With Halloween nearly two weeks away, Americans have been releasing their inner Pennywise, and dressing up as the most terrifying creature on the planet: clowns.
In recent months, sightings of clowns have caused school districts to be shut down and placed people at high alert. People have been shot, or arrest – all over a not-so-funny prank.
“I haven’t seen any. To me all the videos look acted out, I’d have to see it to believe it.” Said Delta student, Marco Montejano.
It started in South Carolina with a little boy who claimed two people in clown costumes offered him money to come into the woods. It’s continued with spottings and threats in Oregon as well as California. Two school districts in Oakland and Fairfield were said to have been threatened by clowns.
People everywhere are banding together to get rid of these clowns.
According to DailyMail.com, a man dressed like a clown got beat up after trying to scare a group of friends in a car. One of the men came out of the car with a baseball bat and proceeded to slam the bat into the side of the clown’s knee. Two other friends joined soon after, beating the man to the ground.
“I’m more afraid of clowns to be honest,” said Delta student Jabber Tereez.
According to ABC15 Arizona, Snuggles the Clown, whose real name is Jordan Jones, has started a Clown Lives Matter project.
He believes that his and his fellow clowns reputation is being tarnished by these creepy clowns.
According to vibe.com, Jones said, “This is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers. We want the public to feel safe, and not be afraid. So come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!”
The event took place Sunday Oct.15 in Tucson, Arizona.
People have been arrested for making clown threats.
For example, according to International Business Times, on Oct. 5 an 11-year-old girl in Georgia was arrested for bringing a knife to school. The knife, apparently, was for protection against clowns.
According to CBS7, on Oct. 6, 3 men in West Texas were spotted in clown masks and carrying plastic weapons. Even though they were ‘clowning around’ according to CBS7, they “could have been easily shot at or attacked by scared residents, because in the dark there’s no telling whether or not the weapons were fake or real.”
With Halloween coming up, this clown epidemic is continuing to pose problems.
Many questions are being asked. Is Halloween still safe? Should we be worried?
Many cities are taking caution, setting curfews and sending out warnings.
Schools in New Haven, Connecticut have asked to ban clown costumes, according to the Washington Post.
Despite all the news about these creepy clowns, some civilians do not seem to be worried.
“Yes, we are going trick or treating,” said Amy Thorpe, Tracy resident and mother of one. “We live in a gated secluded community so we are not worried. If there was a clown, they would be spotted and removed by our security that patrols immediately.”
While no serious threat has been made in Stockton, it’s still important to remain vigilant while out.
“I was tutoring and I overheard some kids talk about how a clown was going to come on campus after school and bring a knife… I heard about the clown incident but I didn’t put two and two together. Luckily there wasn’t any sight of a clown but looking back I guess that’s when the clown incident really began to spread,” said Tyra Tate, a Delta College student. “I do plan to go out on Halloween because I’m usually in safe spaces with my friends or in very public areas like an amusement park.”
According to USA Today, despite all the fear of clowns, sales for clown masks and costumes have gone up 300 percent.
As of recent, Target is the only retailer who has announced that they will be pulling all clown masks off their shelves.
This clown epidemic is heading west.
A wave of social media reports has said that clowns are popping up in neighborhoods from Lodi, Manteca, Modesto, Sacramento, Stockton, Tracy and the Bay Area, according to The Record.
On Oct. 7, 2016 a minor was arrested in Escalon for using Instagram to make death threats towards Escalon High School.
Earlier that week, a man dressed as a clown tried to kidnap a 1 year-old in Concord.
We can only hope that these creepy clowns are just a trend that will disappear soon.