Photo by Tom Roberts on Unsplash

Remember those "killer clown" sightings from 2016? That sure feels like a long time ago.

While 2016 might have been remembered on the internet as the "Year of All Those Killer Clowns" if it weren't for the American election, there was a period of time when that was all we were talking about.

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

Reddit user, GoombaGamerYT, wanted to hear, firsthand, what it was like when they asked:

People who encountered "killer clowns" during the 2016 clown craze, what went down?

Let's start with what we expect to happen when "killer clowns" begin popping out and scaring people... America.

This Is America

"Guy got shot. That's all. Texas."

"Jumped out, attacking some kids and the dad shot him. Tried to sue over being a "prank" and the judge was like, no way."


"My first thought when reports of clowns began was "this is America, someone is going to get shot" my first thought on reading about this incident was "yup"."


Don't Come For Anyone's Kids

"Not exactly a killer clown but some idiot yocals started harassing young kids at the school where I work."

"They weren't killing anyone, they didn't have weapons, but they were dressing up as clowns and popping out of bushes or out from behind cars and scaring little kids walking to the bus."

"As teachers we did what we could as far as initiating a buddy system for walking, engaging more crossing guards, and that sort of thing."

"But apparently some local dads camped out, found these literal/figurative clowns, and beat them up."

"Then we didn't have a clown problem anymore."


They Scare Easily

"On Halloween a clown showed up and stared into our sunroom windows so I grabbed a broom and yelled I was going to beat him with it. Guy ran away the second I opened the door."


What would drive a person to put on a clown mask and hit out in the woods? That's a question with no answers, apparently.

On Edge From All The Other Sightings

"Before we built our house our property was a trailer on 5 acres of dense forest. It was dark. DARK. I was spending the night alone in the trailer (without my husband) and was a little creeped out as darkness fell."

"I see a flash of color in the trees about 50 feet away from me. The unnaturally bright colors stood out amongst the green landscape. I completely panic when I see it's a distorted clown face staring at me."

"Despite the horror I realize it's not moving at all. I decide to get a closer look. It turns out it's a deflated clown head mylar balloon that must have floated down and was against a tree. It was so unnerving - a disfigured clown with a blank stare."

"Edit to add - despite the relief it was just a balloon, I started thinking someone crazy put it there to scare me since our neighbors weren't exactly close by. Then Occam's razor helped me realize it was prob just from a kids party. Combine that with forest sounds, It was a long night."


Swerved To Miss

"In 2016 I was a senior in high school, driving home from my friends house late one night (just before 11pm, my curfew). The road before you get to my neighborhood was a two lane road, trees on either side, no lights at all and the speed limit was roughly 40 miles per hour. I'm driving down it and a scarily dressed clown jumped OUT OF THE WOODS and maybe 2 feet into the road."

"I had to swerve, I screamed, and it indeed scared the absolute sh-t out of me. Coming home late and driving past the place where it happened afterwards always sketched me out too"


A Cheerful Greeting

"Friend told me about an encounter her 64 years old neighbor had with one"

"She just went: "Oh, hi Jeremy! Nice costume!" and walked past him. She recognized him under the mask"


Clowns are supposed to be happy, right?

Dude, Just, No...

"I had to walk past one at around 2am in my way home from work, he(?) He started walking over to me and I asked him to please just don't, I'm tired and want to go the f-ck home. His shoulders slumped a bit but he just walked away"


"The power of feeling like sh-t."


"Perfect moment for another, entirely hidden, person to play the sad trombone."


An Outlet

"I got out the car ready to fight, he approached and as I went to do the initial push (had a bad day and I was sick of all the sh-t these guys were causing) he just stopped took his mask off and apologised, we chatted for a short moment and he was massively depressed and he was doing it as an outlet for his intense emotions."

"We exchanged details and about a week later we met up for a drink and a chat, nice dude. He committed suicide in 2019 and what made it worse is that it was that year we fell out of touch I just assumed he moved on to bigger things. Sad story but you asked."



If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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