There is no doubt that 2016 has been one of those difficult years. Mayhem and tragedy have come hand in hand in the United States, and in the world. As 2016 nears its end, the hope is prevalent that events will calm down in 2017.
But now the reigning terror of clowns has begun.
Clowns have been receiving a bad rep for a while now. With frightening examples such as Pennywise from Stephen King’s It, the clown doll from Poltergeist, the Joker in Batman and the real life serial killer John Wayne Gacy, these harlequins have done little to convince people that they mean no harm. There was talk of a renewed It movie, which is speculated as what brought about the influx in jesters roaming the roads. Whatever the reason behind their rampage, this is no longer a joke.
After watching the many videos on social media of clowns being present in and around people’s yards, it has has been decided by most that these tricksters have become a menace. The majority of the clips on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites end with the harlequin being beaten by the ones they scared, while others are filled with people screaming about the sighting. This behavior that is plaguing the United States, and now other countries, proves that the worst of humanity love to be noticed. Who else would be dedicated in implementing mass terror?
In the videos, contact with clowns happens because people (mostly teens and those in their late 20s) drive around their home place searching for these creepy threats. This is apparent because in the videos, those participating are on the lookout, already filming the roads in hopes of catching the spooks. When there are threats present in our vicinity, we as a group in the U.S. want to be rid of the menace. This includes confrontation and physical harm toward the joker. Many videos end in a group attacking the clown in the videos. Others are just the people wanting to have their own glimpse of this terror, so when they spot the clown they drive away as fast as they can.
The joke has gone too far. People have enough to fear with terrorist threats, the current election, police brutality and crime, so there is no legitimate reason for this behavior other than to create fear. All of the videos-whether they are real or fake-have one thing in common: those who witness the clown are terrified. How they act upon this emotion depends on their stability as a person, which is represented through fight or flight. Fear and distrust of clowns has been prevalent for ages, going back to medieval jesters, but these clowns today are playing off an entertainment and twisting it into terror. It would be different if they were standing on street corners with balloons and smiling, but they’re chasing and blocking cars, showing up in people’s yards, beckoning children and teens into the woods and just being downright rude. The presence of these clowns have resulted in clown hunting groups, Clown Lives Matter campaigns, and people beating clowns and stealing their balloons.
With any luck, this craze will close once Halloween is over, but for now people are being hurt and their safety is threatened, and that is never a laughing matter.