top of page

The 2016 Killer Clowns

By Olivia Sukari

We all remember the killer clown craze of 2016, and some of us even spotted one ourselves, but how did this ‘trend’ start, and what were they actually doing? Let’s find out.

The Beginning

The first recorded killer clown sighting was a little boy in South Carolina, USA, who reported the clowns to his mum. He stated that there were two clowns in the woods, and his mother said, “They were trying to lure him into the house”, referring to an abandoned home further into the woods.

Another later sighting was reported to police on September 30th in the UK. They were told someone was dressed as a ‘creepy clown’ and jumping out of bushes to scare children. From that point forward, more and more clown incidents were reported.

A teenage clown was arrested for the possession of a ‘bladed article’, and some other ‘killer’ clowns took that phrase too far if you know what I mean. I don’t think the circus told them to do that…

The Killer Clown Craze

So, why were people doing it, and why was everyone so scared?

Most cases of clown scares were harmless, and the whole craze was for the most part a case of mass hysteria. However, there were a couple instances where I wouldn’t be calling it ‘irrational’ anxiety.

In regards to why they were doing this, some believe it was all just a PR stunt to get people talking about creepy clowns before the release of Stephen King’s ‘It’. I personally believe that social media prompted a pranking frenzy that everyone wanted to be involved in, in some cases with a little insanity sprinkled on top.

Okay, maybe more than a little. In October of 2016, the announcement of a ‘clown-initiated purge’ started circulating the media, due to occur on Halloween Eve. Although this never really happened, on the day it was supposed to happen, a family in Florida was attacked by 20 people in clown masks and purge masks.

Overall, the clown craze seems to have been a harmless prank that some didn’t exactly intend to be harmless. I haven’t seen a creepy clown in public since 2016, but if I were you I’d steer clear of any red noses, balloons, or paper boats in gutters you see on Halloween this year. Happy Halloween!



Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Oct 31, 2023

loved this ❤ it helped me reflect on themes of woman empowerment

bottom of page