When clowns attack? Clowns invoking fear isn’t funny

With the 2016 Presidential Election just one month away and the war on terror still raging on, the biggest issue the nation seems to be facing is the threat of clowns.

According to the Inquisitor the clowns began to appear in 2014 after a husband and wife duo conducted a year-long photography project in Wasco, California. The husband dressed up as the ‘Wasco Clown’ while his wife took photos. It seemed fun and harmless until copycats began to dress up as clowns and wield weapons such as machetes or baseball bats. The clown obsession seemed to die out until new clown sightings emerged in early September when residents of an apartment complex located in Greenville, South Carolina reported people in clown costumes trying to lure their children into the woods.

Because of social media this story quickly spread and there are now copy cats popping up all across the nation, including Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida and Cincinnati. In the early hours of Sept. 30, a Reading woman claimed she was choked by a clown and that the clown also made threats to Reading schools according to Cincinnati.com. Reading Junior and Senior high closed in precaution, as well as Mount Notre Dame High School.

“First, I thought that this was silly but then I saw all the reports of attacks,” Student Moderator Mike Orlando said. “We do need to take these threats seriously but social media has escalated it. You have to react fast and don’t have time to pause and actually think about what is happening.”

The Cincinnati clowns even have their own twitter and Instagram creatively named ‘Clown Clan’. On the accounts they will post where they are heading next.

Many people have called in false reports of attack or are dressing up as clowns themselves as a joke. Some people have gone so far as to actually seek out the clowns and ‘hunt them down’. After three clowns were spotted at Penn State University, a mob of 6,000 gathered to hunt down the clowns according to The Telegraph.

The fear of clown attacks isn’t just affecting the general public; it’s shedding negative light on professional clowns, said Shrine Clown Mike Kempf. The Cincinnati Shrine Circus clowns are volunteers who partake in the annual circus, visit sick children in hospitals, walk in parades, and much more. “I was in the parade for the Brown Country Fair recently, and a lot of people kept teasing me and asking me if I came out of the woods,” Kempf said. “In clown school we were taught to walk away from a child that is scared of clowns and ignore their friends that want you to give them a hug.”

Senior Carey Heekin is tired of the clown drama after one of her neighbors allegedly saw a clown on her street. “Why clowns? It’s stupid. Your causing public hysteria for no good reason,” Heekin said.

The ‘Wasco Clown’ was a yearlong photography project started by a husband and wife. The wife took the pictures and the husband dressed as the clown and posed around town. Soon, copycat clowns began appearing and threatening harm to others.

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