Last week, a group of ultra-PC activists succeeded in closing down one of the featured attractions at Knott’s Scary Farm, condemning the ride FearVR-5150 as insensitive to people suffering mental illnesses. In doing so, a shot was fired across the bow of Halloween itself, opening up our beloved holiday to further evisceration by anyone with bone to pick. Considering Halloween has become a celebration of deviance, you can bet there will be plenty more attempts to sink our Ghost Ship.
The latest potential victim of this war may be the beloved and much-dreaded Creepy Clown. A spate of sightings across 15 US states has created a hysteria approaching the fervor of Satanic Panic in the 1980s; some have even dubbed it the “Clownpocalypse”! There are stories of clowns attempting to lure children into wooded areas, wielding weapons, and scaring people into traffic spreading across the web like wildfire. And while the vast majority of these Pennywise-wannabees are utterly harmless pranksters, a few bad apples may have ruined scary clowns for everyone.
See an example of this hysteria below: “Parents, tell your children to avoid clowns!”
Last week, we reported on the case of Jonathan Martin, 20, from Kentucky who was arrested after he was reported “lurking” around an apartment complex. And while he wasn’t caught in the commission of any crime or carrying anything illegal, Martin was charged with disorderly conduct and “wearing a mask in a public place” according to local media.
Now, the Sheriff Chris Nocco of Pasco County in Florida has taken to the local news in an effort to discourage people from wearing scary clown costumes for any reason.
“I know people are fed up. They’re tired of seeing demonstrations and riots. They’re sick and tired of terroristic threats. Now they’ve got to deal with these damn clown things going on. [Some residents] are saying if one of these clowns comes on to my property they’re going to get shot. The kids who think ‘hey this is just a joke’, I warn you, don’t get caught up in this movement. All you’re going to do is get yourself hurt or get someone else hurt. I would highly recommend do not use clown outfits as your preferred choice. Go with something else.”
It’s shocking, really, that a law enforcement officer would use his power to discourage a person’s choice in Halloween costumes—especially when there haven’t been any violent or criminal activities attributed to clowns in Pasco County, ever.
It may be a sign of the times that anything that makes anyone uncomfortable may be viciously shunned. Which is why Halloween is likely to take a beating in 2016.