By Taylor Leonard
2016, for all its tragedies and misgivings, may be remembered as the year of the creepy clown for folks living in the United States. Reports of strange and often unsettling sightings of unknown individuals dressed in clown costumes have been filed with police departments across more than half the country beginning back in August.
The alleged encounters have become increasingly more unnerving, resulting in most major news sources focusing attention on the developing national phenomenon. Furthermore, an internet frenzy has been drummed up regarding the exact motive and endgame of these creepy clowns.
Clown caught on camera below:
WATCH OUT Clown Sighting in Tacoma, WA on 26th St. be careful when walking around. pic.twitter.com/M5Yjl1b64j
— Ryan Naylor (@RyRynaylor) October 3, 2016
Worst fears appeared to come true at the end of September, when news agencies in Pennsylvania reported a teenage boy stabbed to death by someone wearing a clown costume. School districts and police departments around the country have begun developing protocol in reaction to the escalating violence associated with the 2016 clown sightings.
However, in a twist of events, later reports revealed the person wearing the clown costume was none other than the murdered teenager himself. His choice in attire allegedly generated hostility among a group of teens fearful of the ongoing creepy clown encounters, resulting in one of them attacking and killing the 16-year-old.
As mentioned in an earlier article about the ongoing clown sightings, the ultimate victims of these encounters appear to be the clowns themselves. This concern is shared by most police departments dealing with creepy clown reports, who often find armed bands of self-proclaimed clown hunters roaming the woods and roads in search of clowns reported to be in the area. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before someone in their jurisdiction winds up being killed over a relatively harmless prank, as was the case last month in Pennsylvania.
Contributing to an atmosphere primed for escalating violence are online rumors of a creepy clown conspiracy preparing to cause major mayhem on Halloween. In comments sections, messageboards, and videos around the web, anonymous users are repeatedly mentioning a planned Halloween purge perpetrated by maniac clowns across the country and possibly the world.
At first glance these fears appear to be nothing more than the usual conspiracy theories touted on the internet. However, if this were the case then the theory must itself be the act of a coordinated conspiracy, as the rumors pop up virtually everywhere there’s a story about the latest clown sightings.
A competing theory gaining attention around the web points to a far more familiar kind of “conspiracy”: a marketing campaign for the remake of the movie adaptation of It, a story featuring an evil clown terrorizing a group of children, which is scheduled for release early next year.
In any case, expect reports of creepy clown encounters to keep coming in as Halloween approaches – and beware the violence surrounding this unsettling phenomenon.