Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

COLUMN: Halloween is over - can we just stop hunting killer clowns now?

Surprise, it’s not Pennywise, but what’s happening with these clown sightings is just as creepy.

The popular Steven King movie “IT” is being remade for its 30th anniversary, but the recent killer clown sightings have surpassed any connection to a remake of the horror classic. Nationally, these clown reports have become more than a creepy game and people aren’t taking the threats lightly.

Lee Moran, editor for the Huffington Post, wrote, “Spooked Floridians say they are arming themselves against the threat of creepy clowns this Halloween.” In the wake of these sightings around the country – and one reportedly on Central Michigan University’s campus – students aren’t just waiting for a clown to appear and cause havoc. Instead they’re “clown hunting,” causing a scene out of “The Purge.”

So what is the deal with these clowns? Are they evil villains that have come to take over America? The answers are unknown, but the thought of a creepy clown killing you or a loved one is enough to cause mass hysteria.

Plenty of people are setting up clown neighborhood watch groups, which seems like a funny and clever defense. The consequences, however, are troubling. Some people, including CMU students, took advantage of this fear and morphed it into a circus act. What they don’t realize is that they or the clown could get hurt in the process.

These supposed creepy clowns aren’t hurting anyone, and even though clown hunting may seem like a new pastime, the potential of maiming a harmless stranger outweighs the momentary adrenaline rush of capturing a red-shoed prankster.

We should be less concerned about the clowns and more concerned if people pulling a prank end up dead.

We aren’t making the situation better, by making false accusations, either. At present, there’s no way to tell if the sightings are even credible, except for a few noted examples. The first sighting was in South Carolina, but those claims have spread to over 10 states including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota. The Cincinnati News published an article about a teacher in Ohio who was attacked on Sept. 29 by an unknown male dressed as a clown.

The woman told police that her attacker made threats toward her students. This caused the area school district and a nearby high school to close on Sept. 30.

On Oct. 3, there was allegedly a clown sighting on our campus. Of course, the student reaction was to set forth on another hunt for Bozo in the midnight hours.

Students went out with common items as weapons – hockey sticks, brooms, you name it. They were out for blood, even if in jest. It wasn’t funny, and this isn’t a joke anymore should we have more “sightings.”

It’s time to join hands and put this clown business back in is tiny car and big-top tent, and the only way to end this foolish epidemic is it to stop making false reports of clown sightings.

Killer clowns are scary, for sure, but we don’t need a frenzy of fake clowns thrown into the mix. Take a cue from Pennywise. Even he wouldn’t approve of this clowning around.