Clown Crazed

By: Sally Nagia

clCoulrophobia is defined as the irrational fear of clowns. Often times, people develop this fear during their childhood years, and their aversion to clowns stays with them throughout their adult lives. Personally, I never understood this phobia. I had always thought that everything about clowns, from the way they looked and dressed to the way that they acted, was hilarious. However, a slew of current events has caused me to reconsider my perspective.

A few months ago, in rural South Carolina, numerous children reported interactions with creepy clowns who were attempting to lure them into the woods using money as incentive. According to these children’s claims, the clowns live in an ominous house in the woods that is nestled near a stream. However, police investigations revealed that the strange house did not contain any clown paraphernalia, or clowns for that matter; the clowns seem to have appeared out of nowhere and disappeared shortly thereafter. These initial creepy sightings have given rise to clown hysteria all over the nation.

Clowns have been spotted in 33 different states so far, and, much to my own horror, they seem to be closing in on my current residence. These strange figures have been reported to be brandishing knifes, chasing down children, or simply standing under a streetlight in the dead of night waving at their victims. Although some of the clowns that have been sighted turned out to be teenagers playing pranks on their communities, other cases of clown sightings seem to be truly dangerous.

But how has this clown craze escalated so quickly? Creepy clowns have mainly targeted children and young adults, which are both populations that have a prevalent social media presence. I have seen countless Snapchats, Tweets, and Facebook posts of my friends or friends of my friends capturing glimpses of creepy clowns in their neighborhoods and on their campuses. With every retweet and Facebook like, we are amplifying the clowns’ power and spreading their horror. Horrifyingly enough, we are agents of these monsters.
We are currently immersed in a real-life horror story. The most horrific part about this narrative is that we do not know exactly how these creepy clowns operate or what they want from their victims. There is no way to predict where they will show up next or what antics they will use. We can’t even tell which clowns are dangerous and which ones are just pranksters.

I cannot say that I still think clowns are hilarious; in fact, I now have severe coulrophobia. These days, my walks home consist of me frequently jumping at the sight of a tree that my mind has morphed into a clown, with its branches waving at me. While I know that this fear is completely irrational, the true accounts of clown run-ins are constantly reminding they could be lurking at every corner. Although there have been no reported sightings of creepy clowns in my area, there is one thing I know for sure: They are coming.

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7 thoughts on “Clown Crazed

  1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there were two clown sighting in Ann Arbor the other day. I just don’t understand how this clown thing became so popular. I remember one day it was just some funny/scary thing happening far away, now it is a scary thing happening everywhere. In my hometown there was a clown that robbed two hotels and started shooting at cops. The schools were in lock down. My parents are scared of me walking home at night, this has gotten way out of hand. It seems like one big real life episode of Scare Tactics (best show ever) that doesn’t end. Great post!!!

  2. I’m from a fairly small town and I actually just saw a video on Facebook yesterday that clowns are now showing up there! It makes me nervous; even a 1 square mile city where most people know each other isn’t safe from this. I really hope this trend fades out soon!

  3. It seems like there is no escape from this clown trend and it is super creepy! I’m a little worried for Halloween because it’s pretty likely that people will dress as these scary clowns to be “funny” only making things more creepy because we will not know if there are actually dangerous clowns in the mix. I don’t know if anyone else has had this on their mind, but if this clown trend continues through Halloween it could escalate even more!

    • Kelly, you make such a remarkably valid point about halloween. I was recently describing the movie Halloween to my friend, but this put so much more into perspective. Halloween is the time for creepers, kidnappers, clowns, and even just jokesters to blossom. I think the US should be very concerned about the clown epidemic currently happening, and how Halloween is the perfect chance to escalate it. We are definitely living in a scary time!

  4. Oh my gosh, this post (and Kelsey’s comment) is not what I want to be reading right before I have to walk home after midnight. The clown trend is extremely disturbing. Until recently I’ve never had a reason to fear clowns, but now just the thought of them gives me shivers. Which is a really interesting example of how context impacts our views/opinions of things that would otherwise be harmless, but not an example that I want to live through in real life!

  5. This post freaked me out, well done! I personally have always been afraid of clowns for reasons that I cannot articulate. But recently I have become absolutely petrified. Seeing these pictures of clowns in the distance is terrifying enough but to know that they might be here in Ann Arbor with the dense foliage and interesting characters everywhere is too much! I am actually very scared if something will happen on Halloween since that seems like too cliche to miss out on. You are totally right, though, all the posts on social media and the like is just fueling the fire for more people to dress up as clowns and wreak havoc on unsuspecting people. I heard that even the President was briefed on the situation so it IS actually a matter of national security! I hope somehow there’s a way to get a handle on this situation before people actually get hurt. Great post!

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