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Everything You Need To Know About The Creepy Clown Craze

10/31/2016 07:25 pm ET

The creepy clown craze of 2016 began back in August when there was a reported sighting of clowns in the woods by a young boy in Greenville, South Carolina. Since that fateful day, clown sightings have spread outside the USA in a wave of contagion, and have become far more frequent and threatening. Just two weeks ago a man in Sweden was stabbed twice by someone in a clown mask.

While this is one of 2016's most frightening epidemics, creepy clowns are nothing new. Although the exact origins are tough to trace, clown phobias, or coulrophobia, stretch back to the 19th century when they started cropping up in fiction and plays. However, the modern iteration of the evil clown as we known it stems from Stephen King's 1986 novel, "It". It's probably not a coincidence that the book was released a few years after the arrest of the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who performed as a clown at children's parties.

Since "It" and Gacy, killer clowns have invaded the public consciousness with plenty of movies, TV shows, and books to fuel our nightmares. Now, the nightmare has spread into real life and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

We've got a rich history of scary-ass clowns, and Michael McCrudden breaks down in the video below.

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