A clown walks in last year’s annual Wild Rumpus parade on Oct. 31. Several clown sightings and incidents have taken place in Georgia, including an arrest made in Athens over a student bringing a knife to school to “defend herself from clowns”.”She said that the reason she had the knife was for protection for her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children,” the official Athens-Clarke County Police Department report said. Photo by Julie Alpaugh.
By ANEESA CONINE-NAKANO – Editor-in-Chief
As Halloween weekend begins, Editor-in-Chief Aneesa Conine-Nakano breaks down the creepy clown sightings that have led to mass hysteria over social media.
Above: Places with reportings of clown sightings since Aug. 21. Keep in mind, some sightings have been hoaxes. Map by Aneesa Conine-Nakano. Information from Atlas Obscura.
Timeline of major clown sightings
Clowns attempt to get children to go into the woods near an apartment complex in Greensville, South Carolina. Later, children come out of the woods crying.
“Two little boys were in the woods. They came back and were like, ‘It’s a clown. It’s a clown.’ So, everybody was like, ‘No, it’s not. No, it’s not.’ Nobody not believing them,” Kyria Klugh, a parent, said in an interview with WJLA. “They went and got other kids and they come out. Then they come back crying, so we was like, ‘It must be something in the woods’.”
Clowns approach three children in Macon, Georgia near woods with flashlights and fake knives. Facebook messages began appearing to the children approached earlier by the clowns with messages like, “I will find you.”
Schools in Flomaton, Alabama were put on lockdown after a clown was indicated to be in a school, though none were sighted. Facebook posts from the “clowns” were made saying, “I love kids,” and another with a photo of a gun.
Clown hysteria led to an 11-year-old student in Athens, Georgia to bring a knife to school. The student was arrested after the knife was found.
“She said that the reason she had the knife was for protection for her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children,” the official Athens-Clarke County Police Department report said.
A 15-year-old student was caught banging on classroom windows in a clown mask in Williston, Vermont.
“It’s not the mask in and of itself, but that, coupled with the clown propaganda that’s been going on, the threats that have been made and the ongoing security issues with the fact that it’s happening outside of a school is obviously a big one for us,” Officer Harley Pecor of the Williston Police Department said in a public statement.
Oct. 15 and 20
The clown attacks go international with an incidents in Melbourne, Australia. A clown threatened and charged at victims with a large object in north Melbourne.
Five days later, Christopher McCarthy, 18, and Nicholas Antonellis, 20, are suspected of “threatening clown activity” with charges from aggravated assault to principal to the crime.