Quit clowning around

“Creepy clowns prompts lockdown in North Texas,” “Deputies: Shenendehowa bomb threat came from creepy clowns,” “Recent wave of creepy clown reports has yet to reach Boston area. But it’s happened here before.”

As of late, headlines read like we’re living in a dystopian society that closely resembles Batman’s Gotham City. Clowns are taking over, and the internet is having a meltdown. Even Stephen King is freaking out about it.

The outbreak of clown sightings began in late August. The New York times reported, “At the edge of dark, dark woods in South Carolina, children have been telling adults that a group of clowns have been trying to lure them into the cluster of trees. They say the clowns live deep in the woods, near a house by the pond.”

This sounds like something straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Also, what parents are letting their kids venture into the “dark, dark woods” unsupervised?

At first, I really hoped this was a satire piece. Either that, or the Times was experiencing a rather slow news day.

But as the outcropping of clown sightings increased and #ClownWatch2016 headlined Facebook’s trending topics section, I realized the gravity of the situation.

Since the sightings in South Carolina it seems that the clown pandemonium has become toxic, spreading through states like wildfire. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have all been witnesses to these face-painted atrocities.

That being said, clown scares have been around for nearly 35 years. The first documented was in May 1981 in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Two clowns driving a van offered elementary school students candy. Stereotypes have to come from somewhere, I suppose.

The closest the epidemic got to Bloomington was in October of 2014 when a creepy clown holding a bunch of balloons strolled the streets of Fishers, Indiana.

Recently, the scares have become far more serious.

In Reading, Ohio, schools were closed Sept. 30 to ensure the safety of students. A man dressed as a clown attacked a woman in the area the day before.

In Philadelphia, police 
received word of clowns terrorizing students via 
social media. An Instagram post by the account Clown_of_Philly warned, “Coming to Neuman Goretti on Monday!! Going to shoot all the students and teachers.”

More posts began to surface warning of upcoming attacks.

The Philadelphia school district immediately contacted the police department and the Office of Homeland Security to combat the attack. And the authorities are not clowning around.

According to the New York Times, 12 individuals are facing charges for clown hoaxes, and rightly so. This is not a joking matter.

Some claim that the clown sightings will subside in the near future. All we can do now is question the humanity of our society.

If I had to choose between a masked man running around Bloomington and a vanload of creepy clowns, I’d pick the masked man every time. Clowns are downright creepy. Why they exist, I do not know.

I blame Charlie Chaplin.

Honestly, I’m just hoping that no one chooses to dress up as a clown for Halloween this year. With hoards of drunk Clintons and Trumps wandering around the streets, the last things we need are creepy clowns.

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