Source: The New York Post
It seems like a normal sort of day. You’re out with your friends, just hanging out, but something doesn’t feel right. It’s almost like eyes are watching you. You whip around, trying to identify the source of your creeping anxiety, and then you see it — a clown, hovering in the shadows, rictus grin across his face.
Then he beckons you into the woods.
This situation sounds like something out of a horror novel, but it’s something that’s been all too real for people across the entire country — and even the world.
The first sightings of “creepy clowns,” so far as can be determined, took place in northeast South Carolina, according to a September story in Reuters. The clowns, spotted by children, seemed to be enticing the kids to come with them to nearby woods. At first, residents thought that the clowns might be a publicity stunt for a newly released horror movie.
But, according to CNN, the phenomenon has spread across the United States and has even started to occur overseas, in Canada, Australia, and the UK. The incidents have started to be of concern to law enforcement, with worried residents reporting the sightings and arrests having been made.
Some people have started to take matters into their own hands, with one man in a clown costume being savagely beaten with a baseball bat when he tried to scare a carful of friends. Schools have issued warnings to parents. The FBI and Homeland Security have been consulted on how to deal with the phenomenon.
The creepy clown craze has even affected Ronald McDonald. The McDonald’s hamburger chain has announced that it has cut back appearances of its iconic mascot.
Explanations for what is causing the creepy clown craze are many and varied. The simplest reason may be that social media is spreading the meme, encouraging people to dress up as clowns and frighten people for laughs. But the activity can lead to violence and hence tragedy if allowed to go unchecked.