horror's Hallowed Grounds) discusses his lifelong fascination with the horror genre. From his childhood introduction to Fangoria magazine and their famous Weekend of Horrors conventions to his jaw-dropping collection of screen-used props (notably here a screen-used clown from the classic 1982 film Poltergeist), Clark offers of his unwavering passion for scary cinema, "Something about being a horror fan, and being a collector, is that you want to embrace the things that terrified you."
Sean Clark goes through his history of collecting, a hobby that he's been consumed with pretty much his entire life. The episode shows off some of his immense collection, which includes vintage Star Wars figures from 1977. He discusses his love for Fangoria magazine, and how he fell into being a hardcore horror fan. He also goes into his current role as agent for horror celebrities as they appear around the globe at various conventions.
"That clown terrified so many people. Elizabeth Banks brought up the clown as being one of the most terrifying things, and I said, 'By the way, I own it.' She's like, 'What?' I said, 'I own the clown from Poltergeist.' She goes, 'It's in your house?' And I say, 'Yeah, it's in my house right now.' 'You're f***ing sick.' That's what she said to me. Around when Ebay first started, not everyone knew how to use it to its full extent. They didn't know how to list things properly. This just said Poltergeist clown. So my friend found it, he calls me up, 'Dude, you're not going to f***ing believe what's on Ebay right now.' I look, there it is. Holy s***. That's the one. There it is. Had that guy held onto it a little bit, and listed it properly, I mean, I've been offered insane money for that thing."
Clark reveals that there were four dolls made for the movie. There were two happy faced clown dolls and one evil face. The third head was a transition head and went from smiley to evil. It was never used on screen and wound up in an auction. That happened nearly 12 years ago. Clark was called to verify its authenticity since he had one of the originals. And he's sorry that he didn't buy it himself.
You can check out Sean Clark's Poltergeist clown doll and some of the other cool stuff in his collection in the video below, which comes from the Gemr Youtube channel.