The killer clown craze is the stuff of nightmares, and the epidemic – which started in the U.S. – has exploded across Britain.
The hysteria has since ignited an international phenomenon, with sightings from Alabama to Manchester to Suffolk. And it’s fueling both fear and fascination while prompting calm from police.
But while the sudden influx in creepy clowns with knives may seem somewhat random, there’s thought that some inspiration for the craze comes from Stephen King’s novel It, featuring evil jester Pennywise as a monster preying on children.
Coincidentally, thirty years after the book, a big-screen remake of the clown horror has so far garnered little fanfare beyond its cult following. But 11 months before the film reaches cinemas, it’s already attracting international attention – and some suspicion – due to the clown craze.
Many people believe the hysteria has been planned pretty perfectly to coincide with the new film – and that Its creators are behind it all.
However, the film’s makers, New Line Cinema, recently denied any involvement in the sightings after the coincidental timing of the release of promotional pictures was pointed out.
The horror master himself even urged people to ‘cool the clown hysteria’:
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
A studio spokesman previously told American media: “New Line is absolutely not involved in the rash of clown sightings.”
But despite the Hollywood company’s denials, many have expressed concern that the influx of masked pranksters terrifying members of the public has at least in part been inspired by King’s book.
Either way, the hysteria seems to be going a tad too far.
— Claire Witch Files (@ClaireWitchFile) October 9, 2016
In just 24 hours, one police force had to deal with 14 incidents of people dressed as clowns threatening passers-by, the Telegraph reports.
It might be time to take advice from the king of horror himself and cool it. Clown hysteria is getting out of hand.