It’s that time of year again; fall leaves, pumpkin spice, an influx of sweaters, oh! And creepy clowns.
In this season, somebody thought it would be a good idea to go around dressed up as a clown to scare people, which is ironic because clowns are supposed to be fun.
According to CBS News, “The phenomenon started in late August, when children in South Carolina reported seeing a clown beckoning them into the woods. But those sightings were never confirmed.”
After that, clown sightings increased all over the country, and social media blew up with stories of scary stories, which increased the fear to propagate globally.
At first, the clowns were just trying to lure kids into the woods and chase people- or just stand around- but recently, there have reports of clowns harassing people and physically hurting people.
There have also been social media accounts set up instructing anyone who is dressed up as a clown to go to certain schools. Social media is a big factor in these cases, and fuel more and more people to go out and make threats.
“Police say a 12-year-old boy has been arrested for making a clown-related threat on social media to ‘shoot up’ an Ohio school,” reported ABC News.
“McDonald’s announced Monday that Ronald McDonald is going on the down low”, reported CNN News.
The popular store, Target, is suspended the sale of clown masks at stores and online in response to the spate of creepy clown-related sightings across the country, according to NBC News.
Benjamin Radford, author of Bad Clowns, explained that “he was interested in looking at all the different variations of the bad or scary clown in pop culture–from The Joker to the puppet Mr. Punch to Krusty the clown.”
He went on to say that, “he realized that nobody had actually written a whole book about the clowns in terms of their significance culturally, historically, and in other ways. So he decided to write it.”
“Most of the reports in the scary clown panic are hoaxes, copycats, pranksters, and rumors. The chances that one or more people dressed as clowns are actually trying to abduct kids [and] assault people is remote” according to Radford.
Social media plays a big role in spreading the fear and inspiring others to go out and dress up as clowns, scaring and hurting others.
Just to be safe, children and parents should be aware and stay away from any clown encounters.