Stephen King’s ‘IT’: Extra Scary In 2017 Due To Creepy Clown Sightings [Opinion]

The new Stephen King’s IT movie and the infamously creepy clown Pennywise will meet a new audience in 2017. Back in 1990, when King’s IT miniseries aired for the first time, fear of clowns was a kind of offbeat phobia to have. Pennywise met with a less than terrified audience nearly three decades ago. It was an era long before the news reports of real-life creepy clown sightings.

Stephen King’s IT aired to an audience with no real fear of clowns. Sure, Pennywise was notoriously creepy, but deep down, most viewers were just awed by the performance of Tim Curry. Everyone knew Pennywise was really just the much-beloved actor wearing clown make-up. Tim is so cute when he’s being scary.

Creepy clowns like Pennywise are no longer just the stuff of Stephen King’s IT, and IT isn’t just about Pennywise or other creepy clowns. IT is about fears, supposedly irrational fears. What happens when irrational fears turn out to be real potential dangers?

The Stephen King IT movie trailer below is fiction, but now certain parts of this movie are all too real.

Creepy clowns were reportedly sighted in real life. It was late August 2016, in rural South Carolina, when the first creepy clown reportedly came out of the woods, attempting to lure away children. During the fall of 2016, creepy clown sightings became fairly common in over two dozen states, according to Time.

Sadly, not all creepy clowns are the work of fiction writer Stephen King. These guys are not Pennywise of IT, much less Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgard.

Was Stephen King’s IT, with Tim Curry as Pennywise, the inspiration for this rather bizarre phenomenon? No one knows why it is happening, but the creepy clown sightings continue to this day. As recently as March 4 of this year, two armed creepy clowns chased children in rural Pennsylvania, according to Penn Live.

Tim Curry was the original Pennywise in the Stephen King IT mini series
Tim Curry was the original Pennywise in the Stephen King IT miniseries [Image by Star Max/AP Images]

Seven creepy clowns were arrested in Alabama for terrorist threats and “clown related activity.” Penn State University organized a mass clown hunt as clown costumes were banned in that state as a “symbols of terror” during the fall of 2016, according to Time.

Yes, Stephen King’s IT will meet a new audience ready for creepy clown terror. Some say that the fear of clowns is age-old, but it certainly wasn’t the greater part of clown mystique before.

Criminologist and professor of sociology at Drew University in New Jersey, Scott Bonn told Time last fall, “The fascination with clowns is really the fact that they’re not real. We don’t know what’s beneath that makeup. It could be anyone or anything. They’re actually very frightening. It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s a party. It’s a game. My gut reaction is that this is going to eventually burn out.”

Stephen King’s IT was scary back in 1990, but nothing compared to what could happen in a society that has experienced real-life creepy clown terror. While creepy clown sightings are not in the media as often as they were a few months ago, they are still happening.

Tim Curry as Pennywise is one thing, but no one wants this guy hanging around,
Tim Curry as Pennywise is one thing, but no one wants this guy hanging around [Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]


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How will Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise strike a 2017 audience already teaching their children to beware of clowns? How will parents and law enforcement respond since creepy clowns are now considered terrorists already in some states? How are those creepy clown conspiracy theorists going to take Stephen King’s IT?

Stephen King’s IT will finally find an audience ready to be very afraid of Pennywise after the creepy clown sightings of 2016-2017.

[Featured Image by Elise Amendola/AP Images]