Less than a week ago, we wondered when the creepy clowns that are terrorizing the nation would creep on up to NYC. The clowns have heard us, for they are always listening, and they are (almost) here: in addition to sightings in Phillipsburg, New Jersey last week, clowns have been spotted upstate and on Long Island, as well as in Pohatcong and Toms River in New Jersey.
There were four reported creepy clown sightings in Phillipsburg last week, including a report of a “jester” brandishing a sword and chasing a child. In Wilson Borough, Pennsylvania, three clowns chased a group of children near an elementary school.
On Long Island Friday, Lindenhurst school officials announced they would be keeping students inside during recess after “several reports” of clown sightings in the area and a “Tweet threatening that Lindenhurst would be the next area targeted by the clowns.”
Photos began circulating on Facebook of an armed man dressed as a clown on Saturday. The man appears to be standing on the Hudson Valley Bridge in Newburgh and holding a rifle. According to the Hudson Valley Post, police are investigating the area.
But not all clown spottings are created equal—for every report of a person dressed as a clown threatening to kidnap children, there are plenty of copycat clown pranksters trying to exploit the public’s fears.
In Ellenville, police were reportedly investigating reports of a man calling himself “Bubbo Theclown” on Facebook. In a Facebook post, Ellenville PD said there had been false reports of illegal acts being committed by someone in a clown costume.
“To many of us, this is not humorous in any way, and in fact causes unnecessary stress and in some cases, traumatizes the children who are the victims of these attacks,” police said.