By Marleld Duran
Multiple clown sightings have been reported in over 20 states, including California. The trend originally began on Aug. 1 after a clown, now known as Gags the Green Bay Clown was spotted at 2 a.m. in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
According to The Sundial, California State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) newspaper, two female students were chased by a clown on Oct. 4.
“It is scary because I live [here] and I don’t feel secure,” said CSUN student, Amanda Tzoc. “[Even though it was students playing pranks, it got a lot of us shaken up.”
According to Time Magazine, children in South Carolina reported clowns trying to lure them into the woods and into a van a few weeks after the report of Gags, but there was no evidence.
Clown incidents have led to several arrests in multiple states, the banning of clown costumes in a Connecticut school district, and a clown hunt at Penn State University.
As reportings of clown sightings increased, some began chasing people with weapons such as knives and machetes across the country. Consequently, people began carrying their own weapons.
Fredrika Washington, a parent, told NowThis, “I have my gun home waiting on them, so I’m just being honest, if anybody comes to my house, I will be shooting.”
However, state officials have enforced policies stating that shooting a clown who is not targeting an individual is illegal. In an effort to protect the people, police surveillance has increased throughout neighborhoods and schools across the country.
Professional clowns have also spoken out against the incidents. Jordan Jones, known professionally as Snuggles the Clown, created a Clown Lives Matter movement on his Facebook page in hopes of drawing attention to professional clowns who fear being attacked simply for doing their jobs.
“I’ve been flipped off, […] booed, [gotten] trash thrown at my car, [and] experienced excessive profanity while performing,” said Justin Brodie, professional clown, to Time Magazine.