For the past couple of weeks, it seems that the clown craze has erupted into something more than just a practical joke. Involving arrest threats  to simply scare the daylights out of people, these circus-posing imposters are spread across the nation according to news source, and there doesn’t appear to be a reason as to why. Regardless of the reason, we need to be taking this seriously.

Last month in North Carolina, there were reports of a white and red dressed clown bribing children with candy to follow him into the woods.

Although these reports came from the two, young, victim boys, another report was made days later. However, the individual making the call was found to have lied, as told in an article on USA Today.

Fox News in Boston reported that on Oct. 4, Merrimack College, located in North Andover, Massachusetts, sheltered in place due to a potential clown threat. This incident proved to be pointless, as no clown was ever found. The report was made by a random Twitter user.

In Sparks, Nevada, Alex Ruelas and his friends spotted a clown wielding a machete. Finding the incident entertaining, Ruelas ignored the clown until it began to chase him. After it had disappeared, Ruelas and his friends neglected to inform police.

This only later led law enforcement into believing that Ruelas had staged the threat or thinking that it hadn’t actually happened. According to KTVN News, the clown wasn’t seen again.

In many reports the clowns always end up disappearing or are never found. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem that the clowns mean harm, as no one has died from a clown-related incident.

Perhaps they’re doing it in humor or for entertainment purposes. Whatever the case may be, we need to take this seriously.

While in Wal-Mart a few days ago, I witnessed two kids laughing while trying on clown masks.

Courtney Bethel / equinox staff

Courtney Bethel / equinox staff

Evidently, this was a joke to them. They thought the current terror sweeping the nation was something to chuckle about.

Merriam-Webster defines that kind of humor as gallows humor, or a type of humor that is used to compensate for dramatic and terrifying situations.

I may be going to extremities by calling it this, but, at least in my opinion, this is a possible life-threatening situation.

If these incidents remain overlooked, they will continue to occur. People will think that they can get away with dressing up behind a spine-chilling mask and carrying around weapons.

In reality, they shouldn’t be able to if it’s going to cause panic and chaos. This raises yet another question: does it matter if these people are wearing clown masks?

From a young age, children are accustomed to associating clowns with the circus, tiny cars and pie throwing.

While clowns are often portrayed as entertaining or funny, many people find them quite frightening.

Time Magazine discusses this topic in an article,  quoting Professor Scott Bonn who said, “We don’t know what’s beneath that makeup. It could be anyone or anything. They’re actually very frightening.”

With that being said, the answer is no — the clown masks don’t matter. Anyone carrying any weapons or asking me to follow them into the woods would scare me away, but the clown masks don’t help.

Though a punishment doesn’t exist for disguising oneself as a clown, you may want to refrain from being Pennywise this Halloween, as it may be associated with criminal activity.

In a report from the Sparks Police Department in Nevada, Officer Ken Gallop said, “It is not illegal to dress up like a clown, but if you decide to clown around, obey the law.”

Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at

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