The bizarre clown scare has been spreading like crazy all over the globe. A prank once thought to be funny and completely harmless has turned into a serious matter.
Originally, the problem with clowns started back in late August in South Carolina after reports were made that clowns were attempting to lure children into the woods. Since the first reported sighting, there have been multiple sightings in more than two dozen states and even across the world. Not only have people been dressing up as clowns, they have been seen carrying weapons such as sticks, knives and in some cases even guns.
Although many cases were found to be hoaxes, a number of people are facing charges from false reports all the way to making terroristic threats. These clown sightings which first started out as a prank have gone bad. So bad that some places including schools have decided to ban clown costumes for this upcoming Halloween season because no one can be sure who’s really behind the face paint.
Just last week, hundreds of students from Pennsylvania State University took matters into their own hands, filling campus streets for a mass clown hunt. In Massachusetts, a clown hoax forced Merrimack College into temporary lockdown after a social media report was made that there was an armed clown walking around campus. This clown craze is affecting everyone of all ages and even causing serious action to be taken in some cases.
As for the U, no clowns have yet to be seen wandering around or near campus. However, this does not necessarily mean one won’t show up at one time or another in the future. “Depending on the situation if we encounter a clown, is how we will go about handling it. Just because someone is dressed as a clown doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing,” said Garth Smith, campus police officer.
Since there haven’t been any clown sightings thus far at the U it’s hard to say if there will ever be one. Campus police are aware of the latest craze but don’t plan to take any action unless an incident occurs. Unlike other states and schools, the U has no intention of restricting students from wearing clown costumes on campus for Halloween.
Even though many of these reported clown sightings have been found to be pranks, all cases must be looked into equally to ensure the safety of people. One of the main reasons this problem has gotten out of hand is social media. Since the first sighting, numerous Instagram and Twitter accounts have been started to share photos of sightings all over the world. Because of the involvement of social media, people either find it amusing or take it upon themselves to become a part of it instead of seeing it as a problem.
“There are much bigger problems going on in our country, both internally and internationally, right now who the fact ‘clowns’ are, even a thing is absolutely ridiculous. We can’t forget that the reason this is as big of a deal as it is, is because something as time-wasting as social media has been hyping it up,” said Sean Ekavithvorakul, a student at the U.
Photos courtesy of Chris Cano