By: Brooke Nichols
Clowns have taken the country by storm the frenzy was started in the state of South Carolina in late August after multiple reports surfaced that clowns were spotted trying to lure children into the woods. The craze has since ignited a national phenomenon, with clown sightings reported in more than two dozen states from Alabama to Wisconsin. While many were hoaxes, a handful of the incidents resulted in arrests.
In Alabama, at least seven people have face felony charges of making terrorist like threat connected to “clown-related activity,” Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton told the Times-Picayune.
The attacks continue to stack up as the clowns from all over got more reckless on the attacks and sighting. Just two days ago, hundreds of students from Pennsylvania State University swarmed surrounding campus streets to carry out a mass clown hunt. A Connecticut school district said it is banning all clown costumes and any “symbols of terror.” And an armed clown hoax temporarily put a Massachusetts college on lockdown. Also a school in Chicago, Illinois that went into lockdown because there was a report form three students of seeing the clowns outside of their school but where eventually sorted out because the children embellished what they seen.
The 22-year-old from Pennsylvania says he’s afraid of what he sees on the news, like the clown hunting at Penn State. “At the end of the day, people look at me like I’m a clown trying to hurt them,” he says. “I feel that people are out clown hunting because they think it’s cool now. I’m scared that someone might take a swing.” Jones travels from his home in Pennsylvania to his job at Screamland Farms in Maryland every weekend. He says he’s well-known as Snuggles the Clown in his neighborhood, but he’s concerned about how people outside of his community will react. “I really think people mistake me when I put my stuff on,” Jones says. “They forget that it’s a person under that mask.”
The issue even made it all the way to the White House, where press secretary Josh Earnest was asked about the phenomenon on Tuesday.
“I don’t know that the president has been briefed on this particular situation,” Earnest said, The Hills report “Obviously, this is a situation that law enforcement is taking quite seriously.”
Clowns don’t just intimidate and scare children but also adults especially in the 1980s after King created the nightmare-inducing clown Pennywise in the horror novel, It, which was later turned into a movie. Criminologists and psychologists agree the root of the fear lies in the fact that clowns wear heavy makeup and paint extreme emotions on their faces that hide their true identity and feelings.
Scott Bonn a criminologist and professor of sociology at Drew University in New Jersey says. “We don’t know what’s beneath that makeup. It could be anyone or anything. They’re actually very frightening.”
The mass hysteria has not yet led to any serious injuries or deaths, likely because most of the clown sightings involved either young pranksters dressed as clowns or callers inventing clown stories.
Some police departments in the country, including the New York Police Department, have been trying to ease fears by publicly saying there are no credible clown threats. In New Haven, Con where school officials have banned clown costumes over a number of menacing clown-related social media posts, David Hartman, spokesman for the local police department, says authorities are “monitoring the national climate” of the frenzy but have not seen anything “tangible.”
With all the clowns being spotted every where in all the different states from just being spotted on the side of the road to being in residential areas, near schools trying to take children while also scaring people the issue is getting out of hand. With the clowns going live on Facebook, having a Snapchat, being everywhere you are climbing billboard chasing vehicles and much more its not funny anymore and the situation needs to come to an end. Started in August let see how much longer until the clowns finally disappear.