Now everybody try to remain calm and not panic too much – but there is a terrifying epidemic sweeping America that has earned the creepy name: Clown Apocalypse.
A string of hoaxes, involving pranksters wearing scary masks and dressing in full clown costume, have been terrorizing neighborhoods for the past few months. These incidents have led to 12 arrests across several states.
The first sightings were dismissed as nothing more than a foolish prank but then it slowly started to become apparent this was not going away – or as The New York Times explains: “They just kept coming, and coming, and coming, across multiple states. Clowns in vans. Clowns in the woods. Clowns lurking in the shadows. Clowns chasing people or doing crimes.”
If you suffer coulrophobia, a specific fear of clowns, we urge you not to continue as these following images and true accounts are enough to give anyone the chills.
“I thought it was just a person that grabbed me around the neck, and it turned out to be a clown.”
Only last week, a man wearing a clown mask reportedly attacked a woman in Reading, Ohio. The Reading Community City School District made the decision to close schools for the day after they heard of the attack.
Although no arrests were made, to ensure the safety of the pupils, they asked them all to calmly head back home, lock their doors and pray for their lives. Okay, slight exaggeration but the actual incident that caused this reaction does read like a real life horror movie…
USA Today reported that Kim Youngblood was smoking on her porch when from nowhere a masked clown appeared. She told 911 dispatchers: “I thought it was just a person that came up behind and grabbed me around the neck, and it turned out to be a person dressing as a clown.”
She added, “The person was making threats against the Reading School District, and making threats against me telling me that he was going to kill me. He said that there were going to be teachers and students who were going to be sorry that they were ever born.”
Colerain Township Police did make an arrest, the juvenile who can not be named for legal reasons was reportedly wearing a striped outfit, red wig and white clown mask. The police wrote on a status on Facebook following the arrest: “This suspect used the current “clown” trend to further terrorize parents and students and has been charged with Making Terrorist Threats and Inducing Panic.”
“Remember there is a 10pm curfew to ensure your children’s safety”
The creepy clown sightings began late August this year in Greenville County, South Carolina, when terrified children started to tell their parents that clowns were trying to lure them into the woods.
On August 26th, local resident Tracy Dale Gilreath Jr posted the following safety letter on her Facebook with the caption: “GREENVILLE AREA ALERT: This came from one of the residents of Fleetwood Manor apartments, over behind Waffle House on South Pleasantburg.”
The letter makes it very clear that all children should be inside the house before 10pm (Author note: Get those kids in earlier if there are strange clowns lurking about the woods!) and also that the children should be kept supervised at all times.
Another local resident, an actor named C.J. Guzan, also told The New York Times, that people were beginning to arm themselves with weapons to defend against the clowns. He revealed, “It’s getting a little bit scary because people are starting to believe it a little bit more, and we’re starting to see some of those unsettling pictures on Facebook. Not of the clown, but of people armed and preparing to defend themselves, saying, ‘I can’t go outside because I’m afraid of clowns,’ or whatever. That’s just a little too far.'”
Police did manage to make one arrest in the area, 20-year-old Jonathan Martin (pictured above) was charged with wearing a hood or mask in a public place, disorderly conduct and two outstanding warrants for non-payment of fines and failure to appear in court.
“I didn’t think anyone would believe me…”
There have been further sightings and many people have taken to their own phones to capture the evidence.
The above picture was posted by Jamie Hill from London, Kentucky, who wrote on September 19th: “So, I was a little scared to post this because I didn’t think anyone would believe me until (her friend) told me that one of her friends just had seen a clown here in London. I was out tonight and was headed back home on 192 (and then) saw this. Now, it’s not a really good picture because I couldn’t stop, there was people behind me. I seriously think this clown thing has gotten out of hand (and) someone is going to get hurt. Please share this so people around London will know that they are here!”
Another horrific sighting came just days later. A Denver City Page reader told the newspaper:
“I was getting off of work it was around 9:30pm and I park my car on the street, as I got out of my car I saw someone standing there in a clown costume. I thought it was just a kid in a costume at first but this clown started following me. Every time I would stop and turn around it would stop too and just stare at me. Good thing I was not too far from my front door because I took off running as fast as I could, I unlocked my door and ran inside. When I looked out of my window it was just standing there waving at me.”
This is the chilling image they submitted…
Sightings have now been witnessed as far as Redmond, central Oregon. KTVZ reported, “An employee working at Central Oregon Eyecare called dispatch to report she was leaving work when she saw a person wearing a clown mask with teeth, white t-shirt and blue pants. She became scared and wanted officers to escort her to her vehicle in the parking lot.”
Police lieutenant Jesse Peterson told residents to call if they see anything suspicious. He advised, “We always want people to be safe, so if they’re concerned or (see anyone) dressed up, we can come out and talk to them to see if everything is okay.” Although they have not been able to make any arrests related to this incident – the sighted clown is very likely still at large.
Will The Clown Apocalypse Get Worse At Halloween?
What concerns people the most is although these pranks and sightings felt out of place in August – we are now fast approaching Halloween and are those involved in the Clown Apocalypse planning to up their game in a sinister way?
Heavy online reported the following states have so far been affected: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Currently there appears to be no slowing down for the ongoing Clown Apocalypse and police are still reminding residents to be on high alert.