There's a lot of really wild stuff that happens in the world that's totally true. Like the Juggalo who cut off his friend's pinky, drank her blood, blowtorched her wound. Or the Australian dude whose penis was bitten by a venomous spider twice in one year. Or the Montana man who survived two bear attacks in one morning. But this video of a knife-wielding clown chasing joggers through the woods in Ohio is almost certainly not one of them.
For all the wild and real stories out there, it's these clown hoaxes that really have people losing their shit.
Even Stephen King is sick of it:
Don't get me wrong, some clown-related stories seem to be true. A man in a clown mask really did kill someone in Pennsylvania. And schools across the country really are shutting down because of clown threats. And the idiots making these bogus threats really are getting charged with "making a terroristic threat," which is a felony.
But at the end of the day, this whole ordeal is mostly just overblown hype on the internet. Clowns are pretty weird and scary in and of themselves, and are entertaining to people from all walks of life. Clown sightings have been reported for decades.
One or two dumb pranks involving clowns get picked up around the country, and the next thing you know, every kid in America is hoping to get a day off of schools because of a dumb clown threat. While he took clown threats to the local school seriously, Det. Sgt. Michael Mangina of Irondale, Alabama explained, "Part of the problem [with this bogus threats] is the fact that this stuff gets on social media and it explodes and it alarms people and it just spreads." The problem is that most of the reports of clowns are unexplained and basically impossible to prove.
For example, another insanely amusing—but impossible to prove—clown story just came out of Texas, where a dude claims to have whooped a clown's ass. Fake or not, that's pretty hilarious. WFAA reports that somebody in a clown mask with a baseball bat confronted the man and asked in a scary voice, "Do you wanna play a game?"
The dude told WFAA about how he went all Bruce Lee on the clown, using one hand to "shield the clown's baseball bat and the other to throw a punch." Homeboy claimed that his punch left blood dripping through the clown's mask as he ran back into the woods. The police are looking into it, but, again, there is no proof whatsoever. I'm calling bullshit.
Which brings us back to the latest clown video. Chase Prior of Newark, Ohio shared the clip on Facebook, which has been viewed over 22 million times and counting. Prior wrote on Facebook that the "rather traumatizing experience" occurred when he was running in the woods with his friend Patrick Williams. The pair had just been talking about all the clown sightings but they "had no idea this would happen when we started our run," Prior wrote. Prior, who "was more than a little shook up," said the incident "was absolutely terrifying, joke or not." Was it a joke? Prior says they "didn't stick around to find out."
In the video, he "swears to fucking God, man, we just saw a clown." He goes over to a small wooden bridge, where somebody is just chilling in a clown suit. Prior and Williams start cussing up a storm. The clown slowly starts walking towards the two, then one of them says the clown's got a knife, at which point the two take off running.
Typically, this is where I'd take the video at face value and warn all y'all about how the clowns are going to murder us all and we're all going to die—despite the fact that, well, there's no proof whatsoever that the video is real. I can't prove that it's fake, but c'mon.