In the creepy clown craze latest news updates, sightings of killer clowns have increased and are spreading across the nation. Reports of people dressed up as killer clowns have now been reported in nearly every state and the District of Columbia. Though there have been creepy clown or killer clown sightings in previous years, 2016 has proved to be epidemic with the first rash of sightings taking place in August in Greenville, South Carolina. By Sept. 2016, the New York Times reported that arrests had been made regarding killer clown sightings in multiple states including South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. While no one knew for sure what was causing the threats, everyone agreed the killer clown sightings were creepy.
At least nine people were arrested for posing as killer clowns in Alabama, according to a report by Alabama.com. While there have been no arrests in Alaska, there were Facebook reports of creepy clown sightings posted as well as reported by the Juneau Empire. Though many killer clown sightings have taken place in the woods or near schools, two teenagers were arrested in Arizona for a string of robberies conducted while they wore clown masks. Reports of clown sightings in Arkansas shut down schools, according to a report on Twitter. Additionally, the Bentonville Police arrested two men for dressing like clowns and terrorizing people, reports 40/29 TV.com.
As California is one of the largest states in the nation, it might come as no surprise there have been multiple killer clown sightings. It’s becoming evident that those who are dressing like clowns in hopes of scaring others are finding that they are the ones becoming terrorized. Social media is sharing videos of people dressed as killer clowns being chased down and attacked.
While many who encounter a creepy clown initially respond with fear, many people are responding aggressively by trying to stop the clowns before they can attack or scare others. Gun shots have been fired, physical altercations have ensued and many people dressed as killer clowns have been chased down.
Exactly how many killer clowns spotted on deserted roads or filmed on video are genuine cases or staged for social media remains to be seen. The possibility that some of these sightings might be staged isn’t stopping authorities from taking them seriously. Whether staged or a real threat, no one is laughing at these killer clowns and fear is spreading across the nation. There are several Twitter accounts geared towards documenting creepy clown sightings and they have photos, tweets and videos from across the world. One reporter was sent on a wild chase looking for two killer clowns spotted by a 9-year-old boy in North Carolina. One clown was said to have a hammer, the other a knife. The clowns were never found and many believe it was a false report. Whether the reports are hoaxes or true doesn’t matter when it comes to precaution. Schools have shut down and police forces have responded to numerous calls nationwide regarding killer clown sightings.
While that case may have been a wild goose chase, there have been numerous reports and killer clown sightings in South and North Carolina to leave much of the state in fear. One look at social media and it’s easy to discern that people find reports of killer clowns terrifying.
If these were just harmless pranks set to incite fear before Halloween, sightings of killer clowns might not be so bad. These aren’t just hoaxes or pranks. Recent reports are coming in from across the world of violent attacks or attempted violence related to creepy clowns in costume.
In early October, KVUE reported that a Texas State University student was assaulted by a man in a creepy clown costume. An Urbandale, Iowa man was arrested on Oct. 11, for wearing a killer clown costume and chasing people with a metal bat according to the Des Moines Register. In early October, WDRB reported a Kentucky woman said she fought off a man dressed in a creepy clown costume who attacked her. She stated the man tried to pull her into the woods, but she managed to escape.
A Louisiana man was arrested on Oct 15, for driving while wearing a creepy clown mask and pointing an M-4 style, air soft rifle at other motorists, reported KLFY. When authorities caught up with him they found the clown mask and weapon. He was arrested and taken into custody. A series of reports were made in Michigan regarding a clown attacking a 7-year-old boy and two women. Detroit News reported the boy did not suffer serious harm but did receive abrasions to his arm. Not only have reports surfaced of people being attacked by clowns, but of clowns being attacked by others.
Clowns are often one of the classic Halloween costumes worn each year. This year, Halloween is noticeably different. Stores are pulling clown costumes off shelves for several reasons. First, they don’t want to encourage people to participate in this behavior. Second, they don’t want innocent children and teens to be harmed by those mistaking them as participating in the killer clown craze. Some towns have banned clown costumes from community events and police are urging caution for those who opt to dress as clowns this year. For children who wanted to dress as clowns, the question remains whether parents should allow their children to be clowns for Halloween. While this is a personal decision made between parents and children, it’s probably best to choose a different costume this year. There are many Halloween costumes available that aren’t connected to killer clowns or attacks. Check with your local community resources and government for updates pertaining to your area regarding the killer crown craze, local sightings, what to do should you see a creepy clown and whether clown costumes are banned for your community events. Those who dress in costume and visit retails stores or malls might want to do away with the creepy clown costumes and choose something pleasant instead. Likewise, wearing masks to public events might get you in trouble this year, even if you managed to get away with it before.
On Oct. 14, Clowns without Borders issued a press release condemning the negative behavior and fear-inducing killer clown craze. Not only did they condemn the actions, but they stated that professional clowns who have made a career out of performing and entertaining are suffering negative impacts by those donning the red nose and wig in order to evoke panic and terror. The statement specified that just because someone puts on a costume, doesn’t make someone a clown. Clowns without Borders is a non-profit organization and views clowning as a career, not something someone achieves simply by wearing a wig, mask or costume.
Clowns are often viewed as a force for good. Many sick children are visited in hospitals by clowns and they are a staple act at circuses. Many clown organizations have publicly come forward to speak against the creepy clown sightings. Killer clowns are not the type of clowns children need to see when getting off the school bus, walking to class or eating lunch in the cafeteria. It’s unknown whether the creepy clown craze will have a long-standing, negative impact, but it remains a possibility. Some children are naturally afraid of clowns and there’s no way to know how children who have been exposed to this level of fear will handle it in the long run. Many of these children may develop long-lasting fears of clowns. If you think dressing like a killer clown and standing by the edge of the woods is a fun way to spend your weekend, you might want to think again.
Dressing like a killer clown, just might get you killed.
[Featured Image by Jeff Cameron Collingwood/Shutterstock]