By: Aly Mohamed, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
This Halloween might be the deadliest in years. When confronted with the customary large groups of zombies, witches, and vampires, many of us secretly fear bumping into one of the “killer clowns” that have been observed in locations such as Russia, America and england
in recent months. Sightings of frightening clowns with red lips and fixed smiles across the United States have gotten far from amusing, and have taken on a threatening tone as Halloween approaches. Since late August, scary-looking clowns have been lurking in woods, emerging on dark roads, or driving in automobiles, some carrying knives, in an attempt to terrify unsuspecting individuals.
A variety of hypotheses have been proposed as to why a tiny but considerable number of people throughout the world choose to dress up, paint their faces, and go out in public with the sole purpose of frightening others going about their daily lives. Whether the pranks are part of a larger plan, a PR ploy, or a viral fad, the threatening clown character has been adopted to terrify people as a joke rather than to scare them to death. The sightings drew the attention of the White House. In answer to a question at a press conference, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that local police take it very seriously.
“Notify the police right immediately if anything is suspect, whether it’s someone vocally or physically behaving dangerously in any sort of costume,” said Capt. Laurence Martin of the Wayne Police Department in New Jersey, who responded to a complaint of a clown sighting last week. Police in Fair Lawn, where young adults were detained after a terrifying clown sighting claim, advised trick-or-treaters to be cautious.
“There has been a bit of an uptick,” said Leigh Wendinger, inbound marketing manager for HalloweenCostumes.com, a Minnesota-based internet store. Clown costumes are up approximately 40% this year, she added, but it’s hard to determine if it’s because of the spooky clown sightings. This year, the number of clown masks sold on HalloweenExpress.com has increased by thrice. This season, eight of the top ten sellers are wicked or terrifying clown masks, compared to five in the top ten previous year, according to the Kentucky-based firm.
“Have a heightened awareness about what is going on around you,” said Sgt. Brian Metzler of the Fair Lawn Police Department.