Posted by Sam Plank @samplank
Have you ever seen a comic strip?
Sam Plank

Before diving into this, I need you to watch this video to get in the mood:

Sufficiently creeped out? Good!

So, apparently, the world isn't weird and crazy enough, not quite yet. Brawls at Chuck E. Cheese. ADULTS. Adults brawling. Misadventures in the bedroom (NSFW, that one is). And presidential toilet paper, even. With all that, someone, somewhere, decided things needed to get just a little stranger, and they sent in the clowns.

You might have noticed there's been a whole creepy clown epidemic happening lately. It's terrifying. Don't worry, you've come to the right place.

Clowns In The News

Need a good visual that shows where all the clown sightings have been?

Okay, so maybe it's not that bad, but it could be soon, at this rate.

But here IS some solid proof that this clown craze has gone too far. As in, too far to the east, west, north and south.

Creepy clowns even hang out in a Chicago cemetery. At night. And wave at you.

The craze is in full force in the United States, with too many cities to mention. Arrests have been made, schools have been threatened, and too many prank videos have been filmed, with the pranksters sometimes getting their rainbow-wigged butts kicked:

Even Stephen King, the creator of It and Pennywise the Clown, thinks it's gone too far Stephen King:

Seriously, here's just a handful of what has happened in the U.S. alone lately:

Yours truly even runs a Facebook page, Creepy Clowns, that I made for fun back in 2009, before all this clown craziness really got honking. I'm now getting messages from 10 year olds, requesting that the clowns come to their town, or that they're pressing charges on me for scaring everyone, or that they're just mad at me for what they apparently think I do in my spare time.

Why? Why couldn't the world just stay weird? Why did it have to go batshit crazy all of the sudden?

Don't Blame The Movies

The OG movie clown who started it all
The OG movie clown who started it all

Clown movies have been to blame for some of the worst cases of coulrophobia (see below). It probably all started with Stephen King's It, at least for most people. Killer Clowns From Outer Space was a classic nightmare inducer, too. Here are two new clown movies, either coming out soon or already out, and one freaky clown-ish TV show that can add some fuel to your clown covered nightmares.

It (2017)

This has got to be one of the most anticipated/dreaded horror releases on the horizon. Until they officially release a trailer, here's a fan made creation to get you by:

In case you think that the clown sightings are just viral marketing for the reboot, well, guess again:

But wait, there's more!

Clown (2016)

It was as if Eli Roth knew that we'd need to get in the mood for the It remake. After watching this, you might have second thoughts about ever putting on a clown costume, for business or for pleasure.

American Horror Story (Season 4)

Twisty the Clown had a message for young lovers who steal rubbers.

It's Really A Real Fear. Really!

This in-depth look into coulrophobia explains how the fear of clowns is so real, it actually has a name!

We have movies to thank for that, but only partially. There have been plenty of real-life serial killers and sickos who have been the inspiration for some of these stories and films. John Wayne Gacy and Amon Paul Carlock, Jr. both used clown personas to get close to kids.

John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy

These monsters and their raping, killing, child pornography-loving ways haven't exactly helped people with their fear of clowns. The fear usually seems to start during childhood, and can stay with a person well into adulthood. The perpetual smile, makeup, and just not having any idea what the clowns might be thinking just scares the hell out of some people.

More clown news:

What's Being Done To Eliminate The Clown Threat?

Never fear! Heroes are starting to arise from the shadows to help vanquish this menacing, grease-painted threat. The guy who hopefully is starting a trend? Batman! He is, after all, the OG of clown-vanquishing.

Of course, now that clowns have actually crossed the line and started attacking people with knives, the police are going to start taking it seriously. So, it's advisable to not even dress up as a clown this Halloween.

What Can You, As A Citizen, Do?

If you encounter a clown on the street, in your bathroom, or in your dreams, just heed this slightly (okay, extremely) NSFW advice:

Like Stephen King says, please don't start beating up the next clown you see because it's probably just a normal person with a circus job wishing to spread joy and laughter at children's birthday parties. And seriously, you're pissing them off.

So maybe just cross to the other side of the street or something. But if you see one just chilling in a storm drain or something, you have my permission to haul ass away from there as fast as possible.

Nah, man. Imma run.
Nah, man. Imma run.

If you have an irrational, or completely rational, fear of clowns, sound off in the comment section! Call it a group coulrophobia therapy session.