You’re trudging down Bruin Walk in the middle of the night after a marathon studying session in Powell. Suddenly, the streetlight along the path illuminates something bizarre: a grotesque, red-haired, makeup-caked clown. He cocks his head in your direction, and starts to walk toward you.
Do you run? Fight? Start screaming? All these options run through your head, but you freeze in fear. You wonder how on earth that 2016 could have gotten any worse.
Within the last few months, the United States has become a twisted version of a clown horror movie, and the epidemic has definitely made its way to Los Angeles. In the greater Los Angeles area, clown social media accounts threatened schools to the point that the pranksters were arrested.
Of course, this is nothing new. Clown epidemics in the U.S. apparently have a long history.
In spite of this association with fear, clowns have historically been, first and foremost, an entertainment act in circus, performers who enthralled the masses with theatrics and colorful costume makeup. Nevertheless, the question remains: Have they ever really provided much positivity?
Stephen King thinks so. The master of horror and creator of the famously evil clown “It” of the eponymous novel, showed his concern, tweeting “Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria – most of ’em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.”
Although King thinks clowns are beneficial to the world, most people seem to think otherwise. A study at University of Sheffield in England found that children in hospitals universally disliked clown-decorated hospital walls, finding such clown imagery scary. Even Target is deciding to leave out the clown masks this Halloween, for fear of continuing to stir the media frenzy by supplying wannabe clowns with clown attire.
Whether they are just pranksters or something more dangerous, a fear of clowns showing up is definitely justified. Regardless of your personal opinion on clowns, it is important to always be prepared in case the clowns get a little too close for comfort. Watch as John Wooden Center kickboxing instructor Cris Cole shows the best ways to defend against attackers in the context of the recent clown attacks happening around the nation.