Sep 06, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Pennsylvania Police Issue Creepy Clown Warning

Out of all the mysterious news trends coming out over the last year or two, the creepy clown panic is one of the most bizarre. It began just a little over a year ago, when a spooky figure in clown makeup was seen prowling the streets of Green Bay, Wisconsin while holding black balloons. More creepy clowns continued to appear across North America throughout 2016 and 2017, scaring children and attracting the attention of law enforcement agencies. It’s hard to say exactly what has caused the spree of clown sightings, but it’s safe to say that many of them are likely copycats who want a piece of the attention.

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Coulrophobia - the fear of clowns - is recognized neither by the World Health Organization nor the American Psychiatric Association.

Pennsylvania State Police have issued a “Community Awareness Bulletin” to warn residents about a possible uptick in creepy clown appearances. According to the bulletin, the resurgence of creepy clowns is likely given the upcoming release of the remake of Stephen King’s IT:

With the fall of 2017 upon us, it is anticipated that similar “creepy clown” sightings could be reported starting as soon as September, in part due to the fact that the movie IT will be released in theaters on 09/08/2017. The movie, which is adapted from a Stephen King novel by the same name, portrays an evil demon who takes on the shape of a clown named Pennywise “that stalks kids from within the sewers and kills them when they least expect it.”

The bulletin offers a list of resources for residents to use to report any suspicious clown sightings including their “Terrorism Tip Line.”

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"Me? A terrorist?"

These types of waves really makes you wonder how many sightings of anomalous figures or activities are actually just publicity stunts. It’s certainly not unheard of. Look at the recent uptick in Mothman sightings in Chicago which corresponded perfectly with a new Mothman documentary, or Rob Lowe’s dubious Bigfoot sighting claims ahead of his ill-advised series “The Lowe Files.” Could some viral advertising agency be behind these clown sightings and warnings in order to drum up interest in the new IT adaptation?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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