These Really Took Brains.

Source: Creative Arts Group

There’s something innately creepy about scarecrows. I guess it’s the uncanny valley issue, and also the fact that they’re usually out in cornfields or other vast empty spaces that, thanks to horror films, now have an aura of menace about them because it’s now ingrained in our consciousness that there’s a chainsaw-wielding maniac or a bunch of creepy kids hanging out there. As a kid I even found something disturbing about Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz. He was and still is my favorite character—a lot of times I can really relate to the lack of a brain, but that’s another story—but the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion can defend themselves pretty well. Scarecrow can barely even stand up when Dorothy first helps him down, and it’s bad enough that the Wicked Witch threatens him with some fire. I’m pretty sure the part where he gets all his stuffing ripped out gave me nightmares.  

And he’s the only cinematic scarecrow I can think of who’s actually friendly. There are so many others who aren’t: the one in Jeepers Creepers, the Batman Villain, the scarecrows in the Doctor Who two-parter Human Nature and Family of Blood, the scarecrow in The League Of Gentlemen who’s actually a guy who was caught sleeping with the farmer’s wife and who’s left tied up in a field by a pair of creepy twin girls who call him their “special friend”. Now that I think about it the British seem to have a real thing about scarecrows.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

Then there’s the town of Sierra Madre, California, which has an annual scarecrow festival. There are more than a hundred entries this year and they are brilliant. Some are more traditional:

Source: Creative Arts Group

But there are also a lot of hilarious pop-culture inspired ones:

Source: Creative Arts Group

Source: Creative Arts Group

And some puns:

Source: Creative Arts Group

It would be really cool if where I lived had a scarecrow festival like this one. Surely we’ve got enough brains around here for that.

And also here’s this “high tech scarecrow” that can scare off pretty much anything.

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6 Comments

  1. mydangblog

    I’ve never been a fan of scarecrows–you’re right about the uncanny valley aspect, especially when you show clips like that one from League of Gentlemen, an incredibly bizarre show, which just proves that most of them were probably real people at one time!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It says something about me that the guy being used as a scarecrow in The League Of Gentlemen makes me laugh so much, although part of why I find it so funny is probably because there’s something deeply unsettling about it. And about scarecrows in general. And I forgot to mention that I like crows. I think they’re cool birds that don’t need to be scared away.

      Reply
  2. Allison

    I don’t get the waste management skunk pumpkin bear-crow pun. What have I missed?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I don’t get why he’s into waste management or why he has a skunk and a pumpkin, but you got that he’s a bear-crow and that’s also about as far as I got.

      Reply
  3. ANN J KOPLOW

    I ain’t ‘fraid of no scarecrows, Chris, but it did scare me that the 1st and 3rd place winners of the Business Category in the Scarecrow Festival had the same photo. Eeeeek!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is pretty terrifying that the same scarecrow appears in two photos, and I just hope it was an editorial error and not something more suspicious. That also reminds me of my high school friend who, his senior year, joined every single school club so he could be in all the yearbook photos.

      Reply

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