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Idiots Are Doing That Thing Where They Dress Up as Clowns and Act Like Pricks Again

Clown attacks are back, just as they are every October, just as they always shall be.

Your boyfriend has been quietly asked if he can please drink up and leave this branch of Wetherspoons, it's 12PM on a Sunday and a lot of families have made complaints (Photo: Eli Christman, via)

I hate to alarm you, but the clowns are loose. It is important you do not panic about this. It is important you remain calm. Slow your breathing. Regulate your heart rate. The clowns can sense your panic like sharks moving for blood. Do not turn around, do not look behind you. We do not have time to discuss this, but there is a clown there. Claw-like hand stretching silently over the crown of your head. Curled and frazzled fronds of hair bob just millimetres away from your own. You cannot sense the clown's breath because it does not breathe like a human does. It does not eat like one, either. The clown – behind you, remember, don't sweat and don't move – has teeth sharp and long like an animal would, black gums. When you turn around the clown will be gone. But right now it is there, eyes milky, face paint obscenely blurred, peeled lips just inches from your naked neck. The fingernails that remain attached to the clown are yellow. The ones that don't cannot be found. It is impossible to know where they pinged off to. You need to seize all the belongings in your immediate vicinity – take your laptop, please, and god, you have to take your phone, the police cannot help you, but perhaps there is someone listening in the dark – and you need to run. You need to run and run and run. The clowns are coming, and they won't stop until they seize you.


Anyway! Halloween news now, and it is with heavy heart that I must announce that the dickheads are at it again. What is the "it" in question? The "it" is: dressing like clowns and moving all spookily down streets in the dark. Who are the dickheads? It is impossible to know the psychological profile of the kind of dickhead who dresses as a clown, but we can make some vague stabs at guessing:

— It is the lad at your secondary school who used to always talk about "how he liked to put bangers up stray cats' arses", but you know he never actually did do that thing because you saw him get in a fight once – a scuffle outside Londis over a bottle of Mars milkshake that basically ended up with him getting his backpack pulled up over his head and nothing more – and he started crying immediately, like even pre-violence, his face red and puce and puffy, a single outstretched hand in front of his balls, begging, "Please mate, don't deck me, please mate, please";

— Anyone who has ever worn a full-mask balaclava with a skull embossed on it to paintball or laser quest;

— Any boy who ever said, "I already took the test to be in the army but they say I'm too hard to be sent to Afghanistan because it's just not fair on the enemy," ideally while doing a wheelie on a scrambler;

— That weird kid at your school – you know the one, enormous black bellbottom trousers that tailed out in a row of buckles and studs, single streak of colour in his otherwise lank and greasy hair, slightly-too-small band T-shirt over a weeping nipple piercing, smell of up-until-6AM-playing-Warcraft-and-watching-The-Matrix-again-sweat – who got expelled for being quote-unquote "too goth".



Schoolchildren across Newcastle have been targeted by pranksters dressing up as clowns and jumping out from behind bushes.

Thought to be inspired by a craze in America, police have now been forced to step in after the youngsters were left "incredibly distressed".

Northumbria police said they have received six separate reports since Friday, leaving parents and teachers very concerned.

The Guardian, October 4 2016


Police have arrested a teenage "creepy clown" allegedly carrying a blade as officers continue to hunt down pranksters that are terrorising children.

The Mirror, October 5 2016

This happens more or less every year, and it happens because clown masks are very widely available in costume supply shops and anywhere else because of Halloween, and because "being afraid of clowns" is a very common trope most especially since Stephen King's It, and also because it's easy to slip a clown mask on while you're wearing a big puffer jacket with the pockets full of devil bangers and Refresher bars and then hide it inside layers of clothing when the police drive slowly by.

As Time reports, America started on this shit early this year: in August, reports surfaced in South Carolina of a person dressed as a clown trying to lure kids into the woods; in Alabama, seven people were arrested in connection with "clown-related activity"; last week, Penn State university students swarmed the campus at night on a "clown hunt"; a Connecticut school district banned clown costumes; the White House press secretary was forced to sort-of-jokily-but-also-not say that the police were taking this all very seriously.


It's the clowns I feel sorry for, most of all. Real ones. I spoke to a clown, once, back when this shit was happening again, some other October, a sweet aged clown man who just wanted to entertain but instead became a trope of deep horror. Why doesn't Stephen King write a horror novel where other agents of children's entertainment are pilloried? Spread the hate around a bit? Why not write a novel where a group of small-town children are slowly terrorised by those really cheery Christian groups with T-shirts tucked into khakis who come to your primary school and do assemblies about Jesus? Why isn't there a jump-and-scare horror film where a group of teens are regularly murdered by Dave Benson Phillips?

Crawl up into the attic for safety, past the dust and old bedding, ignore the tin figure of a monkey playing symbols that has only just now decided to jump into life, hunker down in the corner, slow your breathing – stop. Stop. Quiet now. And then you hear a creek, in the distance, too far away for you to turn around and gaze at, and you hear it, menacing through the air, the last thing you ever hear before the knife drops:

To me

To you


More stuff about clowns:

Playing the Fool: My Life as a Freelance Clown

Clowns Without Borders Go Into War Zones Armed Only with a Smile

Clowns Are Going Extinct