Y’all, We Really Do Have To Talk About These Damn Clowns

By Courtney Anderson

Creepy clowns have been popping up all over the country.

There’s been so many sightings, heavy.com has compiled a list of states that have reported clown sightings. And it’s a long list.

So far, at least 28 states have reported weirdness in the form of people in clown costumes intimidating and even assaulting people.

And most of the states have reported varying degrees of violence and intimidation from the clowns.

While some the police departments in some states have found the clowns to be just annoying hoaxes, some have had it much worse.

In Memphis, Tennessee, someone in a clown mask robbed a bank and threatened customers with explosives.

A couple of weeks earlier, students at the University of Tennessee received an alert from the university stating that students in clown costumes were physically assaulting students who on campus after dark as a part of a “Purge” re-enactment.

A Georgia news site reported that someone in a clown mask tried to lure children into a wooded area.

The article on Heavy.com reported an 11-year old girl in Athens took a knife to school to protect herself from clowns that had been spotted in the area.

A 10th grade student in Pennsylvania was fatally stabbed after getting into a fight with someone in a clown mask, according to Pennsylvania news site Pennlive.com.

Police have been arresting many clowns, but it hasn’t stopped many others from popping up in their place.

It’s got to be one of the strangest—and most frightening–trends, but it’s not a trend that’s entirely new.

In 2014, California dealt with creepy clowns.

According to a report from CNN, while California is sans-clowns in 2016 (as of now), Bakersfield police had about 20 reports about clowns threatening people in the area.

And then there is the 2013 clown sighting in England that turned out to be a “performance art” stunt.

Not to mention the various reports of “Ain’t Clowning Around” social media accounts that have been created and deleted or proven to be hoaxes over the past couple of years.

One major question regarding these sightings is “why?”

Why are people deciding to dress up as clowns and terrorize people?

People.com tried to answer the question in its article “Why You Shouldn’t Panic About This Year’s Clown Panic.”

In the article, author of Bad Clowns, Benjamin Radford states that many of the creepy clowns are “copy cats,” taking inspiration from previous reports.

Radford also said that social media has been a “powerful amplifier” for the sightings.

And he doesn’t really see it going away permanently, especially with the escalating reactions to the clowns.

“These archetypes are in our culture, they are not going away,” Radford said to People.com. “I guarantee you there will be another phantom clown panic – maybe two years, maybe five years, but it’ll happen again.”

Well, as long as the sightings continue, so will the creepiness.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Coconut Cove/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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