The man behind one of the scariest clown creations of all time is telling America it’s overreacting to arash of sightings of the costumed characters across the East Coast.
In a tweet Monday, prolific horror author Stephen King wrote “Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.”
One of King’s many books that have been made into terrifying movies is “It.” Technically a mini-series, “It” centers around “seven outcast kids known as ‘The Loser Club,’” in 1960 who “ fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown,” according to IMDB. The website also lists a remake set to come out in 2017.
Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, may have been sparked or heightened in those who saw this movie. The common fear could also be driving the series of clown sightings that have been reported since this summer in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and most recently Massachusetts.
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
The director of a 16-minute short called “Gags the Clown,” Adam Krause,told Metro that his screening could be responsible for the recent clown hysteria. His film recently premiered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where there were sightings of a clown holding four black balloons.
“It’s very possible that it was our promotion,” because it “caught on like wildfire,” and attracted tens of thousands of likes on the Facebook page before it was revealed to be a stunt, he said.
Speaking to local media, Kingtold the Bangor Daily Newswhy he decided to set “It” in the Maine town and use a clown as the villain.
“When I wrote my novel ‘IT’, I set it in Bangor, because it’s a town with a tough and violent history. I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people,” King wrote in an email to the Bangor Daily News. “Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh.”
Though King also told the publication that the “low-level hysteria” will pass, he added that “it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”
“If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too.”