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Not Clowning Around

Creeps dressed as clowns roam Portland and other big cities with the goal to scare unsuspecting people. Recently, a clown was spotted downtown Portland trying to rob a women’s car.

Lauryn Pan, Editor

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With their brightly colored faces and lovable personalities, clowns are a popular addition to any birthday party. But, when clowns start to terrorize children and threaten schools, they are no laughing matter. Reports of clowns causing mayhem all over America has flooded twitter and other social media sites, grabbing everybody’s attention. However, are these clowns something we should be scared of, or are all those videos just gags?

While this clown phenomenon is know as “The Great Clown Panic of 2016,” it turns out clowns have been terrorizing people since the late 1800’s. It was in a book written by Charles Dickens titled The Pickwick Papers, which had a clown character described as such:

“His bloated body and shrunken legs—their deformity enhanced a hundredfold by the fantastic dress—the glassy eyes, contrasting fearfully with the thick white paint with which the face was besmeared; the grotesquely-ornamented head, trembling with paralysis, and the long skinny hands, rubbed with white chalk—all gave him a hideous and unnatural appearance” (28).

It was this creepy description that inspired people to see clowns as dark and eerie. Disturbing clowns flourished and now, clowns make more people cry than laugh.

The Clown Panic of 2016 originated during late August in Greenville, South Carolina when stories of creepy clowns luring children into woods at night popped up on social media. Now, having spread to over two dozen states, videos shot on people’s phones of clowns chasing people down dirt roads or stalking them from across the park  have taken over the internet. These videos mostly consist of clowns chasing people and jumping out in front of their cars, looking for a scare.

“It’s getting a little bit scary because people are starting to believe it a little bit more, and we’re starting to see some of those unsettling pictures on Facebook…Not of the clown, but of people armed and preparing to defend themselves, saying ‘I can’t go outside because I’m afraid of clowns or whatever. That’s just a little too far,” said C.J. Guzan, an actor local to Wisconsin told ABC’s wbay.com.

While these scary clown videos are easy to laugh about on twitter, this clown panic has come to Sunset. Clown sightings have happened around the area. The Beaverton School District felt the need to warn not only students, but parents, about this new trend. The email resulted in students who were not aware of this issue to take to the internet and since then, lots of different opinions on the subject have surfaced at Sunset.

“I’m not scared of them, most of those videos are fake,” says freshman Carey Pan, “I think it’s stupid, don’t people have thing better to do in their free time?”

While some students believe this is nothing to worry about, others are taking extra precautions when out at night.

“This clown thing is scary and I hate it. I saw one really close to my house one night and it was the most terrifying thing ever,” said Nicole Sterba, a senior at Sunset.

It’s easy to watch these videos on the internet and laugh at the poor acting of the clowns, but once you experience the fear of looking into the unpredictable white face housing pitch black eyes, your perspective on this clown panic changes.

Whether or not these clowns are life threatening, they are no laugh matter. These clowns are unpredictable, feeling braver behind their face paint they have no shame and will not hesitate to try to scare you.

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The student news site of Sunset High School
Not Clowning Around