By Bethaney Lee
The commonly depicted red nose, juggling and big-footed fellows usually hired to entertain children at birthday parties have been replaced with the nationwide “creepy clown” pandemic capturing headlines with stomach-churning potential.
Littering social media feeds and having already obtained the interest of San Francisco’s own “SF Examiner,” the creepy clowns have infiltrated our nation’s culture and are now lurking in our city’s own backyards.
In an article issued Oct. 10 by the “San Francisco Examiner,” reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez reports that a mother told authorities a “creepy clown” tried to kidnap her one-year-old child in Concord.
Lockouts at schools in Oakland and San Mateo County were also reported earlier this month due to the clown activity sweeping the nation.
NBC News reported that Oakland Unified School District Spokesman John Sasaki issued a statement saying “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was called to restrict traffic flow in the afflicted Bay Area schools, with the intention of preventing any unwanted ‘creep clown’ appearances and to investigate existing threats.”
While a handful of clowns have taken it a step further than just wearing eerie makeup and well-placed props, most reports have been officially deemed hoaxes and as of Oct. 24, no sightings have been reported at City College.
“We encourage students and any other City College community members to report any suspicious people or activities to us at anytime,” College Campus Police Sergeant Tiffany Green said. “If a student sees a ‘creepy clown’ they should report to us, whether they suspect criminal activity or not.”
Marketing student Gabe Herrera is living in the Bay Area, a place where professional clowning still exists as a viable form of occupation.
The 20-year-old’s reaction to the “creepy clown” phenomenon was more relaxed.
“I think after Halloween passes it will go away—it’s a trend,” said Herrera, insisting that it couldn’t last because, “the fact that people would dress up as clowns to scare people is just stupid.”
As comical as the situation is intended to sound by nature, the circus freak sightings are still not to be taken lightly.
“If we receive any creep clown reports we will treat them the same response, seriousness, caution and sensitivity as any reports we receive regarding suspicious persons,” Sergeant Green.
Headlines for the “creepy clowns” still stream the pages of the San Francisco Examiner, where as recent as the 23 of Oct. reporter Rodriguez wrote a breaking article about three armed men wearing clown masks and fleeing from Westfield Mall security.
For all those who already fear clowns, the “creepy clown” phenomenon is only the beginning. With the same blend of comical and disturbing imagery, the cinematic remake of Stephen King’s “It” is due to release in 2017, sparking continued chats of “creepy clowns” that are already lingering on social media feeds.
Coming straight out of nightmares, the “creepy clown” panic which is believed to have started on the East Coast, has now trickled to the Bay Area—home to City College.