Coulrophobia

by Stanley Godfrey, Anna Schactler, Ethan MacLaren

 

Everyone is putting the mask on

Everyone is putting the mask on

Coulrophobia

[kool-ruhfoh-bee-uh]

  1. an abnormal fear of clowns.

A wild election, hurricanes and storms everywhere. Americans have experienced a lot of chaos in the past few months.To add on to this madness, clowns have been roaming the streets.

This new fad, known as “Scary Clowns”, “Killer Clowns”, or “The Clown Epidemic” has become a huge subject in the media.

This trend is where some people are dressing up as clowns and looking threatening at different times of day.

It has spawned memes, news reports, and public conversation.

Since the fad has gotten big, Cisco Bourgette, a junior at Nathan Hale has been actively hunting for clowns around Seattle to see if he can get some sightings.

So far he has had a few successful nights looking for these clowns. Including one search around Sand Point with his friend “G money”, which resulted in a very serious clown attack.

“Clowns with both knives and machetes began running towards us, and body slammed our car, they were  everywhere,” Bourgette stated.

Cisco told us that the majority of these clowns are simply joking around, but a very small amount pose a serious threat.

While the origin is unknown, this has been happening since the start of 2016.

One of the biggest cases occurred during May in Greenville, South Carolina.  People dressed as clowns and encouraged kids to go into the woods, reportedly sometimes offering money.

Sightings near a local housing complex “Fleetwood Manor”, shocked local citizens. A resident in the area, Donna Arnold, received a letter from the complex days after hearing rumors.

“I thought my child was seeing things, the next day more kids would come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clowns?’ At one point the local police had to dispatch officers to monitor the area,” she said.

Although no one was hurt in Greenville, reports keep coming in from all over the country and even in other parts of the world.

The biggest source of this topic is online. Many clown accounts have appeared on social media sites and have created a variety of threats.

One Facebook post stated,

“We will be at all high schools this Friday to either kidnap students or kill teachers.”

Although some of these are simply  jokes, it has caused schools to shut down all across the country. Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup had to close because of sightings of clowns holding weapons near campus. The FBI helped launch the investigation into who was committing these crimes.

This clown fad has affected Nathan Hale as well, according to an email from staff.

“The Seattle School District has been contacted by a number of individuals concerned about an ongoing national social media trend related to ‘Scary Clowns.’ (…) We are communicating to families to remind you and your student that if they see suspicious individuals while at school.”

These acts of threatening behind a clown image has annoyed and irritated real clowns for a while.

Jordan Jones, a professional clown living in Arizona, has now created a movement known as “Clown Lives Matter”. The purpose is to tell people that clowns that actually work are being harassed by people all over the U.S. This movement of clowns has been trying to form peaceful protests against this profiling, many of which were planned to be on October 15th. But as it turns out, many of the protests were cancelled due to death threats.

Henry Graham, a Junior, had his own opinions on the matter.

“It’s a bunch of fear mongering. Eventually someone will get stabbed or shot because they’re wearing a clown mask,” he said. “It’s young men that want to f*** with people.”

Graham had a lot of respect for the clown protests. He thought it must feel bad for clowns that are being “vilified” by the media.

Although this trend has died down there are still some reports of sightings around Seattle. Cisco also stated Halloween will have the largest activity yet. “It will be Anarchy,” he stated.

 

Photo by Ethan MacLaren

 


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