Freeport, Illinois – We’ve all heard the news. Creepy clowns are scaring citizens all across the nation. Clowns lurking in the woods, clowns in Wal-Mart parking lots, clowns chasing people off subways and clowns spotted in California, Texas, Florida and Colorado to name a few including, you guessed it, in Illinois.
Schools have sent warning letters home to parents, the Great Clown Panic of 2016. A man in Kentucky was arrested for dressing up as a clown and hiding in the woods. In Alabama, a woman called 911 because she was terrified after seeing a man dressed like a clown in a Walmart parking lot. Schools in Ohio were closed. A clown in New York chased a teen out of the subway.
So far us Freeportians have been lucky. Lucky that is until our own Journal Standard published an article a week or so ago touting the news of a clown spotted in Rockford, adding that “no clowns” have been seen in Freeport.
At least, not yet anyway.
See, we don’t typically respond to articles or stories very often, but this clown thing has really got us up in arms. We’re firm believers of the power of suggestion that the news has at their fingertips.
When the first school shooting happened in America, we were the first to say after all the news coverage, “watch, there will be another” and sure enough, there was. In fact, there have been a number of them hasn’t there been.
As we predicted, once the local media headlined a story that might as well have just “invited” a would be clown perpetrator to suit up and do something crazy in Freeport, it appears that prophetic feeling we had just became reality.
On Monday night the Freeport Police received reports that two “clowns” were chasing each other on the Highland Community College campus. Authorities responded to the parking lot of the YMCA around 8:00 pm only to find Cookie and Bozo had already left the scene.
The police found no clowns. In other words, these college campus clowns are still on the loose.
Now, we wouldn’t be too alarmed by this.
It is a college campus after-all and it is just a mere 18 days until Halloween, so seeing creepy clowns or gory Zombies here and there at this time of year shouldn’t be too alarming, however, in no way are we suggesting that you not be on alert.
It’s likely most people really did see a clown lurking in the woods. But we also know that people claim to see things all the time that they probably didn’t, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. This isn’t the first time there’s been a clown scare either. There was one back in 1981.
So far, there have been about 100 sightings, with the most concentrated area being the Northeast and South.
Seeing a clown wielding a knife would scare anyone and as pranks go, this one isn’t funny. But in the grand scheme of things, 100 sightings is not that big of a deal. You know what kills 400,000 people each year? Global warming. Cars are also far more dangerous than clowns, and that hasn’t kept people from using them.
So while we offer a casual warning to everyone to just keep your eyes open, don’t allow yourself to be in situations that could be dangerous, don’t walk alone to your car in the dark of night across a parking lot, (standard warnings we would offer without the clown scare) we more so offer some advice to our local news.
Stop playing copy cat news reporting.
Stop propagating national sensationalized news in our local Freeport community. You didn’t warn anyone in Freeport by telling us a clown was spotted in Rockford. You didn’t have to associate a Rockford clown citing to our city of Freeport, but you did.
You didn’t protect anyone, you didn’t make our community safer, you essentially joined with all the other national media outlets and invited it here by your story of Clowns NOT being in Freeport. Not only did you invite it here, you used the scariest stock clown photo you could find. Couldn’t be a nice clown, couldn’t be a happy clown, it had to be a creepy clown.
As we said then, “great, here come the clowns” and look what happened.
Here came the clowns.
So congratulations Freeport. Of the 19,429 cities and towns in the United States and the mere 100 sightings of clowns, you made it. You did it. You achieved clowndom. You scared our residents with scary clown faces and now our children here too will fear clowns like the rest of the nation and just before Halloween. Too bad for our local clowns who own businesses I guess.
Fortunately this time, no one was hurt. Just makes us wonder though how the next story might end.
We don’t know about you, but maybe it’s time we all stop clowning around.