The Circus Is In Town
Where are these clowns coming from?
News Writer Lexi Smiley
For some, Halloween seems to have come rather early this year. People dressed as clowns are reportedly being spotted all around the U.S., usually appearing in the middle of the night on empty streets across various neighborhoods. This trend has been documented on social media and cable news, and onlookers are at a loss to explain the phenomenon.
Many of these clowns tend to be targeting young children. There are multiple reports of clowns in groups trying to lure children into the woods by promising them money. In Durham, England, a man dressed as a clown is being investigated for following four children to school with a knife. In California, meanwhile, police are continuing to search for a man dressed in a clown suit who reportedly tried to kidnap a 1-year-old girl. Many of the clowns sighted have been unarmed, but some reportedly carry objects like bats and knives.
For terrified residents, the biggest question is where are these clowns coming from? Is this meant to be just a practical joke trying to scare people, or are there more sinister plans underfoot? Though the sightings first begin in the U.S. en masse this summer, the trend has continued and spread to other places - including the Big Island.In Hilo, a recent report came in of a clown sighting off of Stainback Highway, close to the Pana‘ewa Zoo.
People all around the globe are starting to take matters into their own hands and going out in big groups attacking the clowns. Some people have beaten the clowns with bats, and even tried to run the clowns over with their cars.
Law enforcement officials around the country are struggling with how to deal with the outbreak of clowns. Police have encouraged people to refrain from immediately seeking to harm the clowns. On Twitter, a statement from the Orem, Utah Police Department read, “No, you can’t just shoot someone because they are dressed as a clown.” They also posted on Facebook saying, “We understand that clowns to some people are already ‘creepy’ and some people have a phobia of them, we see that. However, if someone is standing on the sidewalk, dressed like a clown and they don’t have any weapons and they are just standing there not chasing anyone around and you call us, when we respond and that person decides to look at us and walk the other way without saying a word, we can’t do anything.” The fact that these clowns can get away with what they’re doing has caused people to become enraged, and are taking action to stop them.
Clowns have even made their way to college campuses. Members of a fraternity at Texas Christian University decided to take action when there was a clown spotted on their campus. Soon after the sighting, members held a ‘clown hunt’ and used golf clubs as weapons.
The clown scare has even caused McDonalds’s to reconsider the use of their longtime mascot, Ronald. The company stated that “Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile with reports of creepy clown sightings on the rise.”
Though no one fully knows the exact intent of the clowns, neighborhoods are urged to remain vigilant but calm. And with Halloween only a week away, concerned citizens fear it’s unlikely that the clown craze will die down anytime soon.