Growing up with horror movies like Stephen King’s “It” and Adam Grossman’s “Carnival of Souls,” clowns tend to appear on our list of fears. The start of the 2016 “clown craze” started mid August when a little boy in Greenville, South Carolina was confronted by two clowns trying to lure him into the woods. By early September, the trending clown sightings made their way to Oregon. I have since had two experiences with them.
The first encounter, occurred during early morning on I5 south. A white van pulled off to the side of the highway, all doors opened and three clowns hopped out with bats, full masks, and face paint. Assuming they were going to terrorize oncoming traffic, I kept driving.
The spreading clown epidemic became very real.
A week after my driving by a group of clowns, a Facebook clown account by the name Phillip Davison added me and sparked up a very violent chat. He knew details about my house, the car I drive, and my close friends. Dylan Miller, another LBCC student, had a similar experience with the same clown. also had a similar confrontation with him; the clown knew about his family and personal details of his life.
Neither of us took it very seriously, since he was doing it over Facebook messenger; but then the clown sent out the same message to the both of us. It read, “I am a Demon sent from the dark lord to end the suffering of petty souls lost in this tragic dimension of self pity and arrogance you and your family will be dead by morning.”
Dylan replied with nothing but smart remarks, eventually scaring the clown off. I messaged the clown the following week asking why he was doing this to people. His answer was violently graphic, but he ended with the cliche phrase, “It filled a hole in me.” Within an hour he messaged me to apologize, because he didn’t want the government tracking him down. His account was taken down.
Since the luring in South Carolina a domino effect of copycat clowns has swept the nation, making its way to our front door, or, in my case, my very own Facebook. It could be a handful of pranksters eager for an early Halloween or a secret society of evil clowns rising from the darkness. We may never know.
But seeing actual clowns in person was a major shock for me; I just thought the media was over-exaggerating because Halloween was in sight. Then hearing from a clown who knew personal information about my life was just chilling, to say the least. From my experience it is best to either leave the clowns alone and drive away or step up and play their game like Dylan did.
Since the second presidential debate, the clown craze has died down; I think we can all agree the presidential race is far more terrifying than creepy clowns roaming highways and the internet.
Column by Kendall LaVaque