On Oct. 2 a 911 caller reported two clowns wielding large knives in Farmington, Arkansas, according to Northwest Arkansas Online (NWAO). Several instances involving the “scary clowns” have been reported across the state in recent weeks.
Arkansas Online said that Cross County Police received an unverified report of four people dressed as clowns near West Merriman Avenue. Cross County Sherriff J. R. Smith said they have zero tolerance for people dressed as clowns with intent to scare others.
In White Hall, Arkansas officer Dustin Summers was suspended for two days without pay after a photo of the officer dressed as a clown surfaced on social media, according to KATV. The photo was posted just days after the department received calls about clown sightings in the area. At this time, no evidence has been found linking Summers to the clown sightings.
In Bentonville, Arkansas a man dressed as a clown “terrorizing people with a horn” was arrested. Authorities say this man and his two accomplices meant no harm, according to NPR.
NWAO also reported a man in a clown mask harassing a store clerk in Poinsett County.
Sophomore Miranda McClung has been following the news about this uproar in Arkansas as well as in her home state of Texas. McClung said that she finds the clowns terrifying and hopes never to meet one.
“Everyone needs to calm their little selves down because the goal of this movement is to scare the public,” McClung said. “If everyone keeps a level head about this, it’ll die down eventually.”
According to NPR, reports of “scary clown” sightings started in Greenville, South Carolina, where people reported clowns trying to lure children into the woods. Over the last three months, sightings have spread all over the country, but have been difficult to verify.
There have been three types of reports thus far according to NPR: those reporting people dressed as clowns and acting creepy, those reporting clowns acting haphazardly in communities to wreak havoc, and those reporting threats to schools (all of which have come up empty).
Some have speculated that the clown sightings are a guerilla-style marketing tactic for the upcoming release of a re-vamped version of Stephen King’s “IT,” a spokesperson for the production has given the final word: “New Line is absolutely not involved in the rash of clown sightings,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
No one has reported having been harmed by the clowns, but the mass hysteria continues to spread across the country, though Junior Brody Powers thinks the only thing anyone should be worried about is people taking this epidemic in a joking manner.
“I think people should be worried that other people are thinking that this is funny … because in reality, it’s not,” Powers said.
Overall, the only thing that seems to have been hurt by this movement is the livelihood of professional clowns. A professional group in Tucson, Arizona, has gone so far as to organize a “Clown Lives Matter” march on Oct. 15 in order to show that not all clowns are scary or threatening, according to FOX News.