Just clowning around: Public Safety confirms ‘almost everything has been a rumor’

Elizabeth Worthington, News Editor

Panic swept the campus this week as students caught word of “killer clowns” that were reported to be spreading terror at college campuses across the country. At the nearby Pennsylvania State University, students took to the streets when reports of a clown roaming outside the residential halls caused hysteria amongst the student body. 

Alarm reached its peak at the University on Wednesday night when a possible clown sighting was reported on campus. Chief of Public Safety, Steve Barilar, has since confirmed that almost everything has been a rumor.

The Department of Public Safety received a call Wednesday night that two individuals were spotted at the Mods wearing hooded sweatshirts and one of them might have been wearing a clown mask, but this was unable to be confirmed by the department. Barilar stated, “There were no threats made. Right now, we don’t know who that individual was. It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Reports of a clown sighting in Vedder Hall on Tuesday night were also found to be false following an investigation.

Rumors have been swirling about the clowns since August and have continued to gain momentum as police departments have seen a sudden increase in reports of clown sightings in the past few weeks. The rumors began circulating after a group of children in Greenville, S.C. reported seeing clowns attempting to lure children into the woods.

Though the reports were unsubstantiated, hysteria ensued on college campuses in the following weeks. Police investigations concerning reports of clown sightings, some allegedly wielding knives, have found little evidence to support the claims, except a few threatening messages on social media. Several police departments are cracking down on these types of threats and affirm that they will not hesitate to make arrests for terroristic threats.

With Halloween just around the corner, the clown frenzy is arriving at a particularly bad time.

 “It’s going to be a nightmare. The scary clown costumes are going to be selling like hotcakes,” said Barilar.


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