Some people are afraid of clowns no matter how nice they are and how professional the makeup and wardrobe. To add to the dilemma, the rumors of people dressed as creepy clowns to scare people in public are on the rise. I am not speaking of the list of films in which the villain or evil entity appears as a clown; but of people purchasing costume for the sole purpose of causing a fright in an unsuspecting passerby some where in public.
Fact or fiction:
These creepy clown reports seem to be on the rise over the last few months, most cases have turned out to be a hoax. So is this phenomena no more than a new big foot? Some of the posts on social media of evil clowns lurking the town have been proven to be a hoax, however some have proven to be an actual incident. The Lagrange Daily News of Georgia reports; a man and his sister in law made a 911 call that clowns were trying to abduct children into a white van. Police arrived to the seen only to find this couple out of gas, the van was searched showing no sins of children or clown attire. The duo were arrested for a false 911 report. So without even dressing in clown gear, there has been a lest one actual report of a crime done with the pretense of clowns being bad.
Until these last few weeks, the creepy clown stories have turned out to be more story than actual event. Locally in Michigan not too far from me a report was made of clowns being a menace in public, that was proven again to be just a rumor. This was done through social media and not 911, even though not a crime, it stills fuels the fire to clowns gone bad. I was hesitant to write this piece for the very reason of the more light you shed on these types of things, the more people tend to grasp on and exaggerate on the original story. However, these clown capers have begun to move from rumor to real and these people have begun to break the law.
Proof in the Pudding:
After reports of clowns scaring people in public became a more daily incident, one of the local news stations reached out to a local Detroit area costume shop and myself to speak about this scary clown business. Both the shop owner and I discouraged this behavior of scaring people in the guise of a clown, true clowns work hard to bring joy and even help others, not to bring harm. At the end of the news cast, the reporter said he spoke with the local police chief and this was his statement. Many people carry a firearm now and if they were to feel threatened by a creepy clown they may deem it necessary to discharge the firearm in self defense. This would be a very bad thing for the prankster, one very good reason to not scare people in public.
Now for the urban legend. Many of my co workers saw this report and had to ask me my thoughts on this as I was just on the news. The one thing that I noticed was how each time I new person spoke to me about the story, the facts from the report got stretched further out of proportion. A few people even stating some guy got shot here in the Detroit area pulling a clown prank. Very disturbed at the twist this original story took, I ask where they heard someone was shot. The reply was, the newscaster said it at the end of the story you were in Russ. The statement the news caster actually said was; people who carry a fire arm may feel threatened and discharge the fire arm in self defense if confronted by a creepy clown. Nowhere in the news cast did anyone say a “guy got shot.” Complete false comments inside a couple of hours, and that was just at my workplace. Retelling a story with false facts can make the situation even worse. This is why I feel in some ways the more coverage we give the creepy clown capers, the more we can blow things out of proportion.
Whether in a clown costume or other disguise, it is not a good idea to scare someone out in public. You could bring harm to them or yourself if the victim were to retaliate. We at Clown Antics strive to uphold hi standards in the art of clowning and encourage the goodness that is brings others. We all are very upset when people dress as clowns prank, scare or now even worse, commit a crime. Hopefully the authorities will help get things under control by enforcing the laws broken by the pranksters so that the real clowns trying to do good and bring joy into the world can do their job.