by KHALANI GARAY
Terror struck the U.S. late summer this year when thousands reported seeing clowns in their towns. As Halloween nears, one question hangs in the air, are these so-called ‘clowns’ a threat?
Since late August, there has been a trend going around of trying to scare unsuspecting people. Scary-looking clowns are lurking in the woods, appearing on dark roads, and driving cars carrying weapons such as knives and bats. The sightings have been reported in various states such as, California, Minnesota, South Carolina, New Jersey and New York. Because of this, the hashtag #IfISeeAClown and a Twitter account, @Clown Sightings, which has generated 335,000 followers, has surfaced.
Police in these states are warning citizens to be on high alert. Although the sightings are headaches for them, they are taking every one of them serious. “If anything is suspicious, anything, be it somebody verbally or physically acting menacing in any type of costume, notify the police right away,” said Capt. Laurence Martin of the Wayne Police Department in New Jersey, who responded to a report of a clown sighting last week. The Police are urging people to call in if they see a clown and to remain aware of your surroundings.
Best-selling author Stephen King, whose 1986 novel It which tells the story of a town being terrorized by a clown named Pennywise, has also weighed in on the subject. He took to Twitter addressing all his followers and fans. “Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria – most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh,” he said in a recent post.
Meanwhile, Halloween stores have been seeing a recent boost in online sales. Clown costumes are up around 40 percent this year, but it is difficult to tell if it is linked to the creepy clown sightings. As Halloween comes closer, many are warning to be vigilant, always notice your surroundings, and never hesitate to call the police if you are getting harassed by someone dressed up as a clown.