Is This Where The Ridiculous Clown Craze Originated From?
All these clown sightings are scary, aren't they?
The news that people are setting up vigilante gangs to deal with the 'problem' did not overly bother me to be honest, as long as it doesn't get out of hand.
This whole clown craze is by no means a new thing. It's happened before in the UK, but it feels like there's a lot more of it this year. It feels as though the previous years were building up to this and this year they're just everywhere.
Some people, including my editor who is making me write this even though he knows I'm terrified of clowns, have even gone so far as to suggest that it could all just be some super viral marketing for the remake of Stephen King's IT, which is due out next year. Or at least that's how it started out.
This has been vehemently denied by producer Barbara Muschietti, but, then again, it's not exactly something you'd admit to.
Someone has made a handy reddit page with all the 'evidence' so far. Some of it is more convincing than other parts. The Redditor claims the swiftness of these sightings when it first happened in the States mean that it could not have been copycat cases but, in fact, a coordinated marketing campaign. Now there's no argument that it's just awful people thinking they're funny.
There have been a bunch of arrests already and these people aren't trying the ol' 'I'm an actor, officer' defence, which they really sure be trying as it's better than any other reason they could come up with.
This actually leads nicely on to what is definitely my favourite mugshot of the year by the way, and I'd like to share it with you all. Behold:
Perhaps it did start out as a marketing campaign, but now it's just a bunch of idiots.
It's even led to Stephen King speaking out, as well as some sad 'real clowns' who say all the scary shit is ruining their careers. Again, no sympathy, it's your career choice to dress as the thing of nightmares all day.
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
You bloody started all this, Stephen.
However, this other theory does seem quite interesting.
Dr Adam Lynes, a criminologist from Birmingham City University, told the Mirror that the reason that people are so quick to put a mask on and go out terrorising kids is because wearing a mask allows us to behave in a way that we would never do without the mask.
He also reckons that social media coverage has encouraged more copycat clowns to pop up, which I think is definitely the case.
Dr Lynes said: "The very act of hiding one's face is also very powerful, potentially leading these individuals to act in a way they normally would not when their faces are visible."
My main problem with the doc's theory is that it's absolutely terrifying. Because, unless I've missed the point, he's saying that people will do things they wouldn't do if they didn't have a mask/make-up. Like commit crimes? Like break into houses? Like kill me?
Cool, well, I'm glad I've cleared that up. I'm off to buy a baseball bat.
Featured image credit: SWNS/New Line Cinema