2016 lurking clowns epidemic

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37455073

Kentucky police have arrested a man dressed as a clown lurking in a wooded area amid a wave of clown reports in at least six US states.
Jonathan Martin, 20, was charged with wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct in Middlesboro.
He was found at about 0100 EST (0600 GMT) on Friday in "full clown costume" and mask crouching among trees by an apartment complex, according to police.
Recent reports of clowns trying to lure children into woods have sparked alarm.
Police have warned individuals against dressing up in clown costumes, adding it could lead to criminal charges.
"Dressing as a clown and driving, walking or standing in public can create a dangerous situation for you and others," police in nearby Barbourville, Kentucky, said in a statement online.
"While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal."
Why are clowns scary?
Alleged clown encounters have been reported in recent weeks in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky.
Image copyrightBELL COUNTY DETENTION CENTER
Image caption
A police photo showed Mr Martin in his clown costume
But the recent wave of creepy clown sightings has also led to a string of false reports to both police and on social media.
Police in Annapolis, Maryland, recently found reports of students being scared by clowns on the way to school to be untrue.
A 24-year-old man was charged with making false reports in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after he told police a clown knocked on his window.
Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl was arrested in Athens, Georgia, for bringing a knife to school because she was scared by social media reports that clowns were attacking children.
Mr Martin's arrest comes as Kentucky residents have reported sightings of a clown matching the description of his costume.
A photo posted on Facebook on Wednesday showed a clown in Waco, Kentucky, dressed in a similar black-and-white costume.

What's all this then?

Never changed username before (cardamon), Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:03 (three years ago) link

we have one in town now! we are all very excited here.

http://www.recorder.com/Greenfield-dispatch-reports-call-about-man-in-clown-costume-lurking-in-Fairground-4822358

scott seward, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:05 (three years ago) link

surely lurking in a fairground is a clown's job?

door unlawful carnal knowledge (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:05 (three years ago) link

empty fairground...the fair was weeks ago.

scott seward, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:14 (three years ago) link

I hadn't realised that they'd established the identity of the Northampton clown from a few years ago. the interview makes him sound a bit like Aldridge Prior from Viz

He wrote on his own Facebook page: “There’s been lots of rumours that I’m the Northampton Clown but I am NOT! But thanks for all the interest as it’s shot my views right up.”

And he added falsely: “And I don’t live in Northampton any more.”

Yesterday the sleepy-looking joker opened the door in his pyjamas and, at first, insisted: “I am not the clown”.

But when we showed him our photos he changed his tune.

He confessed: “OK, I am the clown but I’ve been trying to keep it as ­mysterious as possible. To be discreet so people didn’t find out.

“Your pictures are from the day I went to meet a little girl who only has six months to live.

“Her mum messaged me saying she really wants to meet you before she dies. I took a picture with her and gave her a clown teddy and stuff.

“On Facebook I’ve had over a thousand death threats. It was just a bit of fun at first and a lot of people seem to enjoy it but it gets a bit hard sometimes with the death threats.”

Powell, who grew up in Paignton, Torbay, claimed a man threatened to knife him at Sixfields, Northampton Town FC’s ground.

He said: “I swear he had a knife and told me he would stab me if there were not so many people around.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/northampton-clown-unmasked-alex-powell-2366915

soref, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:15 (three years ago) link

i thought this was about ilx's silent majority

slam dunk, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:16 (three years ago) link

^^^

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:29 (three years ago) link

"While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal."

Wait, so clowns in public are just illegal now?

jmm, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:31 (three years ago) link

surely lurking in a fairground is a clown's job?

― door unlawful carnal knowledge (Noodle Vague), Sunday, September 25, 2016 1:05 AM (thirty-three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

empty fairground...the fair was weeks ago.

― scott seward, Sunday, September 25, 2016 1:14 AM (twenty-four minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

*chills*

savvinesslessness (map), Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:39 (three years ago) link

"While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal."

Wait, so clowns in public are just illegal now?

― jmm, Sunday, September 25, 2016 1:31 AM (twelve minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

UK police were significantly more temperate during our 2013 lurking clown epidemic, merely saying that they would offer "strong words of advice" to anyone dressing as a clown in public:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/stop-clowning-around-police-urge-public-to-ignore-creepy-clowns-after-sightings-across-uk-8970548.html

soref, Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:43 (three years ago) link

"Clowns are inching closer and closer to Memphis..."

http://wreg.com/2016/09/24/tennessee-department-of-safety-reports-clown-sighting-in-jackson-area/

scott seward, Sunday, 25 September 2016 11:47 (three years ago) link

UK police were significantly more temperate during our 2013 lurking clown epidemic

ah, mad clown

j., Sunday, 25 September 2016 13:22 (three years ago) link

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/cops-catch-creepy-clown-in-kentucky

sleeve, Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:31 (three years ago) link

I want to hear the juggalo community's input on this. Are they down with the clown in this instance?

jmm, Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:43 (three years ago) link

Kops Katch Kreepy Klown in Centucky.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:47 (three years ago) link

The clowns are a nice addition to all the heroin zombies wandering around Kentucky. All they need is a few conceal carry nuts loaded for bear to add to the parade and they are ready to roll.

earlnash, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:26 (three years ago) link

Feels like real-life creepypasta

calstars, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:51 (three years ago) link

Dispatcher: "Police, please state your emergency."
Caller: "Someone just Ctrl V'd a freakin' clown near my house."
Dispatcher: "Please stay indoors and keep away from the windows. We're dispatching a SWAT team."

here we are now entertain us (snoball), Sunday, 25 September 2016 17:24 (three years ago) link

NPR gettin in on the clown action

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/24/495298587/sinister-clowns-are-scaring-people-in-multiple-states

sleeve, Sunday, 25 September 2016 17:26 (three years ago) link

SWAT Team Leader: "OK team, I want you all to be careful. This clown is armed."
SWAT Team Member: "What with? Pistol? Shotgun?"
SWAT Team Leader: "No. A bucket of confetti and..." *BITES LIP AND CLOSES EYES IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONTROL TEARS* "...an old-timey car horn."

here we are now entertain us (snoball), Sunday, 25 September 2016 17:27 (three years ago) link

TBF, this is pretty fucked up:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CtDA7C-XEAAYqUN.jpg

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 18:37 (three years ago) link

If there's no thread about masks can we remedy that stat?

calstars, Sunday, 25 September 2016 19:06 (three years ago) link

Last week I was listening to AM radio and I thought I hadn't woken up yet when the news reporter said, "police are at a loss due to multiple sightings of clowns lurking about near wooded areas!" I kept thinking there's no way I just heard that.

JacobSanders, Sunday, 25 September 2016 19:43 (three years ago) link

Ha this current wave of clown sightings started in Greenville, SC where I live.

Kind of amazing to watch this metastasize from a goofy local panic into a full blown national hysteria.

Rob Boss (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 September 2016 19:55 (three years ago) link

Why can't clown just stand near the woods? Do they have to lurk?

JacobSanders, Sunday, 25 September 2016 19:59 (three years ago) link

what if all this is just viral marketing for the New IT movie?

Frobisher, Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:03 (three years ago) link

man

j., Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:17 (three years ago) link

can't we just have this

j., Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:17 (three years ago) link

It makes me wonder if there's a long-standing culture of people doing this as a sort of practical joke and it's only now being reported. Or is it just that the idea of being 'a creepy clown' is a go to act for people who want to freak other people out?

Never changed username before (cardamon), Sunday, 25 September 2016 22:58 (three years ago) link

“You can’t charge someone for carrying a machete,” DeFoor said. “And there’s nothing illegal about wearing a clown costume, or on Halloween we’d be arresting thousands of people.”

pplains, Monday, 26 September 2016 01:15 (three years ago) link

Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl was arrested in Athens, Georgia, for bringing a knife to school

Sharia Laws and Lambchop (The Yellow Kid), Monday, 26 September 2016 01:46 (three years ago) link

Imagine walking around a deserted area and noticing a clown looking at you from the shadows

calstars, Monday, 26 September 2016 01:46 (three years ago) link

Smith issued a statement Wednesday after he received numerous calls and texts about four men dressed as clowns who were riding in a car last weekend on West Merriman Avenue in Wynne. The clowns, he said, were "bloody-faced" and "scary."

"I'm not talking about the Bozos or the Ronald McDonald clowns," Smith said. "They're OK. It's the evil, scary clowns who have the intent to scare and harass people."

Smith isn't joking. He said he will arrest those bedecked in the "non-family-style" clown outfits, take them to the sheriff's office in Wynne and charge them with harassment or disorderly conduct.

"By no means do I want to impede anyone's effort for doing something like holding a clown party or to dress up for Halloween," the sheriff said. "But to do it to cause fear in the general public won't be tolerated."

City of Wynne a lot more tolerant than I've given it credit for.

pplains, Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:27 (three years ago) link

He said he will arrest those bedecked in the "non-family-style" clown outfits, take them to the sheriff's office in Wynne and charge them with harassment or disorderly conduct.

the good news is that police can minimise the impact on public funds by squeezing up to 15 clowns in one cop car

the devastation is very important to me (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:52 (three years ago) link

this is all probably just catfishing gone wrong

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:57 (three years ago) link

Ooooorrrrrr ..... it's a bunch of killer evil clowns. I mean, who really wants to take the chance?

Someone should bring this to Trump's attention, asap.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 29 September 2016 14:05 (three years ago) link

http://ht.ly/xO7Q304y9TF

“This is a growing problem across the commonwealth. Please do NOT engage in this illegal behavior. Dressing as a clown and approaching people can result in someone getting seriously hurt. I strongly recommend not to engage in this behavior and want everyone to be aware of the Va. law which prohibits this behavior,” said Sheriff Donald Smith.

sleeve, Thursday, 29 September 2016 14:21 (three years ago) link

keep thinking this is a thread about ILM

i bill everything i duck (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 29 September 2016 16:38 (three years ago) link

i think the Green Bay WI one was the original, but huh:
http://wbay.com/2016/08/05/gags-the-green-bay-clown-exposed/

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Thursday, 29 September 2016 16:50 (three years ago) link

*clown menace*

(rocketcat) 🚀🐱 👑🐟 (kingfish), Thursday, 29 September 2016 18:09 (three years ago) link

one of my first ILE threads. i had no idea what the future would hold!

What's A Bigger Cliche: "I Hate Mimes!" Or "I'm Scared Of Clowns!"

scott seward, Thursday, 29 September 2016 18:13 (three years ago) link

I hate clowns almost as much as I hate mimes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O52mNrTjYTE

how's life, Thursday, 29 September 2016 18:24 (three years ago) link

is it illegal to hit a clown with your car

if you do and it hurts your car, the clown has to pay, right?

dr. mercurio arboria (mh 😏), Thursday, 29 September 2016 18:27 (three years ago) link

2016 lurking clowns in bars epidemic

calstars, Thursday, 29 September 2016 19:06 (three years ago) link

Gags the (Green Bay) Clown interviewed: https://soundcloud.com/maxatkruz/gags-interview-with-director-adam

PappaWheelie V, Friday, 30 September 2016 22:00 (three years ago) link

"I'm not talking about the Bozos or the Ronald McDonald clowns," Smith said. "They're OK. It's the evil, scary clowns who have the intent to scare and harass people."

#notallclowns

florence foster wallace (difficult listening hour), Friday, 30 September 2016 22:19 (three years ago) link

so is this the new politics thread or what

hur hur

carthago delenda est (mayor jingleberries), Friday, 30 September 2016 22:46 (three years ago) link

We should have an ilx gathering where we all go to a bar as clowns

calstars, Friday, 30 September 2016 22:59 (three years ago) link

fuck no

dr. mercurio arboria (mh 😏), Friday, 30 September 2016 23:24 (three years ago) link

my wife's sister is attending Puddles Pity Party tonight and if you didn't know what that is, it's this

https://vimeo.com/108635845

how's life, Saturday, 1 October 2016 01:06 (three years ago) link

that is exactly what all these people think xp

dr. mercurio arboria (mh 😏), Thursday, 6 October 2016 03:41 (three years ago) link

Violent jay and shaggy 2 dope must be enjoying this

calstars, Thursday, 6 October 2016 07:31 (three years ago) link

Lurking clowns feed on fear, imo. The greater the panic over this, the more people will be inspired to clown. The solution is to stay calm, or deport all clowns.

jmm, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:14 (three years ago) link

The file art they're using with these is killing me.

A person dressed as the scary clown from the movie "It" poses at a convention in Argentina.

pplains, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:38 (three years ago) link

https://twitter.com/CIown_Sighting

also ^^^

mark s, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:43 (three years ago) link

Here's another one:

http://komonews.com/news/local/puyallup-student-arrested-as-creepy-clown-mania-spreads-in-w-wash

PUYALLUP, Wash. - A Puyallup high school student is behind bars Wednesday after a series of clown-related threats spiraled out of control, forcing the school to be placed in a modified lockdown Tuesday.

how's life, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:44 (three years ago) link

Tribune column here headlined "Laugh, creepy clowns. Go on, laugh."

Meanwhile this is the story my daughter brought home:

http://abc7chicago.com/news/reports-of-clowns-approaching-students-spread-to-chicago/1538828/

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:50 (three years ago) link

Just checked a Facebook parent thread here, and there are kids having trouble sleeping, no longer interested in trick or treating, spreading rumors that clowns are killing people by the dozens (kids are gullible). My fave comment: "We have clowns threatening to kill people and billionaire villains running for president, so it's proof more than ever that we need Batman."

Not hearing so many complaints about sexy clowns, I guess we have to wait until closer to Halloween for that.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:54 (three years ago) link

clown sex is barely documented, the province of cryptozoologists and cranks

look at the morning people (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 6 October 2016 13:59 (three years ago) link

All these dudes out there just trying to impress potential Harley Quinns.

how's life, Thursday, 6 October 2016 14:06 (three years ago) link

"Since you stopped leaving pornography out here you have no use for these woods, and they have become a home for the clowns. They suit us fine."

https://samkriss.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/a-creepy-clown-manifesto/

goole, Thursday, 6 October 2016 14:42 (three years ago) link

Least frightening place to see a killer clown: midtown New York. Most frightening: rural Tennessee

calstars, Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:21 (three years ago) link

clown sex is barely documented, the province of cryptozoologists and cranks

― look at the morning people (Jon not Jon), Thursday, October 6, 2016 9:59 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Sad Clown Porn - why?

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:25 (three years ago) link

Thought it was spelled "clouwns" up there, live and learn

Cumstaun (Phil D.), Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:39 (three years ago) link

I've gotten into the worst arguments with people over whether or not "w" is a vowel when used in words like clown and drown. (It is.)

pplains, Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:41 (three years ago) link

Especially when Nico says it

look at the morning people (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:42 (three years ago) link

going to have Nico's pronunciation of "clown" in my head all day

dr. mercurio arboria (mh 😏), Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:44 (three years ago) link

"w" is a vowel

my fav DC Talk jam

Neanderthal, Thursday, 6 October 2016 15:44 (three years ago) link

https://youtu.be/a21DTmOP9Yw

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:08 (three years ago) link

God damn cock blocking link.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:08 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJggcFYhiu4

Οὖτις, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:09 (three years ago) link

http://www.youtube.com/ODqj9Mq39FM

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:11 (three years ago) link

Ugh. Stupid phone messing up my stupid jokes. Anyway, someone can pretend they just heard a Barbra Streisand song about clowns, and also an Elvis Costello song about clowns.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:12 (three years ago) link

nah i'm good

Neanderthal, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:15 (three years ago) link

How to talk to your kids about scary clowns

sleeve, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:25 (three years ago) link

I am going to dress up like a clown, sneak into my kid's room at night, wake them up and say hey, it's just me, your dad, no reason to be scared of clowns.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 6 October 2016 16:28 (three years ago) link

I'm scary how? I mean, scary like I'm a clown, I alarm you? I make you scream, I'm here to fuckin' alarm you? What do you mean scary, scary how? How am I scary?

pplains, Thursday, 6 October 2016 17:07 (three years ago) link

from some moron at my kids' school today:

Good afternoon Families,

Several of our schools have heard from concerned parents who said their students are talking about clowns committing potential acts of violence. Threats have been posted on Instagram and other social media platforms. Over the past few weeks, several have gone so far as to reference specific schools in Fulton County.

We are aware that some other school districts in metro Atlanta have received similar reports. Similar threats have also been made in recent weeks to schools around the country. Please know that in the majority of instances across the nation, these rumors have been deemed a hoax or a prank. While we believe the messages to be hoaxes, we will nonetheless take any threat towards our students and staff seriously and have been extra-vigilant.

We wanted parents to be aware that the Fulton County Schools Police Department is working with local authorities to investigate these reports to assess their validity. Please know that student safety is our number one priority.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your principal.

Thank you for your support and partnership in keeping our students safe.

Brevs Mekis (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 6 October 2016 18:10 (three years ago) link

The fact that any administrator took the time to write and distribute that explains a lot of things that are shit-sideways.

Brevs Mekis (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 6 October 2016 18:11 (three years ago) link

important map: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-definitive-map-of-americas-creepy-clown-epidemic

mookieproof, Thursday, 6 October 2016 18:30 (three years ago) link

When a clown meets a clown comin' through the rye

calstars, Thursday, 6 October 2016 19:11 (three years ago) link

The Florida school district locked down S.S. Seward Institute for a time Tuesday after a report that there was a clown at the school...

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20161004/local-school-locked-down-after-reports-of-clown-inside-school

scott seward, Thursday, 6 October 2016 19:22 (three years ago) link

A mob of Pennsylvania college students set out to hunt clowns early Tuesday after rumors spread that one was on the loose near campus.

http://time.com/4517709/penn-state-clown-hunt/

scott seward, Thursday, 6 October 2016 19:24 (three years ago) link

The Florida school district locked down S.S. Seward Institute for a time Tuesday after a report that there was a clown at the school...

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20161004/local-school-locked-down-after-reports-of-clown-inside-school

― scott seward, Thursday, October 6, 2016 3:22 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i was so confused on this being Florida, Orange County, in New York state, I had to look it up :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida,_Orange_County,_New_York

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 6 October 2016 20:24 (three years ago) link

I wish it were the Scott Seward Institute.

tokyo rosemary, Thursday, 6 October 2016 20:26 (three years ago) link

"the clowns are menacing from inside the institute"

mark s, Thursday, 6 October 2016 20:34 (three years ago) link

institute-toot

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 6 October 2016 20:34 (three years ago) link

Wherever there's a clown menacin' a guy, I'll be there.

brownie, Thursday, 6 October 2016 20:48 (three years ago) link

is floppy boot stomp surging on Spotify yet

look at the morning people (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 6 October 2016 21:05 (three years ago) link

http://mashable.com/2016/10/12/batman-creepy-clowns-uk/#CieVpu7nqqqo

how's life, Thursday, 13 October 2016 16:35 (three years ago) link

Yeah, this is quite tiresome already. There was a report of a guy dressed as a clown chasing a young child in a park near me in Lewisham this week. I think I might have seen him as well. I saw a guy on a motorbike with a mask on. The thing none of these reports really say is how far these guys are invested in their whole clown thing. Did the clown in the report just wear normal clothes and a clown mask like I think I saw. Cos that's just a bit rubbish really.

kraudive, Thursday, 13 October 2016 23:40 (three years ago) link

i'm telling you guys, it makes me feel weirded out because SHARK ATTACKS seemed ever-present and unavoidable for a week just over fifteen years ago. constant rotation on cable news, a handful of think pieces, and now it seems like nothing because September eleventh rolled around that year and no one talked about sharks

what if the clowns are a goddamn harbinger

mh 😏, Friday, 14 October 2016 03:50 (three years ago) link

This happened around here in the 80s too. It's actually sociologically interesting

punksishippies, Friday, 14 October 2016 05:43 (three years ago) link

sharks, Satanic preschool teachers, happy slapping, anti-gingerism, killer clowns, gang member initiations, it's always something

Lawsonomy Domine (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 17 October 2016 04:41 (three years ago) link

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...

earlnash, Monday, 17 October 2016 05:04 (three years ago) link

Funny story. A friend was hosting a sleepover for her young son and a few friends. No one was sleeping, so she decided, fine, I'll take them to the park at 11:30pm to run around with flashlights until they get tired. That lasted three minutes before they ran back, scared, saying they'd seen a bunch of clowns. Fine, bad idea, she thought, and took them home.

The next day she found out from her older kid that yeah, there were a bunch of clowns that night! Apparently upperclass high school kids scaring some freshmen party in the park or something.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 17 October 2016 05:07 (three years ago) link

we've reached the thinkpiece stage:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/opinion/sunday/what-do-the-scary-clowns-want.html?_r=0

sleeve, Monday, 17 October 2016 14:16 (three years ago) link


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