Irrational fears bring irrational reactions with clown fad

North Wind Staff

As Halloween looms, we find ourselves craving specific things: horror movies, haunted houses and sugar-induced comas. Spooky celebration is sought after and praised. Except, of course, if you’re dressing up as a clown.

re-clownThe trend of people disguising themselves as clowns that began during August in an unfortunate South Carolina town, has bled into all 50 states, most provinces of Canada and 18 other
countries. Clown pranks have existed in the past, but have never been at this level before—and this sharp increase of clown sightings is, above all, terrifying.

And not in the spooky, “Happy Halloween” sort of way.

The line of violence has been crossed with the craze. Clowns have been seen wielding knives or threatening to kidnap children. People have pulled guns on the pranksters or even chased them down to physically harm them.

When playing on irrational fears, people often have irrational reactions.

We need to feel safe in our environments—our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools. The second that safety is threatened, we instantly have strong feelings about it. With the clown phenomena, schools and campuses have been faced with real threats such as kidnappings, assaults and shootings. That is terrorism, regardless of whether it’s labelled as a prank or “all in good fun.”

It is sickening that there are people out there who find it funny to strike legitimate fear into others, especially when it comes to children and parents. Suddenly the horror movie becomes reality, and the fun abruptly ends with the threat of someone getting shot. But yet, the trend doesn’t stop.

Like a bad internet fad, this phenomena continues to grow and spread from one small area to the entire globe. News websites are focused on sharing a story about someone jumping in a costume and scaring people, making the clown issue more powerful than it should be. The clowns are becoming a distraction from issues in the news that should matter more.

In a time that’s heavy with fear and terrorism, the last thing we need is a craze that plays upon phobias for a prank. There are plenty of frightening things out there, ranging from ISIS to student loans and we don’t need to add clowns lurking around at night to the list.