The 15 Scariest (and Most Culturally-Relevant) Beards of All Time

In honor of National Beard Month (and Movember, though we’re focusing on actual beards — get your mustachioed fix here), men all over the US are growing out their facial hair. Since we can’t grow our collective beards on the internet, we are celebrating with our list of the fifteen scariest (and famous!) beards of all time — not that we’re pogonophobes! Oh no, more like geniophobes.

For your listening pleasure as you peruse, please download “Beard Lust” by Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.

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Devendra Banhart – Well, this should speak for itself.

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Rasputin – Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin’s beard may have led to the fall of the Romanovs. A Russian mystic, called by some the “Mad Monk,” he was the only person who could alleviate Tsar Nicholas II’s son Alexei’s suffering from hemophilia. We think his magic powers originated in his beard. As legend has it, he also used his beard to seduce the Tsarina and scores of other Russian women into wild orgies. We’re scared.

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Frank Zappa – Even though Zappa is rocking that weird overfed soul patch and handlebar combo, the way he’s looking at us is making us tingly… now that’s scary.

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Karl Marx – It’s like his beard is evenly distributed all around his head. Communist beard!

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Will Oldham – We don’t know if it’s the beard or the face, but Bonnie Prince Billy is freaking us out.

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Brigham Young – Mr. Young had a prodigious (and bifurcated?) beard going, it’s true, but the really frightening part is that at the university he founded you have to obtain a special beard waiver in order to grow your own. Don’t believe us? There’s a whole section on the BYU HR page entitled Beard Procedures.

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Sam Beam – The ultimate beard master. We’re scary jealous.

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Scott Spillane from Neutral Milk Hotel – The original indie rock neck beard. This is scary because our boyfriends did this in high school as a tribute and we had to deal with it. Also it’s just gross.

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Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill from ZZ Top – All we want to know is, what’s the deal with the other guy?

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Yosemite Sam – His whole face is beard. He doesn’t have a face! Just beard!

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Mike Commodore (in a diagram built by Fear the Beard) – It’s a long-standing tradition in hockey to remain unshaven during playoffs, but no one’s playoff beard is better than Mike Commodore’s. He would definitely intimidate us on the ice, but it’s probably scarier for his wife.

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MMA Fighter Kimbo Slice – As far as we’re concerned, the beard does all the punching for him.

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Al Gore – Sporting his ‘Just Lost the Election’ Beard. Unruly beards have long been a sign of depression, listlessness and hoboism, all of which Gore possibly suffered from after the election was snatched from him. Of note: the last president to be elected with facial hair was Taft, in 1908, and the last president with a full beard was Harrison, in 1892.

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Alan Moore – It’s fitting that the author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell would have this intense a beard. Is he trying to give us nightmares? Yes, we think he is.

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Uncle Sam – Mostly frightening to seventeen year old boys and our shell-shocked dads, but if the draft is ever reinstated, Obama says women will have to register, too. Also, we’ve never really gotten over this. Get away from us, Uncle Sam, we’re busy learning the Canadian anthem.

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Bonus: Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky – They’re not the least bit scary, but in a post about facial hair, we just couldn’t resist two literary geniuses embracing in nothing but beard. Actually, Orlovsky does look a little scary. Or maybe alluring. We can’t tell.