Real Weird: Creepy clowns invade the Carolinas, Stephen King responds

It Tim Curry

There's something very strange going on in North and South Carolina, as numerous people have reported seeing creepy clowns - sometimes just eerily lurking around in the middle of the night, other times reaching a whole other level of scary and disturbing by trying to entice children into wooded areas with treats or money. It's easy to understand why the police in these towns are putting in a strong effort to bring an end to all of this clowning around.

Some children have believed they found a whole group of clowns living in a house at the end of a hiking trail, but when police went to investigate the place was empty. Another child told his mother that he had seen clowns whispering and making noises in the woods. When she went to investigate, the mom saw several clowns flashing green laser lights in the woods before running off. No one wants to be faced with sights like these.

The sightings have become such an annoyance that one South Carolina resident picked up a machete and gave chase when he saw a clown near his apartment complex. The clown got away unscathed.

Since Rob Zombie's latest film 31 revolves around a group of homicidal maniacs in clown get-ups, there was some speculation that these shenanigans could be a 31 publicity stunt. Distributor Saban Films released a statement saying they "are not associated in any way with the creepy clowns and costumed characters found roaming the South."

Others have speculated that this could also be a publicity stunt for Andy Muschietti's upcoming adaptation of the Stephen King novel IT, but since we're a year away from the release of that film - and since these things are occurring in North and South Carolina rather than Maine - it is highly doubtful that there's any connection.

Speaking of King and Maine, the Bangor Daily News decided to contact the creator of IT's evil clown Pennywise to get his opinion on what's going on in the Carolinas and why people find clowns to be so unnerving.

King had this to say on the subject of clown horror, and the fact that phantom clown scares have happened on multiple occasions across the United States:

When I wrote my novel ‘IT’, I set it in Bangor, because it’s a town with a tough and violent history. I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people. Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh.

“I suspect it’s a kind of low-level hysteria (these recurring clown incidents), like Slender Man, or the so-called Bunny Man, who purportedly lurked in Fairfax County, Virginia, wearing a white hood with long ears and attacking people with a hatchet or an axe. The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.

“Lon Chaney said (or is reputed to have said), ‘There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.’ Meaning, I suppose, a clown seen outside of its normal milieu, in the circus or at the fair. If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too.”

Maybe the Chiodo Brothers (KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE) can give tips on how to make these clowns go away.



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