We all have seen the news reports. The creepy clowns lurking in the shadows, scaring us and leaving us all with a severe case of the “heebie-jeebies.”
It all began in March 2014 when the “Staten Island Clown” became a social media sensation. A person was dressed in the likeness of Stephen King’s Pennywise, the clown from King’s classic, It, complete with the yellow jumpsuit, face paint and red nose. He was not bothering anyone, just waving, but many people reported being scared and were afraid to leave their homes. That clown, though, wasn’t meant to scare anyone it was a just a promotional stunt for Fuzz on the Lens, a low budget production company with roots on Staten Island.
Fast forward and today is a different story. It’s a sad state of affairs when McDonald’s sidelines the adorable Ronald McDonald due to these circumstances.
There have been clown incidents all over the country. The creepy clown trend in Florida began in mid-September. According to the Sun Sentinel, sightings have occurred in Ocala, Palm Bay and Gainesville with social media threats against schools in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lantana and Oakland Park. Fort Lauderdale High even went on lockdown after an anonymous threat.
Today (10/27) in Melbourne two men were arrested in clown costumes after threatening people with a baseball bat and ax. They had been involved in at least five incidents starting on Oct. 15.
Target removed scary clown costumes from its shelves on Oct. 17 as a result of this killer clown craze.
Tragically a man wearing a clown mask stabbed a 16-year-old high school sophomore to death in Reading, Pa.
The Miami Police Department created a video to warn citizens about the clown phenomenon.
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) October 13, 2016
My thirteen-year-old daughter walks two blocks home from school every day. I can see the school from our driveway and most days I stand outside with my two younger children to watch her come home. She’s been walking this way since she was 10, but now she’s afraid. The stories swirling around these clown sightings are especially chilling. The videos popping up all over YouTube are scary. She comes home from school telling me about a new video she saw on YouTube about a knife or ax wielding clown chasing after unsuspecting victims. My teenager is now afraid to walk home. She is terrified she will be targeted and chased by a clown. The kids at school are talking about it constantly.
There are Facebook pages set up by these supposed clowns. Some are making threats to schools and promising sightings in different areas. My daughter is terrified of something that seems to be a prank, but who knows?
Halloween usually brings an array of fun evening activities with cute kids dressed up in costumes trick or treating around the neighborhood. This year though, more than ever, we feel nervous and wary. My husband has his open carry license here in Texas, for instance, and will be carrying his gun under his jacket. Carrying a gun is never something we felt we needed to do, until this year. I wake up and run every morning at 5 am. I now carry a taser. It’s ridiculous but I’m fed up with the clowns.
Of course, there will be people who think dressing up as a clown and scaring people will be a fun idea. Nevertheless, I offer a warning. Be careful if you plan to do this. People are on edge, scared and feeling protective of their families. You’re playing a dangerous game and if you make the wrong person feel threatened you could be the one in grave danger. Respect families and the kids that are out trick or treating and trying to enjoy their Halloween.
Even Stephen King himself has weighed in:
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
We love Stephen King, but we are still keeping an eye out for the clowns.
Be safe everyone.