Clowns in Town?
Clown Rumors Make their Way to ESU

Are you afraid of clowns? Photo Credit / Kayla Esposito
Are you afraid of clowns? Photo Credit / Kayla Esposito
Are you afraid of clowns? Photo Credit / Kayla Esposito

Are you afraid of clowns?
Photo Credit / Kayla Esposito

By Yaasmeen Piper
Contributing Writer

We’re not talking about your pie throwing, floppy shoe wearing clowns.

Sinister clown sightings have been reported all over the U.S from South Carolina to here is Pennsylvania.

Haunting photographs of costumed characters hold knives, rakes, bats, and other objects have spread all over social media.

With today’s technology, word travels fast and the world began to panic.

The strange sightings began in August in South Carolina. According to CBS News, a woman told police that her son had seen clowns peaking out from the woods around 8:30 pm.

The boy then led his mother through a man made trail in the woods to a house by the pond where he said he lived.

Other people in the complex said they heard them knocking on doors and saw them standing beside a dumpster and several children said the clowns showed them “large amounts of money” as a way to get them to follow them.

In all the reports, the witnesses refused to give their names and police found no trace of the clowns.

Some people began to speculate it was all a marketing stunt after hearing about Stephen King’s It remake.

However, the Pennywise creator took to Twitter to say he had no parts in the sudden clown apocalypse.

He stated that most of the clowns are good and they should “cheer up the kiddies [and] make people laugh.”

Then the hysteria traveled here in PA.

York College and Shippensburg students and staff received a safety alert after a student said they saw clowns near campus, according to Pennlive.

Though, some people have been arrested for making false reports, the state’s fear increased when a fight broke out in Reading after someone showed up in a clown mask.

The incident resulted in a tenth grader being stabbed to death.

Whispers of clowns on campus floated around ESU. Students shared on social media that they saw clowns at the University Ridge and on Main Street.

Abby, a Hawthorn Suites resident advisor, said the clowns were brought up in her staff meeting.

“We were passed on the information that clowns were never seen on campus but you guys should take every normal precaution and keep calm about everything. We are going to keep you guys as safe as we can.”

Yet, with so many camera phones, the evidence still seems to come up short.

“There’s been a lot of second hand reports,” said Chief of Police William Parrish.

“There have been second hand reports of them knocking on dorm windows and threats of violence and clowns standing out in the parking lot holding knives. I’ve gotten calls from parents saying their child was afraid to leave their dorm.”

But, like the other officers, there were no clowns in sight.

Parrish recalls a young woman who called in saying, while she was entering her car she heard someone blown a horn and when she turned around she saw a car full of clowns.

“The car report happened on a Monday but I didn’t get an email until Thursday. So there’s not a whole lot we can do about that.”

Students at Penn State decided to take matters into their own hands.

According to Time.com, after an alleged clown sighting at least five hundred Penn State students engaged in a “clown hunt.”

The video went viral. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students flooded the streets, and blocked the roads.

One student climbed up a tree and chanted “F**k the clowns!”

The clown hysteria is making people anxious and even fearful for Halloween.

“It’s important to follow any other safety methods,” said Parrish. “[For Halloween] we always have a presence out.

We’ll have a couple extra officers out walking around.

ESU offers a safe ride program by the University Police and launched the LiveSafe app that offeres a virtual walk home with anyone in your contact list.

“It’s important to follow any other safety methods: travel in groups of three, tell people where you are going, and if you see something say something. Immediately.”

Email Yaasmeen at:
ypiper@live.esu.edu

Leave a comment