Clowns: A Fun Game or a Serious Threat?


Children banned from dressing up as them for Halloween, a college on lockdown, several arrests having to do with civil unrest. Who’s to blame?

The clowns.

As many have heard, whether by media or word of mouth, dressing up as a clown and going around scaring people has become a popular activity all over the country. People behind the mask think scaring children and chasing innocent people is a fun game. Some people in this country would disagree.

This all started in August of this year in South Carolina when children playing near a woodland area reported that they spotted a man in a clown costume pointing lasers at them. After this incident, people wanting to copy this original clown started to pop up all over the country.

In the United States alone, over 50 serious threats from people behind the clown masks have resulted in arrests and even school lockdowns. At Penn State, college students stormed the streets to go “clown hunting.” Even in Oswego, a southwest suburb of Chicago, one middle school was shut down due to a called-in threat. Even though it turned out to be a hoax, great fear was raised in the school and the community.

When asked about recent clown sightings in America, freshman Elise Peterson stated, “People are trying to have fun, [but] they’re just being really stupid.”

Sophomore Brennan Dougherty added, “[These] sightings are outrageous, and it’s scary how this is becoming a reality. The people that do this kind of stuff are insane.”

Senior Sarah Kitslaar also shared that she thinks the sightings are “spooky, and it makes [her] angry. What’s wrong with people? [These people] are just doing this for attention and fame.” Many people all over the country would agree with this statement.

Police would, as well. Many officers have stated that these sightings are taken very seriously, however none so far have been taken to the extremes of injuries and killings.  If you see a clown and feel unsafe, call 911. Although no sightings have caused serious harm to people, serious caution is still enforced.

As well as normal people feeling afraid, the country’s clown community has also felt the effects of the clown epidemic. Regular party clowns and haunted house workers who make up the clown community have stated that recent creepy clown sightings have hurt their businesses.

#clownlivesmatter has become a popular tag on social media, and has grown a very popular following from the party clown community. These people feel threatened, and people who dress up as creepy clowns to scare people are ruining what clowns stand for at the heart of it all: to make people happy, not spread fear.