Scary clowns spark terror this Halloween


Photo Credit: Nicole Rusin

Ms. Nicole Rusin dresses as a clown for Halloween alongside her brother during a childhood Halloween. There have been reports of scary clowns terrorizing children, which is possibly affecting this coming Halloween.

by Kate Casey, Advertising and Business Manager

Suspicious sightings of clowns have been reported throughout the east coast and has sparked a state of panic.

This situation has also created anxiety for many parents this Halloween. Dr. Paula Valenti, Glen Rock superintendent, sent a letter to parents informing them of the situation and asking them to be cautious this Halloween.

“I have been alerted that traditional Halloween observances may be negatively impacted by the inappropriateness of those who have taken to distorting the image of clowns,” Valenti said in her email. “I ask you to please set aside time to speak with your child about sensitivity with regard to costume selection and appropriate behavior.”

Though some believe the situation will be only an isolated event, many are taking it seriously. The distortion of the clowns harmless character is not only robbing the figure of its joy and innocence, but also posing a threat to the safety of children.

There have been reports of the clowns luring in children and scaring them. “There are people who are donning clown masks and costumes and acting out in inappropriate and fearful ways and bringing out a little bit of terror to neighborhoods,” Valenti said.

Sophomore Caroline Kerper was appalled by the issue.

“They’ve sparked a lot of panic in our neighborhood, but I think, and I hope, that they are not a serious issue,” she said.

Though the situation is suspicious, it is not a legal issue. According to Police Officer Murray Yang, because these people aren’t breaking any laws, the police cannot restrict the use of clown costumes or do really anything to solve the issue.

Serious or not, the situation must not be taken lightly. Safety precautions should be taken to prevent any harmful situations.

“I strongly urge you to review with your family members the Department of Homeland Security See Something Say Something campaign,” Valenti said. “The campaign sets out guidelines for reporting suspicious activity. If you or your children should find something odd or suspicious please call your local law enforcement agency to describe what you observed: including who, what, when, where and why it’s suspicious.”

Andrew Sarna, sophomore, is taken other precautions this Halloween.

“Use the buddy system. Don’t go by yourself, always walk with someone else,” he said.

For many, clowns are only seen in a innocent and comedic way. The menacing clowns may mar this picture.

“I just hope that this matter doesn’t rob us of the whimsy of our culture, clowns occupy a part of our world. It’s good to laugh, laughter is a good healer,” Valenti said. “They bring a smile to people’s faces.”