Remember The Clowns
“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”
What were those 2016 clown sightings about? Mass hysteria, or coordinated marketing campaign?
Today’s post is meant to get your speculative juices flowing—first with a narrow topic, then more broadly.
Do you remember the clown sightings of mid 2016? Chances are I’ve just activated some dusty neurons in the back of your mind, and you can fill in the rest.
For those of you that are sparse on the details, here’s a quick primer.
Across the US (and in some foreign countries), a rash (over 100s) of armed clown sightings were reported starting in the summer and extending to the winter.
The clown costumes themselves were highly variable, as were the weapons they brandished (if any).
These sightings were viral, largely because observers would take videos and pictures of these creepy clowns, and post them all over Instagram or Twitter—where they would spread like crazy for their frightening nature.
The clowns most often frequented areas that were near younger people, namely primary schools, but also were found in secluded areas at night.
Despite their menacing appearance, there were few verified reports of the clowns causing anyone harm. As a matter of fact, most of the video evidence simply shows the clowns staring at the onlookers, and at most, attempting to run after them half heartedly.
Can we talk about just how bizarre this all is?
Common sense suggests that given the incongruence in terms of methods and actions, this was not a coordinated effort.
Chances are, as the clown sightings blew up in popularity, a few attention seekers decided to play copycat, and with the ubiquity of smart phones and social networks, the problem was scaled out of proportion.
The trend provided an outlet for weirdos, and a ripe opportunity for pranksters.
Not to mention, people have dug up creepy clown sightings dating back to the early 2000s, suggesting that the phenomenon was more common than we thought—simply more well documented in 2016.
Then, just as quickly as this clown craze picked up—which reached its peak with the 2016 Halloween Clown Purge that was falsely reported to happen—it died down.
There were some people that speculated it was all part of an organic marketing campaign, for the upcoming It movie, or new Rob Zombie film. Again, these reports were unconfirmed.
I don’t know about you, but I find the official explanation for the clown craze of 2016 unsatisfactory. It’s entirely possible that this was a collective delusion aided by our technology driven world—or there could be other possibilities.
Perhaps something much more simple and wholesome? Or complex and sinister? What do you think?