Halloween? Stay Away from the Clowns!

"Hobo the Clown" Shawn Tron (Flickr)
"Hobo the Clown" Shawn Tron (Flickr)

Not many countries know what Halloween is, and those who do think it’s just a day for American children to run around getting candy. Or teen-agers binge-watching spooky films/shows.

While that is the norm, Halloween 2016 has taken on a life of its own.

For the past two months a clown epidemic has taken over several U.S cities. And many schools have warned students to stay clear from wearing or engaging with people in the offensive costumes.

AmericanMilitaryNews reports that the University of Florida (UFL) offers counseling to students who are “troubled” by costumes that offend religion, race or gender. Or simply just traumatic. UFL even set up a hotline for students to call. 

 

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As someone going to college in a very “low-key” college town here in the U.S, I can vouch that this time of the year does, in fact, get pretty wild. My school is known for hosting a large amount of international students and is very community oriented, so they do their best to make Halloween safe and fun for everyone. This year SAC (Student Activities Committee) brought a ghost hunter on campus. This weekend they’re hosting a campus-wide party and an annual haunted house.

Like UFL, my school has sent out memos urging students to avoid offensive costumes, but more importantly, avoid clown costumes. In the memo, our Dean of Students stated, “There have been numerous reported sightings of ‘creepy clowns’ on college campuses nationwide. While the majority of these sightings have been hoaxes, it is a situation that colleges take very seriously.”

Now what’s the fuss?

Clowns have become a big issue. Not silly clowns that you would see at a birthday party, these are clowns that you see in horror movies.

There has been an increase in reports of scary clown sightings and close encounters. Earlier this month, the  New York Post reported a teen ran into a clown on the New York City subway. The teen took off running.

“When he got to the stairs, he turned around and saw the clown holding what appeared to be a large kitchen knife in his hand,” the New York Post reported.

Many colleges issued warnings to their students to be aware of their surroundings and report any clown sightings. According to Rolling Stone and the New York Post, students at UPENN have been so annoyed that they’ve started “clown hunts,” gathering in the hundreds to chase the rumored clowns off campus, after a creepy clown image was projected on the side of a dorm.

High schools and elementry schools have added security, after students reported seeing clowns on playgrounds.

The news is reporting that this is a all a hoax (fake), and it will die down after October 31. One can only hope.

To all of you, whether you are in high school or in college, be safe on October 31. And remember, stay away from the clowns!

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Arnella Sandy