First and foremost, since Halloween was approaching, many people regarded clown sightings as a creative way of celebrating this festival ahead of time. In their view, if this was true, the frequency of clown sightings was expected to rise with approaching Halloween (31st October). Moreover, clown sightings were expected to diminish once Halloween had passed.
Another interesting explanation was that since a remake of the movie called ‘IT’ was underway and it's release was planned to take place in 2017, clown sightings were regarded as a ‘viral marketing technique’ aimed at promoting the upcoming movie. ‘IT’ movie portrays the character of a clown that engages in acts of violence; which explains the fear associated with clowns in American society. This idea was further strengthened when ‘Stephen King’ tweeted in favor of the clowns saying: “Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria--most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh”. Stephen King wrote the horror novel “IT” in 1986; the movie is based on this novel.
Another explanation was that since the American presidential election was approaching, clown sightings were a clever move by the American media and politicians. Headlines such as “Creepy clowns spook a country already freaked out by political ones” started surfacing and people were forced to think that ‘clown sightings’ was a plotted move by clever politicians to divert public attention from real problems. Some even went to the extent of labeling clowns as being the true reflection of presidential candidates. This aspect is depicted in the work of many artists that portrayed presidential candidates as clowns in their art works.
Interestingly, some people were of the idea that clown sightings in fact reflected the inner emotional state of the American society. In their view, the society was going through a period of stress and uncertainty, which caused excessive panic. Possible causes of panic included terrorist attacks, political polarization and a number of school shootings. Consequently, social anxiety was at its peak, and clown sightings reflected the deepest fears of American society.
Lastly, a considerable segment of the population was of the idea that clown sightings were nothing more than a social-media craze. Thousands of videos made by social media users surfaced; their spread was viral, which added to the already prevailing fear. A very famous hashtag was ‘ #IfISeeAClown ‘, since it provided access to clown sighting videos that were both funny and frightening.
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