– by Joseph Jammer Medina

It ain’t easy being a clown in the modern world. Thanks to real-life serial killers like John Wayne Gacy, who was known as the “Killer Clown,” as well as shows like American Horror Story: Freak Show, it’s impossible for some audience members to separate the fictional horrifying clowns to those who are just trying to make a living putting smiles on people’s faces.

Stephen King also didn’t help much with his novel IT, which saw shapeshifter usually take on the form of Pennywise the Clown. This effect was amplified in 1990 when the miniseries came out, and with the new film on the horizon, there has been an increase in creepy clown sightings that are presumed to have been influenced by fans of King.

World Clown Association president Pam Moody spoke with THR regarding the difficulties that such sightings created for them.

“Last year we were really blindsided. We’ve since created a press kit to prepare clowns for the movie coming out.”

And regarding the King’s novel’s influence on kicking off this distrust of clowns:

“It all started with the original IT. That introduced the concept of this character. It’s a science-fiction character. It’s not a clown and has nothing to do with pro clowning.”

This latest film is creating troubles for them.

“People had school shows and library shows that were canceled. That’s very unfortunate. The very public we’re trying to deliver positive and important messages to aren’t getting them.”

By all accounts, the latest film has been seen by some critics, and pretty much across the board, reception has been positive. While this is great news for the film, if the movie is as scary as we expect, it won’t mean good news for the World Clown Association. That being said, they’ve been through tough times before, and given how long clowns have been around in one form or another, I’m sure they’ll push through.

Do you think Clowns are scary? Let us know in the comments down below!

Stephen King’s IT hits theaters on September 8, 2017.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.