Creepy Clowns: Real Threat or Elaborate Hoax?

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I don’t know about you, but those creepy clowns that are popping up around the country chasing people with knives and luring kids into the woods have us here at ing pretty freaked out. A lot of people (including members of the ing editorial staff) are already terrified of clowns, which makes all of this nonsense so much scarier. With new reports of multiple clown sightings in Michigan, we decided that our readers should have all the important facts surrounding these bizarre encounters.  

From what we’ve read, this whole mess started back in August in Greenville County, South Carolina when kids began telling their parents that a group of clowns were attempting to lure them into the woods. Apparently, the clowns were offering the children money as a reward. Why the clowns chose money instead of candy, we’ll never know. Anyway, these incidents sparked a panic, which has spread throughout the country.

As of right now, there have been scary clown sightings reported in 20 states ranging from Texas to New Jersey; here’s a USA Today article which goes state-by-state and gives details about each report. Now that this madness has made its way to Michigan, all of this seems a bit more real. It’s no longer just a series of funny news stories to talk about with your friends, now it’s something we actually need to be concerned about.

In the majority of these reports of creepy clowns, they haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just clowns casually hanging out in wooded areas waving to people who pass by. Nothing to worry about, right? Before your write off all this seemingly-benign shenanigans as harmless, remember this: as these stories gain steam, things get progressively more dangerous. Several schools have even gone into lock down as a result of “creepy clown sightings.” There have been reports of clowns with machetes, groups of clowns in cars armed with rifles, and there is even a video circulating where a clown holding a knife chases two guys through the woods.

The question we are all wondering is, why? What makes someone think it’s a good idea to pick up a clown costume, head into the woods and try and freak people out? It’s all these copycats that are keeping this ridiculousness going, so be cautious, but don’t fall prey to the hysteria. If we keep turning these sightings into national news, more and more idiots are going to decide that they want to put on their clown outfits and take part.


Jessica Gibbons is a senior majoring in humanities pre-law with an additional major in professional writing. Her dream is to become the editor in chief of a publication. She enjoys reading, playing with her cat and watching entirely too much Netflix.


Tags: Creepy Clowns, Michigan State University, MSU, National News, Safety