The late summer/early autumn of 2016 has been an interesting one, to say the least. First of all, Donald Trump might be the next American president, and that sort of sounds like a punch line to a joke from 2004. Second, Brangelina is no more, and some of us sort of thought they would be The Hollywood couple to make it. But perhaps worst of all, there's been a spooky spate of creepy clown sightings in several states. Luckily, a recent report of clown sightings in Maryland were false, and thank god, because the last thing we need are even more creepy clowns (apologies to non-creepy, birthday-type clowns who must be feeling the sting of public censure these days).
According to The Washington Post, four students ranging in age from 7 to 9-years-old recently claimed that they had seen clowns in Annapolis, Maryland. When the children initially approached police with claims that they had seen clowns on three separate occasions on their way to school starting back on Sept. 15, Annapolis law enforcement officials began to attempt to collect surveillance footage from the neighborhoods in question to verify the kids' stories, according to Cpl. Amy Miguez.
“You would think if someone saw it, more than four kids would also have seen it. It was concerning how it occurred so we wanted to get the information out there to let people know.”
When nothing came up on surveillance cameras, Miguez told The Washington Post they called the children back in to be interviewed again. “That’s what ended up leading to the admission that they made it up,” Miguez said.
This is not the first time in recent months that there has been a false report of a "clown spotting" (can you believe that's a thing now?). Earlier in the month, Brandon and Rebecca Moody of Troup County, Georgia were arrested for allegedly making a bogus claim in a 911 call about clowns driving around in a white van. Brandon Moody made the initial 911 call and then allegedly had Rebecca Moody call with the same report, despite the fact that she wasn't in the area at that time.
In North Carolina, David Wayne Armstrong told Winston-Salem police that he had seen a clown in the woods nearby and gave chase. Authorities have since arrested Armstrong for filing a false claim to the police. The Winston-Salem police department had also received reports of a clown in a wooded area trying to lure children away, but those reports have never been substantiated.
So perhaps this whole "creepy clown" phenomenon is really just bored people making stuff up and feeding off our natural, deep-seated fear of clowns. Or maybe this is all a big promotion for the remake of Stephen King's It coming out soon. If it is... my God, that's brilliant.