Quit Clownin’ around

A clown sighting epidemic has taken the nation by storm, and these aren’t your average balloon-making, party-going clowns. They’re the clowns of nightmares.

I had the opportunity to talk to YouTuber Andrew Petersen, who captured and posted a video of himself and his friends coming across a clown while driving on a desolate road. The driver got out of the car to confront the clown, then defended himself against it and hurried back in the car unharmed but terrified, driving away and apparently running over the clown during the process.

“It’s unbelievable to have a first-hand experience of people dressing up as clowns to provoke terror among our communities,” Petersen said. “Someone who looks like they just got off work from the circus is the last [thing] you expect to see when driving down an empty country road.”

Even on Bradley’s campus, there was a rumor of a clown on Fredonia Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 5. One of the eyewitnesses was sophomore Jenna Batey.

“I was waiting for a safety cruiser outside of [Alpha Chi Omega’s house,]” she said. “I saw someone walking in the distance. When [he or she] got in front of me, I realized it was a clown. It was wearing a red suit with crazy-colored hair. It stopped for a second to look at me and then went on its way.”

Freshman Stephanie Ramirez is also disturbed by the possibility of clowns on campus.

“It creeps me out to know that clowns could be anywhere at any time,” she said. “It’s not even safe to walk alone on campus anymore, especially in the evening.”

The motivation of these clowns is unknown, since many of them are not violent, but just menacing.
Is this a new M.O. for kidnappers and rapists? If so, it doesn’t seem to be effective. Another theory is the clowns are merely a promotion for a new “It” movie and other people are simply following the trend by dressing up, too.

It seems to me the clowns are playing on the fact that there is a common fear of face-painted fiends, or rather, a common uncertainty and mystery that surrounds them. They can be friendly, or they can be murderous. Just look at John Wayne Gacy, the infamous serial killer and rapist who dressed as a clown when he assaulted and murdered 33 boys and young men and buried them under his house.

I don’t care what anyone says – just the appearance of clowns is enough to creep me out. I would like to give a big thanks to films like “Poltergeist” and “It” for ruining both my childhood, and now apparently, my adulthood.

Needless to say, these clown sightings are shaking up the country and promoting a widespread terror. It’s likely the trend dies passes by Oct. 31, but if not, beware.

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