By Victoria Navarro
With Halloween just around the corner, clowns are spooking the nation because of the spike in clown sightings within the past month. Unlike normal Halloween hijinks, however, these clowns pose a real threat rather than just a lighthearted scare.
In late August, in Greenville County, South Carolina, children reported spotting multiple clowns who attempted to lure them into the woods with large amounts of money. Not only that, but citizens in the area had several other encounters with the clowns. One boy saw the clowns in the woods and heard them making strange noises at night, while his older brother stated that he heard chains and banging at their door, according to the New York Times.
Since then, clown sightings have spread to more than a dozen states last month. In Pennsylvania, for instance, there were reports of two people in clown outfits who drove around in a pickup truck, attempting to scare children and teenagers, according to Time Magazine.
There have also been social media threats warning people of upcoming clown attacks. This rise in clown sightings as well as potential online threats have put some schools on edge. These online threats have more often than not, been discovered to be hoaxes, however. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Police Chief Steven Zipperman explained that the issue in LAUSD has been “deemed a hoax,” though they will continue investigations, according to KTLA.
In the past two weeks, 12 people across Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia made false claims about seeing clowns, ultimately leading to their arrest. In addition, two teens were charged for chasing kids while wearing clown masks. The two boys ran a Facebook page under the names of “Flomo Clown,” “Shoota Cllown,” and “Kaleb Clown” and sent threats to high school students within their counties.
Although the clown sightings are merely a joke to many people, police officers are worried about potential dangers.
“Some people are frightened and have made remarks [about] hunting down these clowns. It’s not a game, it’s serious,” Flomaton Police Chief Bryan Davis said to NBC News.
With the rise in clown sightings and the spread of photos on social media, people throughout the nation have started to panic.
Despite the fact that the entire clown uprising is more often than not a prank meant to scare children or harass adults, law enforcement is treating it as more than simple jokes.