Clown sightings: Hoax or horror?

The clown sighting phenomenon has reached an all time high in the U.S. since August. What may have started as scaring unsuspecting victims has turned into a concern for many parents as Halloween nears.

There have been reports about people seeing clowns around the South Hill and Graham areas. A KIRO 7 story claimed a Rogers High School student was arrested after he was connected to a of series of threats in which he claimed he was a clown. The threats led to a school lockdown.

“I think it’s crazy when people [are] seeking them out.” said UW Tacoma student Ashley Dickerson. “It’s a horror movie waiting to happen.”

Some think it’s a marketing strategy for Stephen King’s’ remake of “It”, but Cathy Nam of New Line has spoken out on the sightings. “New Line is absolutely not involved in the rash of clown sightings,” Nam told The Hollywood Reporter.

In some instances, these events have turned violent. In Texas, three teens were taken into custody after a woman was shot in the face during a burglary — all three of them wearing clown masks. In West Yorkshire, a mother of six was confronted by a clown while leaving a birthday party. The clown confronted her after she walked back into the house, leaving her kids in the car. The clown attempted to pull one of children out of the car, but couldn’t get the car seat free.

Events have even occurred outside the U.S. In Durham, England, the police are looking into an incident where a man, dressed as a clown, followed children to school with a knife. “We believe that this to be part of a much larger prank which is currently sweeping across the U.S. and parts of the U.K.,” Neighborhood Sergeant Mel Sutherland told reporters in a statement earlier this month. “It is very alarming he was carrying a knife, however we do not think he intended to harm the children as far as we are aware, this is part of the prank.”

“Campus Community should call 911 to report any incident that is a cause of fear or concern,” said Susan Wagshul-Golden, UW Tacoma Security Director. Wagshul-Golden said if a clown sighting was to happen at UW Tacoma, “Campus Safety & Security staff would work together in partnership with Tacoma Police Department to investigate.”

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXX ELDER

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