"It puts the lotion on its skin..."
If you can picture a mascot saying that sentence—BANG—that's a creepy mascot.
It's not really their fault, however. By their very nature, people in big goofy costumes can be off-putting, and even the most well-meaning of mascots can come off as potential lurkers in this twisted day and age.
That being said, some of them bring the creepiness more than others. It's not an attitude thing; it's just a "this creature looks like it would enjoy smelling my pillows" thing.
Here are the creepiest mascots in sports. They're not bad mascots, necessarily—they're just the last ones you'd want to run into in a dark alley.
Big Red is a bit like the Grimace, if the Grimace were flayed, boiled and painted like a barn.
It's not really his fault that he's so disconcertingly designed. When a team is named the Hilltoppers, the list of potential mascots automatically drops to a giant picnic basket or a vaguely offensive German man wearing lederhosen.
Or a red bliss potato with a gaping maw. There's always that on the board.
Creepiness Level: You look through the peephole of your door aaaand clown.
"H'yuck, h'yuck! They'll never find you when I'm done!"
The Stanford Tree seems cute and harmless until it shows up in your nightmares and chases you through a vacant funhouse.
Those eyes won't blink until it's done feeding, by the way.
Creepiness Level: Bazooko's Circus.
Don't mind Finn—he's just a whale-man that pretends to feast upon the craniums of children.
The best part is how his eyes follow you everywhere.
Creepiness Level: Abandoned fairground.
"How many of you have killed a hornet? How many of you have killed a pelican? That's what I thought! Pelicans are tough birds!"
Oh yea? Then why does this one look like it'll read you a bedtime story and lick your sheets at night?
Every against-the-grain contrarian who came out in defense of New Orleans' new mascot might want to rethink the decision. Real pelicans are tough, whereas this one looks like it'll bathe you with its tongue and tell you you're beautiful.
Creepiness Level: "Hefty Jeff will return to this bathroom stall at 7 p.m., November 7. ;) "
It's 6 a.m. on a Monday, and you hear the wind howling outside your window. Today is going to be a long day.
You shamble to the bathroom and fumble for the light, vaguely dreading the freezing walk to the train station and thinking about how empty the place feels now that she's gone.
The dim light flickers on, and you notice the place where her toothbrush once rested—always right next to yours. Then you look in the mirror and see the wolf standing silently behind you.
Its name is Harvey the Hound, and a failed relationship is now the least of your problems.
Creepiness Level: LinkedIn request from "J.W. Gacy., Smile Retailer."
Dallas is the only organization that can take something as masculine and rugged as a cowboy and turn it into a terrifying man-child.
Creepiness Level: The thing scratching at your window that isn't a tree branch.
This is one of those occasions I like to call "great idea, poor execution."
The concept of a spartan warrior/cat hybrid is junk-shatteringly fantastic. In actuality, however, Spartacat looks like a homeless guy who spends his free time ogling strangers.
Creepiness Level: Ventriloquist dummy.
Wild Wing wears a hockey mask and doesn't talk, automatically making him the last mascot you'd ever want to see rushing at you out of the darkness.
Creepiness Level: Possibly alive scarecrow sitting on someone's front porch.
Actual salukis are beautiful and graceful animals. They're like the Cher of canines, except people don't wash their hands after petting salukis.
Southern Illinois' Saluki, however, looks more like a hellish badger weasel that stalks country roads and feeds on drifters.
Creepiness Level: Dead tooth.
Nothing quite says "Don't turn around, boy" like the weather-hardened face of a criminal-turned-cowboy.
Creepiness Level: Room full of old-timey dolls.
There are levels of creepiness to Friar Dom that can't exactly be excavated on this slideshow, but suffice to say, having a baby-faced priest figure traipsing the sidelines isn't a comforting sight.
Creepiness Level: Wet handshake with a stranger.
♫ Boltman! (Ah-ah!) ♫
♫ Eater of the children! (Ah-ah!) ♫
♫ Champion of the storm! (Ah-ah!) ♫
♫ He is going to kill you and serve you to everyone! ♫
Boltman might be an unofficial mascot, but that doesn't stop him from possessing the creepiness of three team-licensed mascots.
Creepiness Level: Sobs intermixed with carnival music.
Oh dear Lord. What is this?
It's Sammy the Slug, guys! He represents the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, and he's here to ruin your sense of personal safety!
Creepiness Level: Richard Simmons.
Don't look at me that way, Sebastian. Don't look at anyone that way.
Level of Creepiness: Empty wheelchair knocked over in the street.
The only time Purdue Pete puts a smile on someone's face is when he's lowering a basket to her in his basement.
There is nothing in Purdue Pete's face but emptiness. There's no smile, no gladness in the eyes—nothing. This is the face of a man who goes to horrifying lengths to feel emotions.
Creepiness Level: The sound of clown shoes on the roof.
"Yes...go to sleep. You're a very tired girl..."
I'm not saying Sparky the Sun Devil is sitting on a branch outside your window right now, but you might want to check.
Creepiness Level: The killer you think is hiding behind your shower curtain.
There's nothing comforting about WuShock—a Frankenstein bundle of wheat that terrorizes the sidelines of Wichita State games.
What does it want from us? Why is it hate-smiling at the world? Can we appease it by offering human sacrifices? We may never know.
Creepiness Level: Child smiling in front of a house fire.
You. Gonna. Get. Chased.
The Mad Ant is the official mascot of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. It's less of a mascot, however, and more of a grinning menace to society.
It motivates the team and crowd through naked fear.
Creepiness Level: Busey Bugs.
GIF via CoEdMagazine.com
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