Clown Sightings Spike in 2016

Trevor Land, Reporter

Last year, news agencies reported a surge in clown sightings, in 44 states. Even Hawai’i had a clown sighting at Wai’anae Intermediate School.

The panic began in Greenville, South Carolina when a boy observed two clowns in the woods and ran for his mother. He said they were trying to lure him into the woods. After this incident, clown uproar struck fear in everyone who had a distaste for clowns.     

People, worldwide, have expressed some sort of unfounded fear or mistrust of clowns.

Eric Keaweehu (12) said that he is not afraid of clowns but speculates why others do.  Keaweehu said he thinks people are fearful because of how they are portrayed in film, such as the 1990 hit movie “IT” or even 1988 Killer Klowns from “Outer Space.”

“Some people grow up scared of clowns,” he said.

Kimiko Smith (12) believes the recent fear of clowns resurfaced with the addition of a serial killer clown in season 4 of “American Horror Story.” The clown played a dominant role in the season until he was killed off.       

The horror television series’ storyline has Smith admitting that she is a little afraid of clowns because of imagined attacks.

While no reports were made of clowns seriously harming anyone, it isn’t the same for them. A teenager with a clown mask was stabbed to death by a man in Pennsylvania.

People with a genuine fear of clowns have a condition called Coulrophobia. In contrast,  Psychology teacher Corey Allen finds humor in this misunderstood group. He said there is no reason to fear them, and that clowns are only looking for attention.

Junior Ashlyn Osalvo also believes this is a laughing matter, and reasons that the only time to be afraid is under certain circumstances, like if the clown had any sort of weapon. Some sightings reported clowns with knives, as well as balloons.

While 2016 saw a spike in clown news, these clowns could be trying to recreate the life of John Wayne Gacy or The Killer Clown. Gacy was convicted of 33-34 accounts of murder, sexual assaults, sodomy, and indecent liberties with a child.