Clown Hysteria in Northeast Ohio

A wave of clown hysteria is sweeping our nation in the last few months. Sightings of these creepy carnival carnies are coming in from all over the United States.

The first account of clown mayhem came from Greenville, South Carolina. Multiple clowns allegedly appeared behind Fleetwood Manor Apartments and attempted to lure frightened kids into the woods. This prompted the police to get involved, and the manager, informing his residents, cautioned, “At no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night.” Police searched the woods after these reports but found no clowns nor sinister clown-related activity. In a similar incident, a Kentucky man was arrested for lurking in the woods outside an apartment building while in full clown regalia. He was charged with, among other things, “wearing a mask in a public place.”

In Pennsylvania, a number of clown related mischief occurred. A woman in Ebensburg reported a clown peeking through her window, and in another area of the state, two young men dressed as clowns jumped out of the bed of a pickup truck near a local park and began harassing children.

Only a few days after the original sighting in Greensboro, the police were called to a man’s house in South Carolina who claimed to have seen a clown coming out of the woods at the back of his property and said hepromptly chased it away with a machete. Many are not sure what the exact cause of this clown hysteria seems to be, but many believe the increased sightings are simply copycat crimes. Others believe the clowns are a part of a viral ad campaign for the upcoming horror movie, 31, by director Rob Zombie; the film features an evil carnival as its main attraction.

While the initial cause of these clown sightings is unknown, what is certain is that these sinister clowns are hurting the real clown entertainment business. Many entertainers are reporting drops in clientele, and many have had to modify their routines in order to avoid scaring children or attracting unwanted attention. This clown epidemic is not only ruining the childhood of kids, but also the careers of those in the clown industry. With reports in over twenty states, some can only hope it will end soon.

-Charlie Kolodziej ’18

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