The Killer Clown Phenomenon

Are we Safe?

by YU FEI HUANG

If you haven’t heard about the creepy clown epidemic reports, below will give you some insight into the bizarre phenomenon happening in the US, Canada and England.

The first incident of a clown sighting happened in the US during late August, as police services received reports about a claim of seeing a clown attempt to abduct children into the woods. Since then, the craze of killer clown sightings spread to Canada through social media, and it has officially reached Alberta in October. Some dress up as scary clowns, while carrying weapons and scaring children. Schools were shut down due to threats that were made on social media. Those who made threats or dressed up as clowns were charged for public mischief and terrorist threat charges in the US.

What started all this craze in 2016? Besides having social media as the main pusher for the craze; Robert Bartholomew, a sociologist from New Zealand, hypothesizes the reason for such craze is our fear of strangers in an increasingly urban and impersonal society. A lot of the times, there is no evidence of a clown sighting. The famous clown-hunt in Penn State University that took place in the early October initiated 6000 students based on the allegation of seeing clowns.

Theatrically, clowns are a character that amuses its audience by making silly mistakes. Think of Mr. Bean, the contemporary example that brings you joy with his foolish behaviours. However, clowns that adapt sinister characteristics are gaining popularity in mainstream entertainment. Think of the famous clown from It, Joker from Suicide Squad and Batman series, and Twisty, who gives me very bad nightmares about clowns after watching the popular show, American Horror Story.

The important message to take with you is this – please dress up as anything but a clown this Halloween. There has been a lot of anxieties and injuries happen during this phenomenon. Because of the inconvenience this craze has brought to the society, the environment is currently not suitable for clowning around.

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