A few weeks ago, reports of clowns showing up and luring children and being all clowny in South Carolina. What started out as a journalistic curiosity is now becoming a concern as more sightings happen, and some are pretty scary for all the wrong reasons.
The sightings began in Greensville, South Carolina with people seeing a clown hanging around laundromats and generally lurking about. Later sightings include a clown who tried to lure children into the woods with cash and candy.
Sightings have continued and spread to neighboring North Carolina, with one man chasing a clown with a machete. What’s with all these clown sightings? Some believe it’s a group of fans doing a homemade homage to Stephen King’s Pennywise from IT, and others think it’s a promotional stunt for a movie such as It or Rob Zombie’s 31.
While I doubt any marketing company would open themselves up for numerous lawsuits and arrests with a clowny viral campaign, it is likely some type of homage that is growing out of control. The problem is that a copycat clown could actually be dangerous.
While the majority of these sightings are benign, the ones involving children could be something much more nefarious. A criminal seeking to take advantage of the current clown publicity and fascination could try and use it for attacking or kidnapping.
The town impacted by these sightings are on high alert, as are the police. Police chiefs have told reporters that anyone dressed up as a clown and terrorizing citizens will be arrested. Despite their efforts, no clown have been apprehended.
Clowns have long been a focus of fascination and fear. While they create mirth and entertainment in circuses and birthday parties, many children are frightened by the face paint and costumes. King said that this innate fear is what made him choose a clown for Pennywise’s visage for his book.