Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last 24 hours, you’ve probably heard about the “clown prank” that’s been going on throughout the United States. In this prank, people are dressing up as clowns, mask and all, and are lingering around schools, woods, alleys, roads and cornfields. While many clowns appear to be harmless (other than the creepy costume and frightening mask), others have reportedly been carrying baseball bats, razor blades and even knives.
While only a select few have been able to take pictures of the pranksters, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all a lie. I mean, who would automatically think of taking a picture/video when a random clown is running towards them?
Real or not, let’s see what we know so far.
According to an NPR article, the first reports of sinister clown sightings were found in Greenville, South Carolina, back in August where suspicious clowns were seen trying to lure children into the woods. However, no evidence, “not even a prankster in a clown suit” was reported by evidence.
Since then, sightings of clowns have popped up all over the United States including in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and now Iowa and Illinois.
After talk of clowns roaming the state of Iowa, a Twitter page opened up on Oct. 3. Here, Twitter users are able to direct message the page’s owner with facts and concerns about nearby clown sightings. Within less than 24 hours, the page had already gained more than 8,000 followers.
Davenport’s first appearance on the Twitter account came at 9:07 p.m. with the tweet: “8:58pm Clown sighting Davenport Iowa on Harrison near Davenport central high.”
Only 30 minutes later, the account tweeted “9:37PM CLOWN SIGHTING: Davenport, Iowa. Woods behind North Highschool.”
Davenport popped up again on the page at 9:57 p.m. with a sighting involving Casey’s General Store on 53rd Street.
The pranksters seemed to stay around the area, because at 12:52 a.m., a clown was sighted here at SAU, in a zone 2 parking lot. While a few students reportedly went “clown hunting” looking for the prankster, nothing was found. At 1:54 a.m. an additional sighting was reported on Locust Street at St. Ambrose wearing black clothing.
After the sightings, some students on campus even called security in order to get things figured out. However, no clowns were found.
Since last night, four additional claims have been made on the Twitter page. While these sightings may or may not be true, there’s one thing for certain; these clowns are definitely bringing fear to the area.
“I’m thinking of buying a switch blade. If a clown comes at me, I want to be prepared,” Luke Maiers, an SAU senior, said.
While no local television news station has reported on the epidemic, nor even commented on it, it’s still hard to believe that this story isn’t partially true. With Halloween fast approaching, some people may be getting a kick out of bringing fear to others.
While we may not know who or what is lurking in the shadows (if anyone), it’s still important to stay safe out there, especially at night. Walk with friends from class to class and don’t be afraid to call security if you’re feeling unsafe at night.
As for the potential pranksters out there, please stop clowning around. Students want to be able to make their late night fast food runs without worrying about this kind of stuff.