The 'Killer Clown' trend is set to return this Halloween for the third year running

The 'Killer Clown' trend is set to return this Halloween for the third year running

I like to think of myself as a stable, unflappable person, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that I might be a coward. Owls, moths, bears, commitment; the list goes on, but I spend a lot more time being afraid than the average guy. As much as a yellow-belly as I am, there is one thing, however, that gets my amygdala riled up more than most.

Ever since John Wayne Gacy was sentenced to death in 1980 for the murder of 12 people (with plenty more alleged), clowns have become less a symbol for whimsy than a harbinger of gory oblivion, and the likes of the Joker, Pennywise or Ronald McDonald - shudder - have done little to change that public perception.

But as we all know, reality is scarier than any piece of pop culture. So that's why it was so terrifying when people in Killer Clown costumes started showing up around this time last year. And the year before that. We thought that this dumb prank was done, but I regret to inform you that the Killer Clown craze is back in 2018 for round three.

Yay. Aren't you excited?

The first reported sighting of the 2018 flavour of the Killer Clowns occurred out in Dartford, Kent, where a pair of young boys were cycling in Joyden's Wood in a scenario eerily similar to Stephen King's IT, where experts suspect the Killer Clown craze originated. They claimed they saw a clown, holding something "which looked like a knife".

The boys claimed that the clown shouted "run or die", so they decided to go for option A. Running home, the boys' parents decided to call the police, who went out in their cars to investigate the clown sighting. In a development that won't surprise you, the cops found nothing, as they revealed in a statement.

"We were called at 6.46pm on September 14 to a report of a person dressed as a clown in Tile Kiln Lane," explained a Kent Police spokesperson. "Patrols in the area were advised of the incident but no person matching the description was seen."

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire, where a ton of sightings were reported back in 2016, has been on red alert for the heavily made-up costumers this time around. "We are not aware of any clown incidents this year," said a spokesperson for the Gloucestershire police, but the "yet" only barely needed to be implied.

"Dressing up as a clown in public isn’t illegal but there is a public order offence of being threatening or abusive in a way which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress so we could potentially take action dependent on the circumstances of the incident. If a knife is carried then there are also potential possession offences."

It seemingly comes like clockwork in autumn, doesn't it? Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sweater weather, and now people in terrifying clown costumes designed to scare the pants off you. Stay safe out there, folks. No clownin' around.