The recent clown hysteria has created an aura of fear and tension across the United States. The clown sightings originated in Greenville, S.C. where a young boy was almost kidnapped by two clowns in the woods. The incident has since led to clown sightings across the U.S. Various clown sightings have been reported as jokes or hoaxes and others as copycats of the original clowns. Police have issued warnings to residents of multiple cities across the country to be vigilant in their surroundings. Several schools have been put under lockdown as a result of the panic in order to protect students. There are reports that some of these clowns have become violent, in some instances resulting in the police arresting them for attempted kidnappings and trespassing on school grounds.

The hysteria that originated in South Carolina has spread to more than forty states across the U.S. The legitimate threats have created clown copycats, who have gone as far as threatening to harm people. The reasons that people choose to dress up as clowns to terrorize people vary from being as sinister as attempting to kidnap children, to being as harmless as a prank. Regardless of the intent, police across the country have been put on high alert to be watchful of suspected activity. Specifically in Missouri and Kansas there have been numerous clown sightings. The Kansas clown sightings originated when a boy saw a clown in the bushes in Kansas City near 85th and Parallel Parkway. The police were unable to confirm any reports of clown sightings in Kansas City. Other areas in Kansas where alleged abductions have occurred include Ottawa, Shawnee Mission and Kansas City.  Fortunately, most, if not all, of the clown sightings in Kansas have been confirmed as a hoax.

The clown sightings have also occurred in Missouri in cities such as Columbia and Rolla, and have been confirmed to be mostly hoaxes. The main clown scare occurred on Facebook when a clown threatened to kill teachers and kidnap students near Columbia. Clown sightings were also reported in Jefferson City. As a result of supposed clown sightings in Missouri, security has been increased around schools and other public areas. Police across Missouri have requested that individuals refrain from submitting false claims of clown sightings.  

The increasing number of clown sightings since the original in Aug. have managed to hinder the livelihood of actual clowns in circuses. The numerous reports have managed to terrify parents about the safety of their children. Fear and paranoia drive the hysteria to drastic limits with citizens of various states inquiring about their proper action if they are approached by a clown. With Halloween approaching, various schools have been placed on high alert, and students have been suspended for bringing weapons to school for protection against feared clown attacks.

On a lighter note, the clown hysteria has grown so chaotic that Stephen King, author of “It“, a work of fiction about a killer clown, has told the public to calm down on Twitter. He said,

“Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.”

Photo courtesy of WSOC TV.

is a junior history and political science major. He is a staff writer for the Hilltop Monitor.

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