You've probably all heard about, possibly experienced, or perhaps even perpetrated one of dozens of creepy clown sightings plaguing schools and communities around the U.S. over the last few weeks. Autumn 2016 will be well-remembered as a time when scary clowns stalked the city streets and the presidential campaign trail.
If you're anything like us, you are at once horrified and fixated. As it turns out though, this is hardly the first time the month of October has been blighted by floppy shoes and John Wayne Gacy impersonators. According to a recent article in Vox, this year's offenders are part of a long and rich tradition of scarifying jesterism.
Vox reports that “American history is littered with creepy clown sightings, which at times have spread across the ocean to infect Europe. Documented public scares surrounding creepy clown sightings date back to May 1981 (a year before Poltergeist and a whole five years before the publication of Stephen King's It), when a group of school children in Brookline, Massachusetts, reported seeing scary clowns in a black van. A police APB was issued, and a memo of caution was sent to Boston-area school administrators. Though police ultimately dismissed the reports when no adults were able to corroborate the sightings, the clown panic spread throughout multiple cities in the US during the summer of 1981.”