Nation Terrorized By…Clowns?

By Daniel Morales, Staff Writer

A South Carolinian problem turned into national concern in the past couple of months and who’s to blame? Clowns. These clowns aren’t your run of the mill Ronald McDonald type, but rather are stuff only nightmares could create. It all originated in the county of Greenville, South Carolina, on August 29, 2016,  when multiple parents reached out to the police chief, Ken Miller. Miller realized many had identical stories saying people were dressing up as clowns and they were hanging out around Fleetwood Manor Apartments; targeting kids and trying to lure kids into the woods with things like candy, money, and/or toys. After it was brought to his attention, Miller decided to put out an official statement via local newspaper and local news stations, saying anyone caught behaving inappropriately in a clown costume will be detained. He also urged that “the clowning around needs to stop”. The clown scares in Greenville, South Carolina have largely been eliminated since then.

The incident, however, did not just become a story in a local newspaper; Instead, this story got a lot of attention on social media. The clown craze of South Carolina spread like a virus becoming the #1 trending story on twitter within days of happening. With the nation making such a big commotion about these clowns, it wasn’t before too long that more and more people started dressing up as clowns,  sightings began to pop up rapidly. First, it was south Carolina, then the clown craze spread to North Carolina even before the week ended on September 4th of the same year. By the time authorities all around the country decided to take actions against these clowns it was too late. Clowns began to be spotted all over the country from places like Florida, Phoenix, Pennsylvania and even New Jersey.

Many Wayne residents were alarmed when news of a clown sighting near Willowbrook Mall spread. Wayne residents grew troubled fearing the clowns might come closer to our schools around town. The sighting was reported by a woman who saw the clown near the Mack-Cali building. Police tried to locate the clown but had no luck. Although this was  a real sighting many stories popped up shortly after scaring Wayne residents. Rumors that clowns were popping up in football games made students like Senior of Wayne Valley, Mia Tollis, “Annoyed and uncomfortable.”  To make sure this Halloween is safe authorities have stressed to not dress as a clown and have instructed parents to not let their kids go trick or treating by themselves. Police patrol cars will be dispersed across different states on Halloween night to ensure nothing goes wrong. With November approaching quickly many wonder if this is the last we will see of the clowns or if they have after-Halloween plans, only time will tell.