Most people have heard about the creepy clowns that have been running around, spiraling out of South Carolina and across the country.
Why people are dressing up like this and going out to scare the pants off others is anyone’s guess.
Some people have been arrested in relation to self-admitted “clowning,” including a couple in Wisconsin that left their toddler home alone while they went out to be creepy clowns.
There haven’t been many reported instances in Monroe County, and only one in Wayne County – in Brownstown.
While there’s probably nothing to worry about and MCCC has not been besieged by clowns, people are still taking note around campus.
“It’s terrifying,” says student Jake Adams.
“I think it’s creepy,” Jessica Ryder says. “But I also think people are taking it out of hand.”
She’s not the only one to think so. Several others on campus feel this has gotten a bit overdone.
“I think it’s kind of stupid and that people are overreacting,” says Brianna Brown. “But I am frightened of clowns, so I would get scared if I saw one. Though really, I think it’s all really overdramatic.”
Mackenzie Morelli agrees.
“It’s silly,” he says. “It’ll be over in two weeks. It’s just giving the radio hosts something to talk about. Really, it’s the newest fad.”
“I think it’ll die off soon,” Ryder says as well, also stating her belief that it’s a fad.
They’d be right to assume so. Contrary to some reports, this is categorically not the first time there’s been a rash of creepy clowns skulking about suburban America.
The phenomenon has been dubbed “phantom clowns,” usually because no one can find the clowns after they’ve run off.
The original report of such ghouls comes from 1981, when children in Massachusetts claimed they were being approached by clowns. The clowns were always accompanied by a sinister van that they would try to goad the children into.
The counselor for the Boston Public School District, Daniel O’Connell, issued a warning to all schools that clowns had been sighted trying to lure students away. Teachers were put on watch, and parents were advised to make sure they knew what routes their kids were taking to school.
There were no reported abductions from that outbreak, which died down around the time adults noticed they’d never seen these supposed kidnapping clowns, and that all the “victims” were aged 5 to 7.
Take note of that last part. It shows what most of these reports are: mass hysteria. Only now we have social media to magnify things, so it seems as if it’s coming from all sides and that there’s a clown around every corner, waiting with an inflatable hatchet.
But not all the historical encounters were just mass hysteria.
Two cities over a thousand miles away reported something terrifying a few weeks after Boston’s 1981 brouhaha. They were both Kansas City – which straddle either side of the border of Missouri and Kansas.
On the Kansas side, a group of children reported they were chased for several blocks by a murderous clown wielding a sword. Soon, the Missouri side chimed in with a similar story. Upon investigating, the police hit pay dirt.
What they found was a clown in a windowless yellow van. He was clad in coal black face paint, a bright white wig, a t-shirt emblazoned with the devil, and black pants with candy canes running down the sides. In addition, he had on the prerequisite big red shoes and nose… and was carrying an enormous knife.
What’s worse was that this man was identified by people from no less than six separate schools in the area. He’d been observing the children, as if studying them to pick the right one to lure away.
The police chased the van for some time before it eventually vanished. The man was never found, nor was the van.
To this day, there’s no official explanation for whether he was just a lunatic in a clown costume, or a bona fide phantom clown. But one thing’s for certain: he wasn’t a figment of the mass hysteria. He was all too real.
Bear in mind that was more of an isolated incident than an everyday occurrence. Nothing so gruesome or spine-chilling has happened during this current hysteria. In all likelihood, as the autumn pales into winter and November drags on, the clowns will vanish with the leaves under the snow.
People will come to their senses, focus on some new meme on the Internet, and look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. So sleep easy tonight. It’s all going to be okay.