Clown Scarrings of 2016


Sydney McCabe, Staff Writer

You’re walking down the road late at night mindlessly, staring up at the blinking street lights. You turn your gaze down, one foot in front of the other. Counting your steps as you go, 1, 2, 1, 2. You look up, straight ahead, and standing dead in the middle of your path is a clown. You’re taken back and stumble over a little. When did it get there? Who is it? Is this real? You turn in a slow circle, surveying your surroundings; realizing you are painfully alone. You blink, over and over, hoping it will go away, but each time the horrifying and bloody painted cartoon face gets closer. It stands there, still, until it tilts its head, and the flock of red balloons it’s been holding is released. You try to look away, but you can’t. Your gaze is fixated on this rather unusual and haunting site. Paralyzed with fear, you gasp as the clown suddenly gets closer. You turn and run noticing you’ve been close to your own driveway the whole time.

Sounds like a bad dream, right? Well, during the fall of 2016, this became a reality for some. Over the course of 2016, creepy clown sightings were all the rage. They were seen in the driveways of people’s homes, in the middle of the road, and in some slightly hard-to-believe cases, people’s homes. Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns is a very real fear that many suffer from and during this time, it was surely amplified. Even I and some others that I know who was never scared of clowns had developed a slight fear. Whether that was of the clowns themselves or the idea of someone menacingly being the place where you view safest, nobody knows. Nonetheless, it was a terrifying time.

So, why did all this happen? Through the videos and articles that I viewed as research, it seemed that for the most part, the attacks were nonviolent. So, there wasn’t a harmful intent. It wasn’t seen as a funny trend on social media (Facebook, in particular, hated it.) A theory was presented in an article that I read, and it was all a publicity stunt. For what, though? The remake of It wasn’t released until a little more than a year later and from what I know only one clown movie was released during this time. It was called Terrifier, a slasher clown movie. It wasn’t a big-budget multimillion-dollar project. However, its budget was under a quarter million dollars and it definitely wasn’t a big-name release. It was also never officially said to be connected to any of the clown scarrings. Was there even a reason behind it all then?

As I continued to research, nothing new came up. However, I will quickly mention the violent clown sightings. They seem to have been “regular crimes” (meaning unrelated to being dressed as a clown) where the criminals just took advantage of other people dressing as clowns hoping to escape capture.

All in all, I really don’t understand or believe that there was a true meaning behind the random clowns of 2016. Maybe one day, the secrets will be revealed. Hopefully, on that day, clown sightings won’t resume being a regular thing.