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Social clown scare has made me more aware

Clown sightings have spread across the country. (photo/

Clown sightings have spread across the country. (photo/

Clown sightings in the United States have sent social media into a frenzy with multiple videos, photographs, and posts about reported clowns stalking cars and people in wooded areas. The national situation has become a social hysteria, with Ohio Northern University contributing to the panic.

Last week, two students claimed to have been chased by a clown on campus. While this was a claim, the report spread across campus, resulting in many students being scared to walk across campus at night.

As a senior, I have never felt uncomfortable to walk by myself at night. I am the person who enjoys stopping and admiring the nighttime sky as I walk back to my apartment. Though with the mass hysteria that I could potentially be approached by a clown, I’m more aware of my surroundings. If anything, this incident has encouraged students to be more aware of the people around them as they walk at night.

Sociologist Robert Batholomew says the clown craze has become a “social panic.”

The clown scare is not over, it’s going to continue now for about three more weeks. It’s going to peak around Halloween time and then it’s going to suddenly decline and go the way of Pokemon Go and Flappy Bird and it’s just going to plummet.”

I understand that the clown scare is closely related to Halloween, which is one of the reasons why I hate the month of October. I love the changing season from summer to autumn, but I am the person who jumps easily at horror movies. I am not a fan of Halloween. I anticipate the next few weeks to be interesting, not just for me but for the entire ONU campus.

Why are so many people scared of clowns? I believe one of the reasons could be because clowns have their emotions painted on their faces. I can’t see their real reactions. They are always smiling.

Bartholomew blames the entertainment industry for the creation of peoples’ irrational fear of clowns.

I’ve counted at least 186 television programs and films from 1980 to date based on creepy clowns, killing clowns, abducting clowns, bank robbing clowns and this provides a context for what we are seeing today.”

Many of the reported clown sightings involve clowns holding supposed weapons. No one wants to be chased by a killer clown. I just hope the social craze disappears after Halloween—as I would like to return to feeling safe at night.

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