Creepy, threatening clown sightings have been increasing over the last couple months, leading residents of affected states to wonder just what’s going on. Earlier on Friday, some schools in Reading, Ohio were closed after a woman reported being attacked by someone dressed as a clown who threatened the students at her school. But the complaints extend far beyond Ohio. At least 44 states have had strange clown sightings so far, and the number keeps on growing.
Some clown sightings just hoaxes or jokes, and some may have been copycats from earlier news reports. For example, a report of a clown in Agawam, Massachusetts ended up being part of a promotion for the New England Scare Fest. And a report about a clown shot and killed in Indiana was apparently a hoax. (Read more about that in the Indiana section below.) But not all incidents are explained that easily, and a number of arrests have already been made. Some of the social media threats to different schools have caused parents a lot of concerns. And some of these threats, even though they’re sent to different states, are coming from accounts using the same fake clown names.
The affected states so far are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Although the creepy clown sightings slowed down right before Halloween, a new sighting was reported in late December.
Scroll down to see details on each state and let us know in the comments about any sightings that aren’t listed here.
Here are the states affected and what happened. States are listed in alphabetical order.
Alabama Clown Sightings
In Alabama in late September, two high school students were arrested for making a clown video that threatened violence. A 10-year-old was arrested the same week for making clown threats. Some of the people arrested had made Facebook pages with fake clown names, like Flomo Klown and Kaleb Klown, and they were using those pages to make threats. At least nine clown-related arrests have been made in Alabama so far, including seven facing felony charges, Nola.com reported.
Alaska Clown Sightings
Creepy clown sightings continue in Alaska. In Juneau, one resident said her kids’ friends were talking about seeing clowns and really scaring her children. And another Juneau resident said her daughter saw someone dressed as a clown near Floyd Dryden Middle School. In the same city, two clowns were reported to have chased someone’s car while carrying metal objects.
Here’s one video shared on Facebook of a sighting in Alaska. It’s unknown if this video is real or staged:
Arizona Clown Arrests & Sightings
Schools in Mesa, Arizona were on high alert after threatening messages from a clown on a social media account named “Ain’t Clowning Around.” The account threatened to go to high schools on Friday, September 30 and kidnap students or kill teachers, ABC 15 reported. This was almost identical to an Ain’t No Clowning Around social media page that threatened the same thing to Missouri schools, which you can read about in the Missouri section below.
To make the whole thing in Arizona even creepier, some students got threatening text messages that asked if they were ready to play and threatened to kill them, ABC 15 reported.
Police in Phoenix arrested three teenagers for making similar threats, AZCentral reported. Two teens were also arrested in Phoenix after robbing a Taco Bell and Domino’s while wearing clown masks, NBC4i reported.
Arkansas Clown Reports
Arkansas hasn’t been spared of clowns. Arkansas Online reported that Cross County received an unverified report that four people were dressed as clowns, traveling near West Merriman Avenue. Sheriff J.R. Smith said they had zero tolerance for anyone dressing up as a clown to scare other people. Other unverified sightings were in Pine Bluff near White Hall. According to Arkansas Online, a school resources officer in White Hall is being investigated for posing in a clown costume in an online photo. It’s unclear what the nature of the photo was.
A man was arrested for driving in Poinsett County in a clown mask and harassing a store clerk, NWA Online reported.
Meanwhile in White Hall, Arkansas, a police officer was suspended for two days without pay after dressing in a clown suit for a party at his parent’s home and posting the photo on social media, KATV reported. The photo was posted a couple days after clown sightings were reported to the department. He wasn’t linked to sightings in the White Hall area.
California Clown Sightings
There have been quite a few clown sightings in California, too. On October 4, clowns threatened the Sacramento, Vallejo, and Fairfield public schools. A clown was also accused of trying to kidnap a one-year-old girl, but no arrests were made, ABC 7 News reported. The mom said a clown approached them at Denny’s on Willow Pass Road near Water World Parkway in Concord and tugged on the girl’s arm. On October 5, residents in Los Angeles County reported seeing people wearing clown masks, possibly carrying kitchen knives. And in San Pedro, two clowns were reported by Taper Avenue Elementary employees.
On Friday, threats to Marysville, California schools grabbed parents’ attention. The posts were made on Instagram by an account called “mozzytheclown.”
Police later arrested a juvenile in connection with the posts and threats.
Then on October 10, a clown was spotted on a bus in San Francisco and it flipped off a photographer who took its photo.
On October 16 in Santa Clarita, a homeowner fired a gun in the air to scare a way a clown who approached him with a knife while he was sitting on his porch. Later, a different person dressed as a clown and carrying burglary tools was arrested.
Then on October 23, three men were reported in Westfield San Francisco Centre, carrying clown masks and a gun. Mall security said the clowns ran away from them.
California has dealt with creepy clowns in the past, CNN reported. Two years ago, Bakersfield police dealt with 20 calls about clowns, including one carrying a weapon. Daily Mail even wrote an article titled: “Mystery clowns that are terrorizing California towns at night have started carrying GUNS.” But so far, the clowns haven’t returned.
Colorado Clown Threats
In Fort Collins, police reported on September 28 that a threatening Facebook message included a clown’s photo. It threatened local high school students. Meanwhile, more clown sightings are being reported all over Denver. One woman said a clown starting following he rafter she parked around 9:30 p.m. “Every time I would stop and turn around, it would just stare at me,” she said. When she got inside her house, it stood outside the window waving at her.
Then on October 6, a man punched a clown in Colorado Springs when he ran into him on Pikes Peek Greenway Trail and the clown refused to identify himself. The man said the clown hit him in the head with a bottle of whiskey and ran away.
Connecticut Clown Sightings & Hunt
You don’t want to leave Connecticut off your list of creepy clown sightings. On Monday night, October 3, hundreds of students armed themselves with hockey sticks and golf clubs as they went on a “hunt” for clowns, Patch.com reported. This is similar to what happened the same night at Penn State (which you can read about in the Pennsylvania section below.) That night, the police got up to thirty 911 calls about clown sightings on campus. The majority, Patch.com reported, were from people who said they heard about clowns on campus, not that they had seen any themselves. But a few had very specific reports of their sightings, including at Storrs Cemetery, Husky Village housing complex, and the Towers housing complex. Police couldn’t find the clowns.
A rumor spread that the school was under lockdown, along with Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac. But police said these rumors were false, Patch.com reported.
New Britain School was placed on lockdown on October 13 thanks to a clown-related incident. A man and woman were arrested for breach of peace after they were found driving with clown masks and playing very loud music.
Florida Clown Reports
Clown reports have been numerous in Florida. Police weren’t sure if a Victoria Park, Florida sighting was a reported crime or just an attempt to scare someone, USA Today reported. A woman said two people dressed as clowns were staring her down, but she didn’t know why. They weren’t found. Meanwhile, a video surfaced of a clown hiding in the woods near a Marion County road, NBC Miami reported. You can watch the video here. A clown was also spotted near Georgetown Apartments in Gainesville.
In the Bay Area, a teenage girl from Largo High School said that someone wearing clown shoes and a yellow-and-red-polka-dot outfit chased her while she was waiting at a school bus stop, Tampa Bay Times reported.
Pasco County also dealt with a clown scare and sent notifications warning parents about the concern. In the call, school officials said they were aware of an Ain’t Clowning Around Twitter site that posted threats to their high schools. The officials said they had no reason to believe the threat was credible, but were still placing the campuses on alert.
If you search this article for “Ain’t Clowning Around,” you’ll see that social media accounts with the same name have been making the same threats in states around the country. Other schools in Florida have also been locked down due to clown scares. A 12-year-old boy, connected with at least some of the threats, was arrested.
This isn’t the first time Florida has dealt with scary clown sightings. In 2014, people began dressing as clowns and scaring people in different Florida towns, including Jacksonville. Surveillance videos caught them on porches and sidewalks, Click Orlando reported. Here’s one of those videos:
Georgia Clown Reports
The video above is from a WSB report of two girls who said they took Snapchat videos of a clown outside their apartment in Fort Oglethorpe. They said it appeared to be waving a knife before it ran away.
In Georgia, LaGrange police said they got multiple reports of children saying clowns were trying to lure them into wooded areas. A middle school was put on a soft lockdown because of clown reports, the LaGrange Daily News reported. In mid-September, two people were arrested for making false clown claims. Four people were later arrested for making clown threats, 11 Alive reported. Threats were also made to schools in Atlanta, AJC.com reported, but the district said there was no credible evidence for the threats.
In Athens, Georgia, an 11-year-old girl was so scared of clown reports that she took a knife with her to school for protection. She was arrested for carrying the knife.
Not all the clown reports are authentic, thought. In mid-September, Georgia police arrested two people for making false clown reports to 911. The two friends, in their mid-20s, called police and said they saw clowns in a white van.
Hawaii Clown Sightings
Don’t leave Hawaii out of your list. On October 6, a group of clowns posted on Instagram, threatening violence to Wai’anae Intermediate school. The threat was posted from an account called 808Clownz. No clowns were found, but parents were still very shaken up.
Idaho Clown Reports
Idaho residents have also reported some creepy clowns. In fact, so many are reporting clowns that the Nampa Police Department posted on Facebook that “the large number of Nampa residents who are out looking for clowns is making this more difficult to deal with.” Idaho Statesman reported that several residents called the police about seeing people dressed as clowns, including one carrying a machete. But every time the police went to that location, the clown suspects were gone. Among these sightings are people talking about a brightly colored van that had several clowns inside.
In Wendell, a teen said they received an anonymous text that a clown was coming to their school. The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release about several students getting harassed similarly on Facebook. They said this was identical to harassing that students across the country were receiving.
Illinois Clown Sightings
And yes, there have been some clown sightings in Illinois too. According to The Haverhill Gazette, a man dressed in a clown costume approached a resident’s daughter and friend at night while they were sitting on their porch in Effingham and shined a flashlight on them. She said they saw the clown again a few days later at a vacant home nearby. No one has been arrested.
Multiple students at Greenville Elementary also reported seeing three clowns. They said one carried a briefcase, one had a knife, and one had a gun. They reportedly fled in an SUV.
Indiana Clown Reports
Indiana has had some clown sightings too. Steve Stewart, chief of police in Muncie, Indiana, commented about numerous Facebook rumors concerning clowns in the area. One post said that police were recommending people stay inside and keep their doors locked. However, police said it was possible people were starting rumors to scare people. Stewart said: “The thing I want the public to know is we know who some of these people (behind the rumors) are and we will be watching them closely,” The StarPress reported, adding that some of the people starting the rumors might also be dressing up as clowns.
In late September, a bus driver called police after finding out that a clown was scaring kids at a Fort Wayne bus stop, WANE.com reported. Clown sightings have also been reported at a number of universities, including Purdue, Indiana University, and Indiana State University.
However, reports that someone in Fort Wayne, Indiana shot and killed a clown are not correct, The Journal Gazette reported. The Gazette said the story was attributed to WANE-TV and quoted a police officer, but WANE-TV had not written any such stories, WANE’s digital director said. “They’re posing as us, using our logo.” The police officer also did not confirm the report.
Another hoax was uncovered in LaPorte, Indian, WSBT reported. Police said that Matthew Cox, 24, reported being chased by two clowns until he stopped and fought back, punching one of the attackers. Police Det. Capt. Thomas Thate later said that after interviewing and investigating, they believed Cox had made up the whole thing.
Then on October 13, a clown was reported near Brockton Apartment Complex, carrying a hoe.
Kansas Clown Sightings
Kansas has joined the ranks of states with clown sightings too. KSHB reported that a child said they saw a clown in the bushes near 85th and Parallel Parkway in Kansas City. There were other reports too, but police have not been able to confirm any of them. This prompted them to make a Facebook post that there were no “actual” sightings. “It’s probably just a hoax,” Tom Tomasic of the Kansas City Police said.
Kentucky Clown Arrests
In Kentucky, police arrested a man who was lurking around, dressed as a clown. He was dressed in a clown costume, hiding in trees by an apartment complex, police said. According to Kentucky.com, the man arrested was a 20-year-old in Bell County who was walking in a wooded area near apartments at around 2 a.m. In Gallatin County, Kentucky, extra security was assigned to schools after two people posted threatening messages on Facebook that included creepy clown profile pictures.
Meanwhile, one resident in Plano posted a weird photo on Facebook of a clown that she said was in her daughter’s backyard. This photo has been wrongly attributed to Plano, Texas, but it was actually in Plano, Kentucky.
And this was reported in Drake:
In Winchester, Kentucky, a woman told police that she was walking on a trail the night of Friday, September 30, when she was assaulted by a man wearing a clown mask, WDRB reported. She fought him off and escaped.
According to Kentucky.com, there have been many other sightings in the state, including in Waco and Laurel County. Sightings have been reported in multiple cities in the state.
Louisiana Clown Reports
Clowns were also seen in south Louisiana, KPLC 7 News reported in late September. Two people entered Matherne’s Supermarket in Paulina while wearing clown masks. They left when the manager told them to go. Unlike some sightings, these didn’t seem aggressive.
Then on October 15, police said they arrested a 21-year-old for wearing a clown mask and waving a gun at drivers in Rosepine.
Maine Clown Sightings
Maine has some clown sightings too, WCSH reported. A person wearing a clown mask was reported hanging out near an apartment complex in Orono for hours. Orono police responded on Facebook:
According to WCYY, more sightings popped up after that, including in Kennebunk, Standish at Saint Joseph’s College, and Wells.
Maryland Clown Sightings
Residents in Salisbury called police because they saw three people dressed as clowns hiding and jumping out of bushes, trying to scare people. They had blue hair and clown masks, but police didn’t find them, USA Today reported. Police searched a neighborhood for the clowns and eventually issued a statement asking people to stop scaring each other.
Meanwhile, four elementary-aged students in Annapolis said they saw clowns on their way to school, but police later realized it was all a hoax.
In fact, so many creepy clowns were being reported in Maryland that some clowns backed out of a Hagerstown parade so they didn’t cause any stress.
Massachusetts Clown Reports
Clown sightings have spread to Massachusetts too. Among them is a sighting in New Bedford. One resident shared this photo. If you look closely, you can see a second clown in the photo next to the one clearly visible.
In the comments, some readers tried to lighten the photo and said it looks like one is carrying a machete. What do you think?
Merrimack College in Massachusetts went on lockdown on Monday because of a clown scare, Fox 25 Boston reported. Students were told to shelter in place after a reported sighting of a clown that might be armed:
Police later gave the all clear and reported that the sighting was “unfounded.”
Michigan Clown Sightings
Sightings have spread to Michigan, leaving many residents on edge. 9&10 News reported that a clown was “prowling a neighborhood” in Big Rapids late at night on Tuesday. A caller said the clown was wearing a blue costume, had red-pink hair, and was just staring at people before running into a wooded area.
A commenter on this article said there were clowns spotted in Lapeer, Michigan, and this has been confirmed by ABC12.com. Last month, they reported, an 18-year-old called police to report three clowns near the woods by Walmart, carrying what might have been a hammer or baseball bat. Police searched using thermal imaging and K9s but couldn’t find the clowns.
Another sighting was reported in Clinton Township, ABC 7 reported. A clown was seen waving outside a car wash. Police said the clown wasn’t doing any criminal acts, just waving. Two days later, two clown attacks were reported in Sterling Heights. A seven-year-old said his arm was scratched by a clown with red hair and a red nose who was carrying a sharp object. Later than night, two women said three males wearing clown masks yelled profanity at them, hit a bat against a fence, and ran away.
Sightings have been getting even scarier than that in Michigan. Detroit Free Press reported that on Tuesday night, October 4, a person wearing a clown mask and carrying a handgun robbed three businesses: two in Ann Arbor and one in Brownstown Township. Likely the same person tried to rob two hotels in Livonia just a few days earlier and tried to shoot police officers who were chasing him or her.
Minnesota Clown Reports
Clown incidents were reported in Minnesota too. A 15-year-old girl created a Kroacky Klown Facebook profile and used it to threaten to kill people in Bloomington and other cities. The girl said she only made the profile to scare her boyfriend but it all got out of hand.
Mississippi Clown Sightings
A man dressed in a multi-colored wig, a mask, and overalls was seen carrying a machete in Mississippi. He ran away from a police patrol vehicle and hasn’t been arrested, USA Today reported. A driver in Rankin County said a clown sighting caused a wreck on Highway 469. And Facebook photos show a clown lurking around McComb.
Missouri Clown Reports
Missouri has also had quite a few clown sightings. Some reports were fake, as a Rolla police officer complained about in this Facebook post above. He wrote: “Then I ended up tracking down the young aspiring cinematographers, who will remain nameless… They had also heard of the creepy clowns that have been sweeping through the nation doing their nefarious deeds. Well it turns out one of the girls has [sic] a little bit of a fear of clowns so they decided to play a joke on her. They had one of the husbands put on a black outfit and put on a creepy clown mask.”
Not all of the sightings have been debunked, however, but they also haven’t been proved. In Cole County, multiple people have called in with clown sightings, but law enforcement hasn’t been able to locate any of the clowns.
A Facebook post on Friday, September 30 in Howard County threatened that clowns were going to kidnap students and kill teachers in mid-Missouri schools. The schools went on lockdown as a result, including the California R-1 School District, ABC17 News reported. The Sheriff’s Department said there was no immediate threat:
A series of clown sightings were reported in Jefferson County, Ozarks First reported. An anonymous caller said he saw a clown with a knife near Pevely Pointe Apartments. They could not find anyone to verify the claim at the location. Social media claims said clowns were seen southwest of Hillsboro, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said it didn’t get any calls about that. Granite City police told KMOV they had gotten about 10 calls about people dressed as clowns, but they also couldn’t verify the claims.
A commenter to Heavy.com below said that two clowns were sighted near Kirksville, but they said they were only out to prank a friend.
Montana Clown Sightings
On October 12, a 15-year-old boy received a citation for posting a threatening clown post on Facebook on October 5. The clown had threatened to kill students at Missoula schools. The Facebook profile was named Zootown Klown.
Nebraska Clown Sightings
Nebraska has had a number of clown sightings, but only a few arrests. Clowns have been spotted in Grand Island, with three separate reports of clown’s threatening or chasing residents, Journal Star reported. One happened on a Friday night, just south of downtown; then on a Saturday someone reported clowns carrying knives in the same area. On Sunday, police cited four teens dressed as clowns, including one carrying a BB gun. A woman also reported a clown banging on her back door and window. A clown was also reported at night on the campus of Northeast High School, though police could not find the suspect.
Nevada Clown Reports
Sparks, Nevada is also experiencing clown reports, KTVN reported. Alex Ruelas said he and his friends saw a clown in the Shadow Mountain parking lot, holding what looked like a machete. The recorded video on Snapchat of the clown running toward them. Sparks police have been getting more reports since that incident.
A Facebook profile was also threatening El Dorado, Canyon Springs, Legacy, and Las Vegas high schools:
New Jersey Clown Sightings
Apparently there have been some reports of clowns in New Jersey, including clowns carrying weapons, NJ.com reported. A boy said he was chased into the woods by three clowns in Walters Park in New Jersey, but police couldn’t find the suspects. Three additional sightings were reported in Warren County. A child said he was chased down Shafer Avenue by a jester holding a sword. And a resident reported seeing a truck with several clowns driving down Mercer.
On Friday, September 30, Philipsburg Middle School had a shelter-in-place due to a threat that a clown would attack the school. Police ruled the threat not credible, New Jersey 101.5 reported.
Vineland Public Schools received one of the “Ain’t Clowning Around” social media threats that many states are getting. They let parents know through a phone notification about the social media message.
Clowns have also been reported in Bound Brook, Monroe, North Plainfield, and Spotswood.
Toms River police spokesman Ralph Stocco told 101.5 that early clown sightings may have stemmed from a movie promotion, that eventually led to copycats.
New Mexico Clown Sightings
Not to be outdone, New Mexico also has had clown sightings in Roswell, Alamogordo, and Hobbs, KOB.com reported. It’s gotten so bad that some professional clowns in the state are worried the sightings will affect their jobs. In Roswell, for example, police said that residents have told them about random clowns wandering around, with some carrying baseball bats, KOB reported. Similar reports were made in Hobbs, and a school in Las Cruces was threatened.
Here’s what Las Cruces said about the sightings:
In Albuquerque, three juveniles were arrested while they were wearing clown masks outside a children’s clothing store on October 9. They had a handgun with them, Associated Press reported.
New York Clown Sightings
Police in Long Island, New York sent out warnings on Friday, September 30, about clown sightings from the previous week. One person said people dressed as clowns were jumping in front of cars. Another said that a person was dressed as a clown in North Babylon. No arrests have been made. North Babylon High School was put on a lock out on Friday after an unknown person made clown-related threats on social media, ABC 7 NY reported.
Sightings have also been reported near Utica College. On Thursday night, September 29, callers told police that two clowns approached people in Pixley Park carrying what appeared to be baseball bats and knives. Law enforcement couldn’t find the clowns. Police received other calls about clowns in Utica, but these callers didn’t see the clowns carrying weapons.
Herkimer police have also gotten calls about clowns. One sighting was at a K-Mart on Washington Street, WKTV reported. A second sighting was on September 28, a few blocks away. The person dressed as a clown was reported to be wearing “creepy killer clown attire” but only made eye contact.
In Syracuse, a 10-year-old boy told police three men in clown costumes approached him and he hid between two houses from them, until he had a chance to flee.
And in Amsterdam, middle school students said a clown chased them down several streets. Four other similar reports were made to authorities.
A Twitter account called @LIClowns (Suffolk Clowns) began making threats in the New York area, but it was later suspended from Twitter.
On October 5, a 16-year-old reported that a clown carrying knife on a Manhattan subway threatend him and tried to block him from entering the subway at 96th Street. On October 13, police arrested a 53-year-old man in connection with the incident. On October 9, a clown was reported trying to lure people into the woods in Sloatsburg. On October 10, a clown chased a girl as she was walking her dog in Harriman State Park.
North Carolina Clown Reports
Children in North Carolina reported in early September that a clown tried to lure them into the woods. He had red shoes, red hair, a white face, and a red nose. He offered them treats. Police have made no arrests, USA Today reported. Meanwhile, earlier in September Greensboro residents said a clown ran into the woods after it was chased by a man with a machete.
In early September, police started doing extra patrols in Winston-Salem after two children said a clown was trying to lure kids into the woods with treats. The clown was wearing white overalls, red shoes, red hair, and a red nose. The police couldn’t find the suspect, Fox News reported.
On person on Facebook shared this post from North Carolina:
Despite what the post reads, reports were of clowns trying to lure kids away, but there were no reports, as of the time of publication, of actual kidnappings in North Carolina.
In early September, a North Carolina man was arrested for making a false report to police that a clown had knocked on his window at night. He had claimed that he had chased the clown into the nearby woods.
Ohio Clown Sightings
Ohio is one state with recent sightings. On Thursday night, September 29, a woman reported that she was attacked by a man dressed as a clown, who then threatened students at the Reading Community School District. Mount Notre Dame High School was also closed because it shares a parking lot with Reading High School, Cincinnati.com reported. The woman was smoking a cigarette on her porch when a man dressed as a clown grabbed her around the neck and made threats against the school and her. The School District later reported that the man had not yet been arrested:
In another incident, a juvenile was arrested in Colerain Township who threatened the high school there. The police said in a Facebook post:
This suspect used the current clown trend to further terrorize parents and students and has been charged with Making Terrorist Threats and Inducing Panic.”
Reading’s Homecoming Parade, football game, and homecoming dance were set to continue as scheduled.
Meanwhile, a clown hoax was uncovered in Norwalk, Ohio. A photo was posted to Facebook claiming clowns were seen in Norwalk and the police got calls from people who said they saw people in clown costumes harassing residents, jumping out of the woods and scaring people, and trying to break into homes, Fox 8 reported. One woman even live streamed on Facebook as she was hunting for clowns. Police found the man and woman who made the original photo that went viral on Facebook. The couple said they dressed as clowns themselves for the photo because they wanted to be famous.
There was another hoax uncovered in Reading. WCPO reported that an 18-year-old woman said she was attacked by a clown wielding a knife. However, after police started digging into her story, they uncovered quite a few inconsistencies. She later confessed that she made it up because she was running late for her job at McDonald’s.
And in Columbus, Ohio, teens reported being chased by a six-foot-tall man who was holding a knife while wearing a clown mask.
During the first weekend of October, more arrests were made connected to clowns. Montgomery police charged five students with inciting panic connected to clowns, CBS News reported. And in Fairborn, police arrested a 15-year-old boy for making terroristic threats when he created a clown persona on Facebook and used it to send death threats to students in Fairborn.
On October 4, a Speedway gas station in Dayton was robbed by three people, one of whom was wearing a clown mask. The other two were wearing a surgical mask and a Guy Fieri mask.
This video at this link was shared on Facebook in Ohio, but it’s not authenticated, so we don’t know if it might just be something made up to share on social media.
In late December, another clown sighting popped up in Ohio. A 55-year-old man dressed in a clown suit was arrested for drunk driving. He said he was wearing the clown costume because he had been at a party. An official with the police department said about the DUI:
It’s just proof that all backgrounds and socioeconomic backgrounds commit this offense – including clowns.”
Oklahoma Clown Reports
Unfortunately, you can add Oklahoma to the list of clown sightings. KTUL reported that Oklahoma State University students called campus police about seeing a clown walking around the dorms. Officers couldn’t find the clown and students went on a search in groups, also failing to find the clown. That was just the first of many reports to follow. Sightings have been reported in Moore, Oklahoma City, McAlester, Tulsa, Chickasha, and Miami.
In Moore, residents confronted two people wearing clown costumes one night who were loitering in a playground. Residents said one clown ran but the other listened to the residents talking to him about the ramifications of what he was doing, came around to their viewpoint, and removed his costume, KFOR reported.
Oregon Clown Sightings
The scary clown reports made their way to Oregon too, according to KTVZ. An employee of Central Oregon Eyecare reported seeing someone dressed as a clown around 10:30 p.m. near Southwest Indian Avenue and 11th street in Redmond. The employee said they were wearing a clown mask and blue pants. She asked for a police escort to her car because she was scared, but police couldn’t find the suspect.
Another clown was reported in Portland, Oregon. A woman shopping near O’Bryant Square around noon on Friday, September 30, said a man wearing a silver clown mask and black clothes came up to her car and started banging on the driver’s side window. He tried to open all the doors and she sped away.
A 55-year-old was arrested for wearing a clown mask and taunting students at Floyd Light Middle school, KGW reported.
Pennsylvania Clown Stabbing, Threats, & Penn State Clown Hunt
PennLive reported that a high school student was stabbed and killed after getting in a fight with someone wearing a clown mask. But that’s not the only report. York College students reported seeing students on and off campus dressed as clown in late September, including a car full of people dressed as clowns and possibly carrying weapons, USA Today reported. They weren’t found by police. Pottsville, PA police are investigating reports of clowns yelling at children.
Children in Northampton County said three people dressed as clowns chased them one Monday afternoon, but school staff didn’t see the clowns. Other sightings were reported in Easton and Huntingdon County.
Philadelphia is now affected too, with a social media account posting a threat specifically toward Philadelphia school students, 6ABC.com reported. The threats read: “We coming to all north east charter high schools…we will be after your let out on Wednesday” and “the gang is in philly … ya’ll ain’t safe. it’s 12 of us yaheard [sic].” The Philadelphia police department and the school district released a joint statement on Sunday saying the Office of Homeland Security was also alerted and they are taking the threats seriously.
Clowns were also reportedly sighted in Philadelphia on Sunday at Boyle Park. The clowns, residents said, were chasing kids but ran away from the parents. If you have any information about the Philadelphia threat, call 215-686-TIPS.
Clown sightings have also infiltrated Penn State. Apparently a group of students, possibly as many as 1,000 or more, decided to hunt down clowns on Monday night after sightings began popping up on campus. Even the football team joined in. (Read more about the Penn State Clown Hunt in Heavy’s story here.)
Here’s another video of the clown hunt:
But not all sightings in the state have been authentic. A video purportedly showing a clown on the side of the road in Mercer, Pennsylvania ended up being a viral photo that’s been attributed to multiple locations, including West Virginia. (See the West Virginia entry for more information.)
Rhode Island Clown Reports
Clown sightings are also popping up in Rhode Island, Herald News reported. First, the clowns started getting dangerously close to Rhode Island, which started making people nervous. Here’s just one video the news source shared, which shows a clown dancing around in a parking lot in Massachusetts. They didn’t stay in Massachusetts long, however:
As they moved closer, Rhode Island residents expressed worry:
This week, a social media threat was made against two Pawtucket, Rhode Island schools, Providence Journal reported. But it turns out, clowns were already here even last week, when they reportedly chased someone out of Slater Park three different times. Although police haven’t seen the clowns, they’re taking residents’ concerns seriously. The West Warwick Police Department addressed the concerns on Facebook:
Interestingly, a clown known as “Wrinkles” moved from Rhode Island to Florida last year and started creating quite a stir, The Washington Post reported. The 65-year-old creepy clown had shown up at public gatherings and outside people’s homes for years. He can be hired for a few hundred dollars, and he’s even been hired to scare children into reforming: “Do you want Wrinkles to come back?” He didn’t give his real name out to news media, but confirmed he was 65 and from Rhode Island. Here’s what Wrinkles, originally from Rhode Island and now in Florida, looks like:
South Carolina Clown Sightings
This is the state where the problem began in mid-August, the New York Times reported. Residents reported a white man in clown makeup and red hair staring a woman down at a laundromat. Children reported clowns trying to lure them into the woods.
In early September, police started doing extra patrols in Winston-Salem after two children said a clown was trying to lure kids into the woods with treats. The clown was wearing white overalls, red shoes, red hair, and a red nose. The police couldn’t find the suspect, Fox News reported. Police also said a number of clowns were reported in Greenville County hiding near apartment complexes and knocking on doors. One apartment complex even sent a letter out to residents warning them. The sightings haven’t been confirmed by police or with video or photos.
One Greenville apartment complex warned them to stick to the 10 p.m. curfew and not let their children out alone. No arrests have yet been made and authorities have said the sightings haven’t been officially confirmed. (Learn more in our story here.)
Tennessee Clown Robbery
On September 28, two men — one dressed in a clown mask — robbed a Memphis bank after carrying explosives inside, USA Today reported. In a separate incident, a social media threat led to two Nashville schools going on lockdown, but police later said the clown threat wasn’t credible.
Texas Clown Sightings
Clown sightings are being reported in Texas, too, and they’re increasing in number. In Corpus Christi, someone posted a clown photo on social media and said they would visit 10 campuses. A seventh-grader faces disciplinary action after encouraging the anonymous clown to visit his school, KRISTV reported. It’s not known yet who was the source of the original post.
Meanwhile, clown sightings are growing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DFW Scanner issued an update on Facebook about clown sightings. Fort Worth police reported that a person saw a clown running on a sidewalk in a residential area, and more than a dozen other sightings have been reported. DFW Scanner wrote that there were so many reports out there, it was tough to separate fact from rumor. Here’s just one story posted to Facebook about an experience with clowns in Fort Worth:
In Southlake, there were multiple clown reports, residents reported on Monday. And in Austin, Texas, social media threats have been made against several schools including Reagan and Travis Early College High Schools and Martin Middle School. There have also been unverified sightings of clowns, KXAN reported. Hays CISD said it investigated a clown threat that it determined was a hoax. Manor ISD investigated claims about a clown at the high school, but couldn’t verify the claims. And Del Valle High School heard a rumor about clowns, but said school would continue as usual.
Then the clown craze continued with reports of a clown assault at Texas State University on October 3. A woman reported that she was attacked by a clown around 7 p.m. outside Bobcat Village Apartments. You can read more about what happened in Heavy’s story here.
Amarillo has also been a location of sightings. KSWO reported residents telling them about clown sightings at bus stops and Medi Park, but those ended up being from a local haunted house, Sixth Street Massacre, trying to promote their events. However, there are new reports in Borger and Canyon, connected to Twitter accounts, and it’s not known if those are also connected to the haunted house, KSWO reported.
Red Oak, Texas’ police department took a different approach to the whole thing by writing a long post on Facebook about clown sightings. The explored the history of clown sightings and connections to Stephen King. You can read the post here:
Utah Clown Sightings
Two Ogden, Utah schools had lockouts due to clown sightings, but police officers say the rumors were not substantiated. Gramercy Elementary and Mount Fort Junior High went on lockout after there were reports that someone was on campus dressed as a clown. Police officers weren’t able to confirm the sighting as legitimate, Fox 13 reported. The reports came after a Facebook user threatened the schools with an account that had a profile photo of a clown.
In Orem, Utah, police said they had not received any reports of clowns in the city, after concerned parents called them numerous times:
In Provo, Utah, a woman told police that a man dressed as a clown ran across her yard around midnight.
Vermont Clown Arrest
In Williston, Vermont, a 15-year-old was arrested after banging on classroom windows while wearing a clown mask. Officers said that was the only verified report of clown violence or scares.
Virginia Clown Sightings
Fort Defiance had multiple clown sightings, USA Today reported, but no one was caught. Multiple callers said people were dressed as clowns. Wearing anything that conceals your identity, if you’re over 16, is against Virginia law and can be a class 6 felony.
WTVR reported seven places in Chesterfield County where creepy clowns were spotted. In one incident, a man tried to open a driver’s car door on Old Warson Drive, with another person dressed as a clown standing behind him. On Marina Drive, a person reported seeing someone wearing a clown suit while holding a knife. And clowns were seen running on Omo Road and on Alberta Road. And a 13-year-old boy was cited by police for creating a social media account for a clown that referenced a school shooting.
In Petersburg, a woman reported seeing two clowns in a car, driving erratically. At a stop light, one got out and started approaching her car, NBC 12 reported.
A mother in Henrico County, Virginia took video of someone dressed as a clown who was riding in a car and stopped next to them at an intersection. Here’s the video. Do you think the mom and daughter were overreacting?
This wasn’t the only sighting in Henrico though. NBC 12 reported that three clowns were seen driving around Knight Drive, entering back yards and knocking on windows. Police couldn’t find the suspects.
Clowns were also spotted in Washington County, Virginia, WJHL reported. The county’s first sighting was Monday night, October 3, on Conner Lane near High Point Elementary around 8 p.m. A brother and sister told police they saw a clown dressed in black with a red nose and purple hair. Police couldn’t find the clown.
In some cases, however, the perpetrator isn’t actually the clown. The Associated Press reported that in Hampton, Virginia, a 13-year-old girl was arrested after asking a clown on social media to kill her teacher.
Washington Clown Reports
Some reports are coming in from Washington state too. The News Tribune reported sightings in Pierce County. Three people said they saw men dressed in scary clown costumes hiding under bridges or in wooded areas. There were no reports of crime or violence. A sheriff’s spokesman said they were probably just “jumping on the bandwagon of what’s been going on around the country.”
Here’s another photo that cropped up on Facebook from Tukwila, Washington:
Students in Puyallup’s Rogers High School received texts on October 3 from a clown who threatened to kill students at the school. One person told police a clown was seen near campus carrying a knife. The school was put on lockdown on October 4 and two clown masks were found near the school. Two other schools — Emerald Ridge High School and Glacier View Junior High — were also closed on October 4.
Washington, D.C. Clown Report
A 14-year-old girl was arrested in early October for making clown threats to McKinley Middle School.
West Virginia Clown Photo or Hoax?
Some sightings have cropped up in West Virginia, but it’s unclear how accurate or authentic they are. This photo was shared on Facebook showing a clown standing on the side of the road in the Montcalm/Duhring region:
Fox 29 reported on the photo here. This particular photo, however, has gone viral so it’s tough to pinpoint just where it originated, making it more likely to be a hoax. It was shared on YouTube with the claim that the clown was seen in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin Clown Sightings
The sighting in Wisconsin ended up being a hoax. A man who set up a Facebook account to report sightings of Gags the Green Bay Clown later came clean and said it was part of an independent horror film coming out soon. Unfortunately, not all Wisconsin sightings have been uncovered yet as hoaxes. One mom kept her son out school because she had heard so many rumors of people wearing clown masks roaming around the Universal Academy for the College Bound, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. Other schools have also beent the source of rumors. Meanwhile, a seventh grade girl faces possible charges for sending messages to six students where she pretended to be a clown in West Bend. In Beloit, police need help finding who owns the Facebook page “Twist the Clown.”
An incident in Wisconsin from last year, November 2015, adds an interesting perspective to the whole thing.
A mom’s son in Waukesha, Wisconsin was often dressing up as a clown even into late November. She said he did it for laughs and smiles and didn’t intend to upset anyone. But many people were disturbed to see a random clown wandering around. Some of the sightings, his mom insisted, could not have been her son, but may have come from someone else dressing in a similar clown costume.
Clown sightings aren’t limited to the United States. In 2013, a 22-year-old filmmaker was arrested in Northampton after he dressed up as a clown and continually scared people in the area. Someone even started dressing as a vigilante to catch the clown before he was identified:
In 2014, Daily Mail reported that people in America and Europe were dressing up as clowns and scaring strangers. Police in France even issued a warning against mobs of clowns or vigilante mobs going after clowns.
Do you know of other states with sightings not reported in this article? Let us know in the comments below.
Read more about these creepy clowns in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: