The clown craze is exactly that: crazy.
Why people would think it is a fun idea to dress up as clowns and stalk people is beyond me. Why people think it is scary, however, I completely understand. After multiple reports of sightings of clowns, 12 arrests in multiple states, and scary clown sightings reported in more than two dozen states from Alabama to Wisconsin, it is fair to say this has gotten out of hand.
I personally have heard of clown sightings at Clemson University, New York University, and Roger Williams University in Rhode Island but this isn't where the list ends. Penn State, James Madison University, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst were all on lockdown. High schools in the D.C. area and in South Carolina area have had threats and have been partially closed due to these clown sightings. Schools in Reading, Ohio, were closed on Friday as a precaution. A Connecticut school district said it is banning clown costumes and any “symbols of terror.”
There have also been a series of hoax calls which are causing police no end of trouble. It has been said by a police officer that "it is prohibited to wear clown costumes just to freak people out." Very few have been critically hurt during any of these encounters.
But what do the professionals say? According to Scott Bonn, a criminologist and professor of sociology at Drew University in New Jersey, “It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s a party. It’s a game,” Bonn says. “My gut reaction is that this is going to eventually burn out. Could someone get hurt along the way? Yes, if it got out of hand, especially if alcohol is involved. But I don’t necessarily think it’s going to lead to a clown killer.”
The craze is apparently now spreading to the UK-- nice one, guys-- and there have been reports of people being chased around the country. There is talk of this craze being connected to Stephen King's book, "IT", and the character Pennywise, the sinister clown. Stephen King tweeted this the other day, potentially in response to this speculation.
So what do you say? Can we cool down the clown hysteria? Because it is making night life on campuses really hard and no one wants early birthday memories of clowns ruined.