Do you know what Johnny Cash fans call themselves? Trick question: They call themselves Johnny Cash fans. There’s no goofy nickname, no terrible pun on his name and no logo for them to all get tattooed on their blemish-covered skin.
The same can’t be said for most serious fans of today’s music acts. Touring bands are just as likely to have an absurdly named fan club as a bass player. And these fans aren’t just crazy, they’re downright frightening. Think of them like a group of a zombies, obsessed not with brains but with tour T-shirts. We’re admitting it right now–fan clubs scare the pee out of us. But not equally. Which is why we’ve assembled this ranking of the scariest fan bases. Cover your eyes (but also don’t because you can’t read with your eyes covered).
Sure, they look innocuous. Like any other nu-metal fans really. But Slipknot fans call themselves maggots and are therefore creepy as hell. Anyone who positively embraces that label, even ironically, has self-worth issues, which leads to mental instability. Also, if someone is capable of sitting through that much nu-metal music, they’re capable of any number of heinous crimes.
Via Getty Images
There are few things scarier in the world than learning an artist like Clay Aiken has a rabid following. Meet Claymates, worshippers of the crooner’s smooth alto and cherubic face. Claymates emerged about seven years ago as strident defenders of anyone who dared question their deity or challenge him as the most feminine contestant in the history of “American Idol.” But to learn the true viciousness of Claymates, one need look no further than their heinous reaction to learning that Clay is gay (shock!).
4. Parrot Heads
Ah Parrot Heads, the fun-loving, laid-back fans of fun-loving, laid-back singer Jimmy Buffett. Not much scary here…on the surface. But if you look closer at the above photo, what do you notice? Beer. Parrot Heads are always holding a beer or margarita or whatever boozy beverage they can get their bloated fingers around. You’re thinking, “Drunken parents aren’t so scary.” And you’re right, unless they’re your parents, who force you to sit with them on a boat as they drunkenly slur “I love you” while “Cheeseburger in Paradise” plays on a loop in the background. That’s the stuff of nightmares.
Justin Bieber‘s fanbase is the most outwardly unassuming on this list. They’re just little girls, after all. But man, are they freaky. Bieber puts them in a trance that cannot be broken. They’ll trample and maim in an attempt to get their hands on him. Lucky for this little dancing Canuck, they’ve never caught him. Otherwise, they’d rip him to shreds like a mob of Lennie Smalls from “Of Mice and Men,” just trying to “pet the rabbit.”
via Getty Images
2. Phish Heads
Think of Phish Heads as the smelly younger brothers of Dead Heads. They follow Phish around the country in long skirts and hemp necklaces, showing up to shows without tickets hoping for a miracle. It would be depressing if it wasn’t so damn frightening. What’s scary is their ability to see the same band dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times. How does it not get boring? How do they justify spending so much money on the same concert? How do they consume so much pot and acid? All questions with scary, scary answers.
Via Getty Images
Creating this list is like listing the greatest basketball players of all time–everyone but number one is up for debate. Juggalos are the “Michael Jordan” of horrifying fan bases. These Insane Clown Posse obsessives love cheap liquor, face paint, showering in Faygo and filling up comments sections with “Whoop Whoop.” They’ll invite you to play at their annual gathering (creatively entitled “The Gathering“) and then throw real human feces at you. And if you disrespect them, they may just murder you. Which, uhhh, is making us reconsider writing about them. We mean “Michael Jordan of horrifying fan bases” in a good way.