Words: Meghan Moore
The modern world is filled with many terrors: warfare, disease, or simply having your phone run out of battery. In August 2016, a new threat has risen in the United States, and that threat is killer clowns.
While coulrophobia is a very common and reasonable fear, these “killer” clowns are taking fear to a whole new level. Claims of harmful clowns started popping up in South Carolina in late August of this year, and sightings have been reported all over the country.
Videos of the clowns have taken over Twitter. In these videos, unsuspecting people are in isolated areas such as bike paths, cornfields, or country roads, when they come across these clowns. These people often find the clowns holding weapons, and when the people run or drive away, it can be seen in the recording that the clowns are chasing them.
“It’s just people looking for a laugh at other people’s expense,” said senior Michael Simmons.
Many of these videos end with those filming running away, which is a perfectly natural response. However, there are also many videos where those filming take control, and end up assaulting these jesters. While some people believe these clowns are a true threat, many believe that these videos are staged and that people make these videos for attention on social media.
As more reports of these clowns pop up in more populated areas, more people are becoming involved and taking matters into their own hands. On Monday, October 3, 2016, hundreds of students at Penn State instigated a “clown hunt” throughout the campus during the evening. Penn State police officers investigated the alleged clown reports and insisted that they were all rumored.
Halloween is approaching quickly, and scary clowns are a very beloved part of horror movies, haunted houses, and even trick or treating. Field of Screams in Olney, MD has made the decision to not feature clowns this year due to the public panic.
Although not all clowns are involved in this ordeal, the public seems to be temporarily wary of clowns, more so than they previously were. However, is it fair to group all clowns with this faction of people?
“Every clown I have ever come in contact with has been a well-intentioned human being, and I am sure that only a few people can say the opposite,” said junior Lucas Benavides.
Most clowns are merely performers that want to make people smile.
Benavides concluded, “This ordeal has caused thousands of innocent clowns to fear that people are out to hurt them for a crime they did not commit, and that is something I do not support at all.”
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