Going into the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Freak Show, there are some things you just know you can count on: a thoughtful, respectful treatment of fully-fleshed out characters, whose behaviors have recognizable grounding and real-world consequences; and a scary clown. Now Entertainment Weekly confirms you can definitely expect at least one of those things, with creator Ryan Murphy, in explaining how the fourth season will most closely resemble the “terrifyingly dark” tone of Asylum, says, “Look, if you have a character named the Clown Killer, it’s going to be dark.”

And no, “Clown Killer” isn’t just a clever name. It’s a character Murphy brands as “the most terrifying clown ever!”—which is a lot to live up to, considering the scores of competitors. Though, perhaps Clown Killer has the edge, seeing as his name suggests he’s a killer of clowns, and that constant confusion probably only makes him angrier. “It’s a perfectly reasonable determinative compound!” he’ll shriek as he encounters yet another annoying pedant, then kills them with a chainsaw.


Anyway, it also isn’t a freak show without some form of bearded lady, according to carnival by-laws, and so Murphy confirms his Freak Show will definitely have one—or rather, “our version of it.” So, expect to see Sarah Paulson playing a lady who’s sexually assaulted by a beard. “That lady was violently bearded! It’s an informal, yet applicable use of the intransitive verb form!” Clown Killer will scream, as he plunges a knife into his latest grammarian victim.