People being scared by clowns

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
This seems to be a trending pattern, people claim to see or being chased by someone in a clown outfit.
Some are likely real, perhaps some are imaginary, some might seem like an innocent prank. This is likely to end up badly at some point, with either a prankster or prank victim being hurt. Many places have laws dating to anti-Klan days against wearing masks, and Sheriffs have warned that they will make arrests.


Here is a google news search for 'clowns' which shows this becoming a frequent national occurrence.


Active Member
This is likely to end up badly at some point, with either a prankster or prank victim being hurt.

I just saw an article that said a clown with an axe had been spotted here in the Metro Detroit area. If they go into the city I imagine it'll only be a matter of time before one gets shot.


Senior Member.
A stabbing death has been reported, attributed to this clown thing in some way:

Bizarre clown sightings in Pennsylvania are nothing new in recent weeks, but this is: Criminal accusations.

Police in Reading say they're trying to figure out who fatally stabbed a 16-year-old boy Sunday night after someone wearing a clown mask may have provoked a confrontation. Police say they're sorting through various accounts of the incident that include the victim wearing the mask, the stabber wearing the mask, and someone else wearing it.

One thing's certain, high school sophomore Christian Torres is dead.

In Martinsburg, Blair County, police have charged an 18-year-old man with harassing, threatening and prowling around his neighbors' home while wearing a clown mask and holding an Airsoft toy pistol, also on Sunday night.

Police say the masked suspect acknowledged rapping on the neighbors' door and windows.
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Senior Member.
Some of people find clowns scarey, it may be dates back to the days when traveling theatre troupes and circus' where the main means of 'exotic' entertainment for many communities, and given a small communities inherent distrust of traveling strangers, gypsies, vagabonds, musicians and other 'odd' people who would seam dangerous and exotic to a village where everyone knew each other its hardly suprising a fear of these strangers developed. Add in the fact that clowns traditionally hide their faces behind masks and make up you have a firm basis for Coulrophobia.

As a kid I was told by my gran to beware of circus folk as they were not like 'normal' people, and it seams that this has influenced modern culture (the whole clown / circus thing, not my old grans warnings). A quick google of 'clown urban legend' throws up all kinds of tales of killer clowns, pedophiles in clown suits and other such stories, although it is very hard to pin down any real basis for these legends. Chuck in fact that since Stephen King published 'It' in 1986 (if not earlier), evil clowns have become a popular horror trope, with IMDB showing a non-exhaustive list of nearly 200 titles that feature evil or killer clowns.

In the run up to Halloween it's not suprising that these legends are surfacing again, and all kinds of pranksters are jumping on the bandwagon for a bit of a seasonal scare, and in the days where an internet vid on FB or YT can go viral in minutes, the hoaxers job is all the easier. Fake a vid, cook up a tale to go with it, spam it about a bit and let mass hysteria do the rest.

Rolling Stone have just published an interesting article about this latest out break of 'evil clowning around'
Police have begun arresting people dressed as clowns on various charges. In Alabama, seven people are facing felonies for making a terrorist threat, while two more juveniles face lesser charges. In Middlesboro, Kentucky, a 20-year-old man was arrested for wearing a clown costume while hiding in a ditch. In Virginia, two teens were taken into custody for donning clown costumes and chasing children. And in recent days, the list has been growing.

As campus safety officials in Pennsylvania pointed out in their notice, the "creepy clown" situation is becoming a national phenomena. Unfortunately, the situation is nothing new. In 1981, "sinister" clowns were seen in Boston and neighboring towns throughout New England. The clowns, who harassed small children, were never seen by adults. They would coax children into vans with candy, usually driving alongside children walking down the street or in front of schools. The Phantom Clowns, as they were dubbed by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman given their allusive nature, spread to Kansas City, Denver, Omaha, and Pennsylvania. Since the 1980s, clowns have made appearances across the country, usually in the weeks and months leading up to Halloween.

Coleman's phantom clown theory is rooted in the "primal dread that so many children experience in their presence." The first notable instance of a creepy clown is when serial killer John Wayne Gacy was captured in 1979. His alter ego Pogo the Clown frequented children's parties, so his capture drew a connection between a killer and a clown. Three years later came Poltergeist, in which a sinister clown doll lives underneath the bed. Stephen King doubled down and only increased the public's fear of clowns – his 1987 novel It, featuring Pennywise the clown, was made into a horrifying film in 1990. (People still love to fear clowns – Poltergeist was rebooted last year, and a remake of It is set to arrive next fall.)
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Senior Member.
Yeah, when you consider, too, the fanfare that Netflix's Stranger Things has been getting and the backstory behind it (the TL;DR version: the creators of ST are gigantic King fans and wanted to direct the new It but didn't get it and ended up making the miniseries instead, which is one of the reasons why ST is such an homage to King's work--also one of the child actors in ST is in It) it starts to make a lot more sense. One teenage/early 20s kid does it just fooling around, one news source reports it, another does it, three news sources report it because there's a ///pattern!!!/// now, then more and more kids do it and it feeds itself until people lose interest.

Mick West

Staff member
It's a "clown panic". Probably a few weirdos, some more pranksters, even more copycats, and a lot of overactive imagination.

While every report of strangers stalking children should be taken seriously, in the absence of concrete evidence these stories should be treated with skepticism. Stalking clown folklore appears to be part of the “Stranger Danger” moral panic of the 1980s. Moral panics are periods of intense fear that crop up from time to time, and involve exaggerated threats from perceived evil-doers—either real or imagined. A classic example is the current fear of Muslims and Middle Eastern refugees in Europe and North America, where they are often stereotyped as terrorists and subversives. Some moral panics are entirely imaginary, such as the hunt for witches in the vicinity of what is now Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.

When one examines the reports of phantom clowns, a curious pattern emerges: they are almost never caught. There is also a lack of tangible evidence. All police have to go on is eyewitness testimony, which is notoriously unreliable. Most witnesses are children, who are vulnerable to peer pressure and being asked leading questions. Another curious aspect is that the children always seem to get away. On the one hand, the clowns are extremely adept at making their getaway. On the other hand, they appear to be totally incompetent at nabbing their prey.
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Senior Member.
I agree. it often becomes a prank to garner YT hits.

I have to admit something.......I have a clown-head on the rear of my a rear ornament It's been there for about 5 years.


Yes, this is really on the rear of my work vehicle, looking back to the rear (facing the driver behind me).
As far as I can tell....people either love it, or hate it.
Many vehicles obviously want to get around me, but I notice a lot of people laughing and snapping bad photos.
Kids really enjoy it even though it is smoking a cigarette. I can see them laughing and pointing in my rear-view mirror.

The story...
I bought 5 cast metal mechanical coin banks at a garage sale, 4 of them were gifts now gone. The creepy one left was this clown/jester. I set it on top of my rear car as a "haha", displayed in front of my worker friends.
They said "Leave it there !!" (as a joke)....but I surprised them all when I glued it to the top/back of my car.....just for a few days.
Well, days meant weeks, and weeks have become years.
The Fez was put on by a friend, and the cig by another. Remove the cig, and it collects money.

Funny thing is....I hate clowns or jesters, and they creep me out.
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Senior Member.
Funny thing is....I hate clowns or jesters, and they creep me out.

Never thought about jesters, but I've always been creeped out by clowns. Nice to see I"m not the only one.

I collect Murano glass birds and fish. One time an antique dealer friend proudly presented me with a Murano clown he'd come across. These things are expensive, I had to pretend I was really happy before I put it into my desk drawer. Here he is where he now resides, in the bottom of a box in the garage. Is that creepy or what?



Senior Member.
Never thought about jesters, but I've always been creeped out by clowns. Nice to see I"m not the only one.

I collect Murano glass birds and fish. One time an antique dealer friend proudly presented me with a Murano clown he'd come across. These things are expensive, I had to pretend I was really happy before I put it into my desk drawer. Here he is where he now resides, in the bottom of a box in the garage. Is that creepy or what?

...and you just know, that some people are looking at that and thinking it's absolutey "dear" and "charming." :eek:


Senior Member.
I imagine that things could get pretty sketchy during Halloween when these real clown predators (ones that may be after children) are out with all the other people dressed up for Halloween. They could blend in easily with the crowd in other words and not raise any alarms.

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Creepy clown mayhem at Penn State described in campus newspaper.

  • (10/04/2016 | 5:44 p.m.) Penn State Police reported no violence, property damage or injuries, but did receive multiple noise complaints.

  • (10/04/2016 | 5:44 p.m.) In response to the rumor about the clown sightings being related to fraternity hazing activity, police said they were unaware of the rumor and the Interfraternity Council had no comment about the matter.

  • (10/04/2016 | 3:05 p.m.) Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey released a statement to The Chronicle of Higher Education in response to the reported clown sightings across the country, saying “It is troubling because it’s a distraction for our clowns who just want to make people laugh and smile."
What We Know Right Now:
  • Hundreds of students ran through campus on Monday night after multiple reports of clowns in the area.

  • A giant image of a clown was projected onto Beaver Hill apartments. No word yet on where the projection was coming from or who was responsible.

  • Penn State police officers on the scene last night insisted that there was no clown and the reported sightings were just rumors.

  • State College Police had "no comment" when reached out to last night.
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White House press briefing

The problem has become so widespread that even the White House weighed in today after a reporter noted during the White House press briefing that "creepy clown" sightings had led to more than a dozen arrests, and that local law enforcement agencies are asking for assistance from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on how to handle the "phenomenon."

This is believed to be the first time the topic of "creepy clowns" has been brought up during a press briefing at the White House. Earnest said he was unsure if the president had been briefed on the clown situation.

You've got to be reminded of UFO "flaps." The last good UFO flap was in 1973. Even Walter Cronkite took notice:

There was another really good one in 1966:

As tension increased House Republican Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan formally demanded a Congressional hearing and investigation of flying saucers. He, of course, was backed by Marine Major Donald E. Keyhoe, Director of the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) in Washington, D. C. [Which was a private organization, not part of the government.] Ford's demands were met, when limited open Congressional hearings were held by the Armed Service Committee and Air Force officials on April 6. As a result of this meeting the Air Force contracted with the University of Colorado to investigate flying saucers for $300,000 for the next 18 months.
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Active Member
It's on. A clown cut a kid.

Police said the clown placed a butter knife on the boy's arm. It's unclear if the clown purposely cut the boy or if the boy was cut when he moved away from the knife.

"He had red hair and a red nose and a mask on," Justin said. "He grabbed my wrist and then he used the other hand to, he dragged the knife on my arm slowly."
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Sounds to me like he was just trying to scare the kid, and the kid jerked away and got cut.

Hope I did all that right. I'm on my phone.


Senior Member
this story was reported on the BBC radio news this morning - relating to "clown" incidents in Newcastle Tyne and Wear (UK)

apologies - Cloudspotter has already posted

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
More arrests in Detroit, and a motel robber was using a clown mask, one school declared "Clown Free Zone".

A clown costume, taken into evidence by Roseville police.(Photo: Roseville Police Department)

Creepy. Moronic. Extremely dangerous.

Yup. Clowns have an image problem all right.

Across metro Detroit this week, police have made numerous so-called "creepy clown arrests" involving incidents that range from the absurd to the dangerous, where men and women dressed as clowns are doing everything from scaring kids to robbing hotels and banks. Police have called these brightly-painted creatures "idiots," "morons" and "extremely dangerous."

According to the FBI, one masked-bandit may be responsible for a series of armed robberies that took place in Oakland County on Thursday, when a presumed man dressed as a clown and pumpkin head held up two hotels, a pharmacy and a motorist whose Lexus was stolen in a carjacking.
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New Member
the "killer clown" stalking passers by thing has been fuel for YT "prank" videos for over 2 years now.
sounds like copy catting prankster idiots are just trying to garner "mad hits" on YT - and now it's just gotten out of hand in the media. No, I don't think there are marauding clowns out there bent on actual nefarious deeds.
there are however, harmless morons in clown suits wielding cameras scaring people while trying to be the next YT sensation. I've also noticed that many of the older YT videos are perpetrated in locales where CCW are frowned upon or not allowed, thereby perhaps reducing the risk to the prankster somewhat. I'm not sure this new crop of fools has thought this through as thoroughly... eventually someone (probably a teen or 20something in a clown suit) is going to get severely hurt or killed.

It may well have gotten enough momentum that it will be the Next "zombies" craze.

(Please Note I've used some light name calling: anyone who dresses up in a scary costume and runs around in public with a simulated weapon with the intent to make people think that they are in genuine danger is indeed a Idiot, Fool, or Moron. it's a good way to get shot, stabbed, beaten, or arrested if you pull that stunt on the wrong person, and why in (insert deity's) name would you want to scare some poor stranger out of their mind? it's not funny, its in poor taste, dangerous, and just plain mean spirited. I'm all for a clever prank or some cheeky shenanigans... but come on guys. axe wielding clowns need not apply)

Nada Truther

Active Member
I was in a Halloween store yesterday, and, not surprisingly, there was an entire wall of "Scary Clown" costumes. I don't think it is going to be going away any time soon. They're not cheap either. Apparently you have to be pretty well off to scare the crap out of little kids with a machete and a clown mask.
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