The Clown Apocalypse Is Here


Ronald McDonald, the official face of McDonald’s fast food chain, is “on hiatus” until the clown craze settles. The company made a statement on Oct. 12, saying that they intend to be “thoughtful” when planning public appearances for Ronald McDonald. (Picture from Flickr)

Holley Murray, Staff Writer

By now, it is hard for one to not be aware of the rumored sightings of clowns stalking around sidewalks and terrorizing communities. Reports have been made of people dressing in baggy and colorful “clown” clothing and chasing or threatening people (specifically children and teenagers). There is plenty of debate as to the credibility of these reports, but one thing can be said with absolute certainty: it’s pretty terrifying.


To many, it seems absurd to be living in fear of destruction-seeking clowns, but others believe the seriousness of the rumors should not be underestimated. The topic came up on a moonlit evening among North freshmen August Watkins, Sophia D’Oliveira, Natalie Chang, and Tori Burgess. When asked whether fight or flight would prevail if the students were approached by a clown, Watkins answered without hesitation, “Oh, I’d fight, no doubt.” The other students seemed to be in agreement, until the streetlights shut off ten minutes later and the four sprinted from the area, certain the clowns had come.


The concerns are not isolated to high school freshmen. Senior Abbey Ingram concluded that if she were approached by a clown threatening to bring destruction, she would definitely fight. “If you run away, you’re a baby,” she said with a sense of finality. “I’d use my fists. And my knees, probably.”


The reports originated in Greenville, South Carolina at the end of August when a little boy told his mother he had spotted “two clowns in the woods, both brightly dressed and made up,” and that they had attempted to lure him into the woods. After this original claim, fear spread, and more and more reports were made that have since gone global. However, the fear of clowns could be the least of the world’s worries.


Crime hotlines and police stations have been flooded with illegitimate reports of stalking clowns, threats to schools from clown accounts on Twitter, and fake social media “sightings.” False reports have even surfaced at West and South Forsyth High School.  All the panic has knocked real clowns out of business, fearful of being persecuted by the law just for doing their job. In addition, police stations are having to discern between true and false accusations to protect the public. Chasing down imaginary criminals is taking time away from tracking down true threats (and reporting a fake crime is a crime in itself).


Could this actually be the beginning of the long-awaited clown apocalypse? Have they finally come to claim the planet as their own? Perhaps. Most people expect the clown craze to fade quickly, but no one can really see what the future will hold.