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Remember the horrible clown panic of 2016?

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Remember the horrible clown panic of 2016?

Remember back in 2016 when clowns were popping up all over Chicago?

Remember back in 2016 when clowns were popping up all over Chicago?

Courtesy of ABC News - Go.com

Remember back in 2016 when clowns were popping up all over Chicago?

Courtesy of ABC News - Go.com

Courtesy of ABC News - Go.com

Remember back in 2016 when clowns were popping up all over Chicago?

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Are you part of the 42% of Americans who fear clowns?

Courtesy of ABC News – Go.com
Remember back in 2016 when clowns were popping up all over Chicago?

The clown panic of 2016 may have started in the US, but it soon became an international frenzy. There were over 260 clown incidents in over 20 countries reported in 2016. The fear of clowns has been exemplified because of a real killer clown, John Wayne Gacy. An American serial killer and rapist, Gacy was convicted of the murders of 33 boys and young men in Cook County, Illinois between 1972 and 1978. He was also well known in his community as Pogo the Clown, performing at children’s parties and fundraising events. While many psychologist claim that the fear of the unknown is what makes clowns so scary, events like these don’t help their case.

“Yeah I’m afraid of clowns. I was kinda nervous because you never knew who was behind the mask, something happens to you and you don’t know who did it,” senior Cristian Sanchez said.

Students and parents in our community both became frightful of clowns following the sightings.

“Yo no pense que era tan importante hasta que me llamaron de la escuela de mi hija y tambien cuando vi las noticias. Tenia miedo de que mis hijas salieran solas,” mother of a Morton East senior said.

While some people were too afraid to let their loved ones leave their house, some people didn’t fall for it and got annoyed by the sightings.

“I just thought it was ridiculous how it got so popular like it was a joke, not even serious, but people were actually scared,” Seniors Luz and Luisa Rangel said.

Just like the Rangel twins, many others in the building could tell it was just a fad.

“It got a little bit out of hand because it occurred at night and people didn’t really know what was going on, but it was a fad and people jump on fads all the time so that’s why it was so popular among us,” Consumer Ed Teacher, Mr. Pyburn said.

Some people even believe that the sightings have made phobias seem cool.

“I’ve been scared of clowns since I can remember, but now people think it’s cool to have phobias all of a sudden,” anonymous senior said.

Overall, the sightings drew attention from the whole nation because we enjoy the creepy unknown.

“I think it was very popular because people like to get scared,” senior Jocelyn Cabrera said.

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76 Responses to “Remember the horrible clown panic of 2016?”

  1. Andrik Nava on October 31st, 2018 7:45 am

    This article illustrates the fact the physiology of how kids feel when they see a clown which is fear because they do not know who is behind the mask/paint which is AWESOME to see how kids would react

  2. Zitlhaly A Luna on October 31st, 2018 7:46 am

    I agree that the horrible clown panic of 2016 got out of hand because it came to the point where some families didn’t want to even walk out of their homes. The whole situation received a lot of attention from both who feared the clowns and from those who thought it was all fun and games since it was a “joke”. Personally i feel that this was really immature from the people who dressed up to scare people because people had the right to be afraid since the John Wayne Gacy situation was a terrifying thing. I understand where the people who were afraid are coming from because i would honestly be afraid too..

  3. Kevin on October 31st, 2018 9:27 am

    Thanks for getting insight from someone who isn’t a student, but someone from the community. And I believe that the fear of clowns is one of the more common ones too. What were your thoughts about the whole clown scare in the past?

  4. Yoselin on October 31st, 2018 9:29 am

    I agree with this article that in 2016 it got out of hand but now people fear of the clowns coming back some people just think everything is a joke and just do it for fun when it really isn’t

  5. Alexandro Navarrete on October 31st, 2018 9:30 am

    I think the entire scary clown fad was something serious to many people and a joke to others. Because some heard about the scary clowns and dressed as them too, to scare people. And others were afraid that their kids would get hurt like when people on facebook posted threatening to steal students as a killer clown. But the post was made just to scare people from a student.

  6. Rosalinda Granados on October 31st, 2018 9:31 am

    I remember it was all over the news Twitter, Facebook, snap chat, etc, was even trending it. It was so crazy

  7. Juan Espinosa on October 31st, 2018 9:33 am

    This story reminded me of when my cousins and I encountered a clown in the bad neighborhood area of Aurora, at that moment I was thinking this was getting out of hand, it was really stupid for who ever started this frenzy. I honestly didn’t take it as a joke because who really knows if these clowns have a bad intention to people.

  8. carolina H on October 31st, 2018 9:36 am

    omg this is scary i really don’t like clowns but i like how you said that clowns like to scar kids on Halloween . in 2009 i us to go trick-or-trike with my family , but i stopped going because this person pop from a tree dressed like a clown and scared me and i stared crying .

    what would you do if you see a clown looking at you with ugly face ?

  9. Guillermo on October 31st, 2018 9:37 am

    At first it seem kind of cool that there were clowns scaring you but once it got to the point where they would literally follow you with a weapon and who knows it was probably fake but you wouldn’t want to risk the chances you have.

  10. Nayeli on October 31st, 2018 9:38 am

    I don’t care for clowns. I don’t think they’re scary, when they show up at a party to make kids laugh. Now maybe if I see one on a random day then yea It’ll creep me out.

  11. Alexandro Navarrete on October 31st, 2018 9:44 am

    I agree that the killer clowns fad was a scary time people. Even through some people at many times poked fun at it. Even by dressing up as killer clowns to scare people. And even posted threats to schools on facebook with a account of a killer clown but were fake. Scaring students and parents of danger.

  12. EDTNA ACOSTA on October 31st, 2018 10:16 am

    overall, this article talks about the phobia some people have of clowns. some take it as a joke and some take it very seriously because they don’t know who is under the mask. If a clown did do something serious and bad they wouldnt know who did it becuase they dont know who is under there.

  13. ADAN ORTIZ on October 31st, 2018 10:18 am

    wow it was Serious back then

  14. Period 2 Salgado on October 31st, 2018 10:21 am

    This story is a very great and spooky story . There is a lot of good evidence and facts .

  15. Jessica Fajardo on October 31st, 2018 10:23 am

    I think this did got out of hand because everyone was talking about it and it even came out in the news. Also some people were exaggerating about the situation because it wasn’t that big of a deal for the schools to call home, this made the parents worry and some parents didn’t even wanted to send their kids to school. Do you think it was a good idea for schools to call home?

  16. Yvette2 on October 31st, 2018 10:23 am

    I agree that this was a very scary time. Many people took it as a joke and would scare people to be “funny”. Although other people took it to the extreme especially with the threats that were being made to Unity around that time. I think you should have included more on how our community was affected including the threats that were made to Unity jr. High.

  17. Daniela (2nd hour) on October 31st, 2018 10:28 am

    I do agree, I remember people were panicking and freaking out. I remember at some point people didn’t wanted to leave their house because supposedly they’re were cleaning people.

  18. Guadalupe S Vazquez on October 31st, 2018 10:36 am

    I also agree that this was very frightening. I remember I was so scared to even go to school. We even got phone calls from our Middle School, Unity Jr. High, to explain what was going. on. I was extremely scared because of my fear and hate towards clowns. And since you never know if its a fraud or real that made it more scary. I also remember that when me and my cousin walked home we were scared cause we were alone. These two are similar because both have to do with the situation of 2016 with the clowns. Everyone was scared and no one knew if it was real or fake. The police got involved as well which made us worry more.

  19. Makaveli on October 31st, 2018 10:38 am

    that time was scary for some people. i thought it was fake at first. i don’t like how people started dressing up as a clown as a joke. Many families did not want to come outside because of this which is not cool.

  20. Juan Severiano on October 31st, 2018 10:42 am

    I just disagree with people dressing up and scaring people at night. I found that it was super dumb how people even uploaded videos saying they saw or is running from a killer clown, even when it was scripted and acted out for views and fame. I’m glad that the clown situation is over and hope it never comes back. Anyone that dressed like a clown just to scare people is pretty dumb and just a waste of time to do and I really hope at least some of the people who pretended to be a clown got punched or hurt.

  21. Natalie Ferrel on October 31st, 2018 10:42 am

    I thought at the beginning of all of this that it was all jokes and just random. But then it started getting out of hand and it kinda scared me but I really didn’t mind it. I also think people shouldn’t have made it such a big deal because it just made it get even crazier.

  22. Aaron Fajardo on October 31st, 2018 10:45 am

    Was anybody ever arrested from the sightings of the clowns?

  23. Sienna G Camargo on October 31st, 2018 10:47 am

    I remember when a clown on social media had scared a bunch of people because it got to the extent where they would threaten that they would come to you. This was all over social media and i remember seeing this everywhere and talking about it in school. I went to this one school called Unity and all our parents had to be warned that we were getting threats on social medias from clowns. In my opinion i thought it was all fun and games but then it got completely out of hand.

  24. Alexander Jimenez on October 31st, 2018 10:49 am

    I agree with many others that the clown fad was quite over the top for many. It was terrifying in my opinion as clowns have always been perceived
    as creepy and menacing due to media such as movies and books. This is especially cruel to pull off on children as they have a lesser capable mind to analyze and contemplate on what is real or fake. This makes this fad a lose lose for many as it was not funny but was more annoying in my opinion and was terrifying for others. The fact of this article is that clowns have been present in various cases of murder and violent and malicious acts which makes the sight of one odd and alarming to your senses. I overall disagree with the mind of others who thought it was funny to scare others after such a horrendous and evil act from a criminal which inspired most of the clown tend during the time

  25. Janet Rodriguez on October 31st, 2018 11:32 am

    One of the things that I didn’t like was the title. I think that the title could’ve been more creative like for example something like ‘the great clown panic of 2016’ so that the title could catch the eye of the reader. What I think needs improvement is that the quote they used of a Morton student’s mom that was said in Spanish they could have translated also in English for people who don’t understand Spanish.

  26. eric on October 31st, 2018 11:42 am

    This article illustrates the fact the physiology of how kids feel when they see a clown which is fear because they do not know who is behind the mask/paint which is AWESOME to see how kids would react. My question is do you fear clowns or any other monster?

  27. Jonathan Frutos on October 31st, 2018 11:42 am

    In the 2016 creepy clown situation, there was a reason of why there’s a creepy clown situation in the US and i’ll tell you the reason of why there’s this situation. the creepy clown in October 2016 started because they’re trying to prevent people to go to the election so people won’t vote for our next president this year, and people who dressed up as creepy clowns trying to scare the people away got rewarded for preventing people to go to the election to vote for our next president.

  28. Giselle Espinoza on October 31st, 2018 11:49 am

    I totally agree about how this clown situation was stupid in the first place. It was stupid and upsetting for many people. Many families didn’t want to go outside and enjoy Halloween. I think the part that absolutely awful was the threats. Who came across in their mind that sending threats to schools or people was okay? Many families was horrified because of the threats that were going on in schools that some of them didn’t send their child to school that day. This situation in 2016 was not funny at all and I’m glad that is over.

  29. Cecilia Monarrez on October 31st, 2018 11:50 am

    I agree with this article about people thinking phobias is cool. Now in days, everything is a trend. One week it’s one thing and the next it’s another thing. Clowns are scary but some people just wanted something unexpected and thrilling.

  30. Emilio Rodriguez on October 31st, 2018 11:51 am

    I think most people in chicago were scared because they thought there going to be killer like John Wayne Gacy who is rumored to have killed 37 people.

  31. Alejandro D Vera on October 31st, 2018 11:54 am

    i Agree with the part of the story talking about how the whole clown thing was blown out of proportion. there may have been some clowns somewhere scaring people but it did become a fad to talk about because of how outrageous it was. some of the sighting could have been fake just to bandwagon the whole joke.

  32. Aurelio4 on October 31st, 2018 12:32 pm

    I very much agree with this article. The clown panic was very serious and some people took it to the extreme. No one really knows if a random person has a serious fear to clowns and joking like this is dangerous.

  33. Jackelyn Garcia on October 31st, 2018 12:34 pm

    I remember when it was a trend and people would be scared to go trick or treating. I was afraid to go out at night because of it but eventually it went away. I think they were just trying to promote the new movie “IT”, and they were sucessful because it became a worldwide subject.

  34. Yailynn Calderon on October 31st, 2018 12:42 pm

    I dont agree that people think its cool to develop a phobia. But if you get traumitized or get scared by the incidents you can develop the phobia. Many people are sensitive so it understandable if they develop the phobia. Do you think its understandable if people develop a fear on clowns/

  35. Victor Villaman on October 31st, 2018 12:43 pm

    i agree with this article because, lot of people were already scared of clowns and now with all the clown that are going around scaring people. Now there are more people that are getting scared of clowns and it is making clowns look bad. Also i think this is interesting because a lot of people were dressing as clowns as a joke.

  36. Jazmin Tapia on October 31st, 2018 12:46 pm

    The fact that in the article there was a quote from someone who is not a student or teacher at Morton is good. It gives us a point of view from someone else and how they felt regardless if it was a frad or not.

  37. bertha de oca on October 31st, 2018 12:48 pm

    i think the story was very great becuase it had a lot of true facts but everybody really paniced that year

  38. Josue 4th pd on October 31st, 2018 12:48 pm

    I remember there were lots of people who told me that they were pretending to be clowns and scared people on social media. I never thought too much about these people trying to be scary. Great article, really captures the way students felt when they saw the clowns.

  39. Adrian Nava on October 31st, 2018 12:49 pm

    This had a lot of people paranoid to even go outside at night sad it hasn’t occurred again

  40. Clarissa Marroquin on October 31st, 2018 12:51 pm

    I think the clown fad was scary for many people in our community, some took it as a joke and others took it very seriously. This topic was a big topic of 2016 and was talked about for a while because so many people were worried something might have happened to them if they stepped foot outside on Halloween

  41. Courtney Cherney on October 31st, 2018 12:52 pm

    I agree with many others because this got out of hand. There was many school clown threats that was happening. My opinion is that this happened because they got influenced by scary movies like It, Killer Clowns Of Outer Space, and etc. But this is an evil act that was happening in October of 2016. There was a transition that didn’t go with the quote but overall it is a good article. This article I liked everything about it but the transition to the quote I didn’t like. But in this article you can relate to it a lot like for me personally I don’t like clowns so I would agree with Consumers Ed Teacher, Mr. Pyburn it got out of hand.

  42. Fredi Sanchez on October 31st, 2018 12:52 pm

    This article includes great information about how the clown incident got out of hand. Also it included how people around the school felt about the incident which was great. It was greatly written and great examples were used throughout. Love the tone the article was wrote in.

  43. Clarissa Marroquin on October 31st, 2018 12:53 pm

    Why did you choose this topic to talk about? What interested you the most about this topic?

  44. Cynthia M Posadas on October 31st, 2018 12:54 pm

    The clown incident never should have gone this far. Kids should be able to go out and have fun trick or treating but now because of this clown incident kids and parents worry instead of having a fun time. many may have started this as a joke but death and scaring other is not and should be no joke.

  45. Clarissa Marroquin on October 31st, 2018 12:55 pm

    explaining more about how the community felt about this situation

  46. Paola 4 on October 31st, 2018 12:56 pm

    I agree that The Clown Panic got a bit out of hand because it got to the point where videos of clown in the middle of roads were all over social media. It also got to the point where there was clown pages threatening certain schools and neighborhoods. Do you think all these clowns were actually trying to hurt people, or were they just people going along with a trend attempting to scare others?

  47. Eduardo A ochoa on October 31st, 2018 12:58 pm

    This situation shows how schools like unity would react to a threat at their school. because i recall they had us stay in the building for 15 mins and security was every where around school grounds and near key locations where kids would hang out.

  48. Joseph E Desparrois on October 31st, 2018 1:00 pm

    I remember seeing this on social media, you would never know if it was serious or not. It can be some person who is trying to scare others just for popularity, or it might even be a serious threat. I thought it was just some posts on the internet but then it got ridiculous and it brought more attention which would encourage the accounts to continue with their games.It even got kids into trouble but thankfully these events did not last long.

  49. Jose Cahue on October 31st, 2018 1:14 pm

    I agree with this article because back in 2016 it got so out of hand the people that went out to trick or treat had a weapon or something to defend themselves with on such a great holiday. I was never in panic or had a doubt when seeing a clown I just stood my distance. I also remember Unity being threaten about some clown going after school. A question I have for you is were you ever alarmed? Besides that this article is well written. I agree with almost everything.Good job.

  50. Diana L. on October 31st, 2018 2:48 pm

    This article was a good filled with information about both sides of the events. Both those point of views of those who got annoyed at the events and those who were actually scared were shown in this article. I did feel like the transition to Spanish was a little awkward.

  51. Erick3 on October 31st, 2018 2:49 pm

    I’ve never had fear for clowns they never got my attention like that. When all these clowns sighting started , i thought it was just a social media faze.

  52. Ozziel Fernandez on October 31st, 2018 2:51 pm

    I still remember when this was going on, everyone was scared to go outside because the clowns were supposedly waiting for them near their house. A lot of fake clowns made fake accounts of social media and they were threatening kids and telling them hat they knew where they lived. A lot of polices were outside waiting for anything to happen and fix this. Kids were scared to go trick or teat and go outside because the clowns would come and get them.

  53. Lizbeth Sanchez on October 31st, 2018 2:52 pm

    I disagree that the whole clown fad was over the top because many do not know how crazy people in this world really are and what they are capable of so it was better to be safe then sorry when it came to this whole thing of clowns because it is true at the end of the day you do not know who might be behind the mask.

  54. Pablo Bedolla on October 31st, 2018 2:53 pm

    It is really blood-curdling to know that you could’ve been walking down the street and one of these people dresses up as clowns could appear out of nowhere, not knowing what could happen. It’s sad as well because this incident got out of hand, and probably caused other people to do the same thing. Hopefully, nothing similar occurs this Halloween, otherwise it could begin this incident all over again. People think these jokes are all fun to play on other people, but things like these could end up getting you hurt, or lead to no good. Were people from Morton East High School ever involved in cases like these? cases like dressing up as clowns and scaring others?

  55. Ozziel Fernandez on October 31st, 2018 3:00 pm

    I still remember when this happen. everyone was scared for what was going on. Clowns were scaring the crap out of children and they were so scared to go outside. I remember that on Halloween, very few people came to trick or treat because they were scared of the clowns. Police was by everywhere. Even doe the clowns took it as a joke, people were getting really scared and a lot of people got killed, clowns got killed because hey were tired of the people scaring them and making their life miserable. I was terrified and kinda afraid to go come out of school because they made a threat to our school saying they’ll come to our school.

  56. Alexander Bautista on October 31st, 2018 3:07 pm

    This site talks about clowns and how they terrorize many countries and how some are good or either bad.. There are some clowns that are harmless but there is also a lot of dangerous or even murderous people under that suit. People should be careful when trick or treating in Halloween because there are any mess up people in the world.

  57. Jacqueline Robles on October 31st, 2018 8:16 pm

    I really think that it was a good idea putting a quote from a mother of a student because that way any other parents who sees this can relate to what that mother said and would support your article. If you had children would you have let them play outside or would you keep them in the house? When you first heard about it did you get scared or just thought that it was like a prank?

  58. Geovanni Guzman on October 31st, 2018 8:29 pm

    This article is very interesting because i didn’t know some people were really scared of clown like that. I find it very weird and confusing on why would people make this seem like a joke. If you see that clowns have been killing innocent people and in a very bad way, it’s no reason to make a joke out of it. I also found this article very informative because i didn’t know Illinois had a killer clown who use to bury his victims underneath his own house.

  59. Gerardo Ramirez on October 31st, 2018 9:08 pm

    To be honest the whole clown pandemic was annoying so many of my fellow old classmates and friends would freak out about it and make seem like it was a big thing which ticked me off quite a bit because they are just adding more fuel to the fire; more attention= more degenerates going around in clown costumes like a bunch of crazed manics simply to get some spotlight without considering the consequences.

  60. Donna Mocha on October 31st, 2018 9:52 pm

    I find it so dumb that kids actually think that it is a good idea to dress up like clowns and to go off scaring people at night. People have actual phobias of clowns and could get a seizures that could harm or kill them. This also caused many kids and parents to get scared and decided not to walk the streets at night, this is wrong as everyone should feel safe wherever they go.

  61. Jose Bolanos on October 31st, 2018 10:17 pm

    I did not believe anything at all when this was a thing. All of this seemed fake from the start. People just thought that it was cool to be scared of clowns, and decided to spread this thing around. It was also annoying because all you would see on social media around that time was related to clown sightings. Some people actually fell for it though, even it it seemed obviously fake.

  62. Maidelyn Gomez on October 31st, 2018 10:38 pm

    I remember how everyone I talked to seemed to be so paranoid about the clown “sightings”. To me it seemed amusing because everyone was so scared, but in a little it got a bit annoying and I just wanted the people to get over it.

  63. Hilda Gonzalez on October 31st, 2018 10:45 pm

    I agree that the Clown Panic in 2016 got out of hand because people would be afraid to come out of their houses and the fact that the first clown serial killer and rapist was in 1972-1978 and was brought up again in 2016 as if a new fashion fad that would be popular at one point and then dies down. The Clown Panic of 2016 caused so much panic that could have been avoidable and unnecessary.

  64. Angela on October 31st, 2018 11:30 pm

    I myself am not completely terrified but I can still relate wuth those 42% of Americans who fear them because it can be pretty unsightly and it is not okay to terrorize people like that as it can be based on true events.

  65. Flor Quiroz on October 31st, 2018 11:40 pm

    This article was really mind opening. I had no idea that there had once been a serial killer clown in Cook county. The whole situation was quite frightening when it happened but I can now agree with the peoples statements that it is kind of now embraced to have a fear for clowns.

  66. luis gonzalez on November 1st, 2018 2:33 am

    this was a really good articale

  67. Armando Mendoza on November 1st, 2018 6:47 am

    I personally think this is just a bunch of people who try to get a laugh out of scaring people and seeing it as humorous, but I personally think that it’s dumb and childish and a little cowardly because they’re under masks where no one can see their face. It would be funny if it was light hearted and not scaring the poop out of people.

  68. Robert Olvera on November 1st, 2018 6:49 am

    this article is good because is highlights a major event that happened in 2016. people we really scared to go outside to trick or treat because of the fear they had of getting assaulted by a “killer clown” and would just stay inside. while others took action and called the police and got the clown arrested for harassment

  69. George R on November 1st, 2018 7:23 pm

    I agree that this is bad because a lot of of people didn’t want to leave their houses and were paranoid being outside, And still today people are scared if this clown panic situation happens again.

  70. George R on November 1st, 2018 7:23 pm

    I agree that this is bad because a lot of of people didn’t want to leave their houses and were paranoid being outside, And still today people are scared if this clown panic situation happens again .

  71. Gio on November 1st, 2018 10:36 pm

    This article shows the power behind fear. It is shown through the fact that people were scared of the clown incidents and feared going outside, which proves that fear has the potential to completely overpower ones actions.

  72. Jocelyn Rizo on November 5th, 2018 8:25 am

    I agree that the clowns scare people because you can’t really see how the person looks like. The clown suit is lose so you can’t see the shape of the person either. Many incidents have happened with clowns especially on Halloween. This makes people scared to even go outside on Halloween because their kids could be in danger.

  73. Jocelyn Rizo on November 5th, 2018 12:09 pm

    I felt startled when I read this article because I’ve never liked clowns even in parties. also because it was talking about the incident that happened in 2016 which is why people are scared of clown and don’t let their kids out on Halloween for more safety.

  74. Litzy Salgado on November 6th, 2018 2:00 pm

    I think this is something that just started of as a joke but there is a lot of bad people in this world that could’ve easily taken advantage of this since their faces are hidden. It may be just fun at first but can become also very dangerous as we don’t know who is behind the costume.

  75. Adryan on November 7th, 2018 12:42 pm

    I am not scared of clown but, I do think they are kinda weird when I heard that clown where showing up in our neighborhood I didn’t care at first but, then I remembered that my sister always walks to school everyday so for a bit I didn’t trusted any clowns watching my sister so I just walked with her for a months but, anyway good post for reminding me this clown sightings.

  76. Victor Hernandez on November 9th, 2018 8:52 am

    Well written article, this clown sightings did get a little out of hand, even though I never saw one. I thought it was just an attempt to promote the new IT movie that was coming out.

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Remember the horrible clown panic of 2016?