A new trend to spread to our beloved metropolis?
I had to do a double-take when I first heard about this whole “clown craze” that’s been buzzing around the Internet. I was in disbelief. While clowns may be seen as fun circus people or entertainment for a child’s birthday party, they also have a reputation among many as being really creepy and the stuff of nightmares.
According to the BBC, the incidents started in August with reports of clowns trying to lure kids into forests in South Carolina. This is absolutely chilling. Imagine being a young kid playing in the park and a clown tries to get you to follow them into the woods. That sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.
Since then, there have been numerous sightings around the U.S. of people dressed as clowns, skulking around. Most mind their own business, but others have approached people, while holding weapons like baseball bats and machetes.
Interestingly, this has sparked comments from the clown community—professional clowns, many of whom view their work as an art form. Understandably, these professional clowns are taking offence to this whole ordeal, according to the BBC. They believe their reputation and the reputation of clowns overall is at risk. I won’t lie, I found this slightly amusing. I’ve never gave much thought to how seriously clowns take their work. Yet keeping that in mind, I completely understand their frustration.
Besides the overall creepiness of this trend, I do have legitimate concerns. First, that this is becoming a trend here in Montreal. No thank you. Please stay away.
Secondly, that there is an underlying danger. I understand that this, for the most part, is a joke. Probably teenagers and young adults dressing up to give people a scare and to get a few laughs. I recently watched a YouTube video called Parents react to creepy clown sightings compilation, where parents watch videos of clown sightings. Their reactions to the videos were mixed, but their concerns were similar. Some laughed at the silliness of it all, and others weren’t amused—but they all worry about their kids.
There is genuine concern for safety, as we cannot know which clowns are joking and which mean to cause harm. This, to me, is the worst part. I’m all for a good laugh. In fact, if I weren’t so creeped out by clowns to begin with, I would be laughing hysterically.
But the fact that people could be in danger, makes the situation less humorous. In late Sept. in Ohio, a woman was attacked by a man dressed as a clown when he grabbed her around her neck and threatened to kill her. In another incident in Tennessee, two men dressed as clowns, one holding explosives, walked into a bank and stole money. Both incidents were reported by USA Today. Indeed, stranger danger has reached new heights. Stranger Danger: Clown Edition, we hope, is not here to stay. Sounds like it’d be a fantastic Criminal Minds episode though.