Creepy Clown Sightings Spread to Multiple Cities
Coulrophobia, n. An abnormal fear of clowns.
Back in 2014, Kern County, California was making headlines for one very peculiar reason. As CountyNews reported at the time:
Since October 1, local police have been flooded with bizarre reports of spooky clowns stalking the cities of Wasco and Bakersfield. At first, it was just a harmless prank, evidently carried out by a husband and wife team as part of an art project. The two even set up an Instagram account to document their silly clown antics, and the story quickly went viral in light of the forthcoming Halloween holiday. But now, authorities say the whole situation has gone too far.
Fast-forward two years later. It turns out Kern was no isolated incident. In fact, creepy clowns are now springing up all over the Carolinas, and police want to put an end to it.
It began in late August with reports of a clown trying to lure children into the woods of Greenville, South Carolina.
“It’s illegal. It’s dangerous. It’s inappropriate,” Greenville’s police chief said. “And it’s creating community concern so it needs to stop.”
But it didn’t stop. In fact, the phenomenon has since spread to multiple cities. Reports of copycat clowns have sprung up in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, and Greensboro, North Carolina, where a man actually chased one of the them off with a machete.
Speculation is rampant. While some fear there’s a genuine psycho out there, others wonder if this is some sort of publicity stunt. Halloween is just around the corner. Rob Zombie has a new movie coming out. We’re also a year away from the new adaptation of Stephen King’s "It," a 1986 horror novel about a homicidal clown who terrorizes a group of kids in a small town.
King himself was asked about the reports and denied any knowledge of a misplaced effort to promote the film. Instead, he empathized with the terrified public.
“If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too,” he told the Bangor Daily News.
When Stephen King is afraid, you know you’re in trouble.