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So every year, the first week of October, I have a creepy clown stand by the street and wave at cars, to remind them to look at our yard. It really freaks people out. Sometimes he is on the roof. Sometimes he is on a straw bale under a tree. And we have been doing this for YEARS. Sometimes they come back with a car load of friends just to be get a good scream and laugh.

But this year with the "Clown Panic of '16" my husband only dressed up once. We put a picture of it on facebook and received a load of crap from a "friend" who complained of coultophobia. The whole post turned into a **** storm of posts with links to "Creepy Clown shot in downtown Big City" ... "Reports of Creepy Clown Luring Children Into the Woods". People said stuff like "play stupid games, win stupid prizes"... as if dressing up like a clown is a legit reason to get shot. Husband seriously considered wearing his kevlar vest under it if he were to put it on again. In the end we just decided to put it away this year and not bother with it.

Our local Police Department even went on TV to air a PSA about not dressing in clown outfits and roaming around town. Husband is a Police Officer but did not know about the PSA. When we posted the pic on facebook the PD was very unhappy that we "flaunted" our clown in their face... even though it has been a tradition at our yard for years.

I read an article that "Clown Panic" tends to set in when the country is under high anxiety. Like in the 90's we had a clown panic alongside a satanic cult panic. And I can totally see that logic. The country is REALLY under a lot of stress at the moment.

So we have four things that are bothering us. People complaining about coultophobia (not really a concern of ours, they can just not come to our house). Clown panic and the mass hysteria it has produced nationwide, we don't want to legitimatize it. We don't want to get shot, even though it is in our own yard, I guess we don't trust people. And the Police Department is pretty cranky wit us right now.

Did anyone else drop their clown act? Or are we just more nervous than the rest?
 

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Well, I never had a clown in my display but I have got to say, this whole thing is beyond ridiculous. I never even heard of the "clown reports" until I read it on this board. Of course, as I've said before, I basically live under a rock. Maybe it's a real thing, I don't know. But I have to wonder, where are all the pictures and videos of these clowns? In this day of everyone including children having phones with cameras, where is the evidence? People take pictures of their taco platter and their new pedicure but they don't bother to snap a quick pic of a clown trying to lure a child away?
Personally not buying into the hysteria...
 

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Its in my area now.

Ugh.

And you can tell the pictures that are going around are so staged. Like if you see a man in a mask in your backyard you are going to run out and take a creepy picture of him looking perfectly over his shoulder.

I am doing a clown theme in a conference room at work. I dare anyone to say anything.

I don't know about your situation... I don't think I'd risk my husband for it even though he would probably be perfectly fine. Just put him out there in a different costume to save yourself the trouble. Grim Reaper maybe?

I think it is the intent that is so confusing for people, what are they trying to do? Are they dangerous?

I'm not sure there is anyone around in a clown costume ... I think its just rumors.
 

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The news media has run wildly with it because clickbait, but it is a real thing that's apparently been going on for months now. They've caught at least one of the problem clowns that I know of, and that one was a teenager who had been committing criminal acts while dressed as a clown. They've had reports of a few others vandalizing homes or peeping in windows. The threat that made at least one school go on alert was an actual threat of violence from someone claiming to be a clown, although another school who did something similar may have just been spooked by clown-sighting hysteria. The sightings in Tennessee may have been real, but the authorities there screwed up big time by posting a 'scary clown' picture they got from Google with the official warning; that picture turned out to be of legit performers from New Hampshire, The Plymouth Clowns, and caused them all kinds of problems. Other legitimate performers have also been getting threatened and harassed, and a child who was at home playing while wearing his Halloween costume was reported to the police. The report of the clown that was shot was false, according to what I've heard, but there have been a disturbing number of people all over social media saying that if they see a clown they'll shoot, taze or otherwise assault the person.

I personally think the whole thing may have started out as a combination of clown hysteria and random sightings of performers practicing or filming in out-of-the-way places, but it seems like some people interested in dressing up to commit malicious mischief may have gotten in on it this year. And the more attention they get, the more copycats there will be.

I'm sorry your husband had to forego your clown act this year because of stupid people, chachabella, that sounds like an awesome way to get people to remember to keep an eye on your yard from year to year. :)
 

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Honestly, I'd just retire it this year to not deal with the hassle, while some accounts are genuine there are a lot of copy cats and I just know a lot of idiots will be dressing up as clowns merely BECAUSE of the stupid panic (just like I'm sure we're going to see tons of Harley Quinns and Trumps/Clintons because people are unoriginal). We get these trends once in a while and people who take stuff too far thinking they're funny. I don't see this as submitting or succumbing to political correctness, I see this as....something stupid is going on right now and it's best to separate yourselves from it, despite that you've been doing it for years, people are still gonna be accusatory.
 

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I wouldn't pull anything in my display unless it's deemed grossly offensive (war related, overly political and violent etc.) Clowns are a big part of Halloween's decorations and as long as it's a prop and on your property I see no reason to fuss over it. Put the clowns back up. My area has been hit with clowns too and that isn't stopping some of the not so far away haunted houses and hayrides from doing their carnival themes...
 

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It has even worked its way up to Canada. My old city of Fort McMurray had its schools in lock down today after a lot of kids were threatened to be kidnapped via texts apparently. (They arrested four in connection with the threats but haven't given any more info) this is getting ridiculous. I'm sick of the "its a prank, bro!" mentality. Sure...it is likely just a bunch of little db's playing a "joke", but these people need to knwo that these days, threats like this are taken seriously. Sucks for anyone with a clown display, that is for sure.
 

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I think it's smart to not have your husband dress up as one, but a dummy clown is fine.

I don't say this as a "politically correct" statement, but like it's been said here, people are under a lot of stress & that often makes even intelligent humans really stupid. I would not risk the safety of a real person, knowing that there is some anti-clown stuff going around, as well as some people might act before they think if they saw one in their own neighborhood. Going to a haunt or hayride & having actors dressed up as clowns is different than a random person dressed up as a clown in a yard, IMHO. If someone just glances out their kitchen window or car window & sees a clown walking around, that could result in something as simple as a police call to report it, or something awful like a confrontation, and honestly, I don't think you want either of those.

Dummy clowns? Yes, if these were part of our display, I'd still do it.
Real people dressed as clowns? No, I wouldn't risk someone's safety knowing that people are agitated about seeing them right now.

I don't think it's about you being more nervous - I think it's smart to be aware of safety issues. Is it frustrating? Sure! I can't say what the honest chances are in your area that something bad would happen, but at the same time, the negative possibilities are too high to risk your husband's safety, IMHO, so it's about risk versus reward to me.

Also, I will say that I am a pretty rational human being & clowns in general don't really "scare" me (although some are very freaky!). But, as a mother of two young children, if I saw a clown walking around my neighborhood unexpectedly right now or out my car window, I would think "danger" more than I would think "Halloween" right now - again though, please know this is in CONTEXT. Clearly I'd expect to see a clown at a haunt or hayride & wouldn't think twice. But seeing one at the edge of the woods or walking down the sidewalk would give me reason to believe someone might be up to no good.

 

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We have a rule at our house that we have NO Clowns displayed.....to my wife clowns are not to be scary for kids.

With that said....I truely believe that there may be some issue with a random clown out there that has blown this all out of proportion.

Back in the early 1980's there were reports of people finding needles and razor blades in Halloween candy. IT was all a hoax and everyone went bat crazy about it and parents weren't letting kids keep certain types of candy so on and so forth. In actuality it was an Urban Legend that was brought about by Halloween 2 when it showed a kid going into the emergency room with a razor blades in his mouth.

I would say that perhaps you should pull it this year just until the craziness of the clown scare goes away.
 

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I actually have coulraphobia and can't even be in the same room as clowns therefore I've never had one in my display and thankfully my friends family that come to our annual party know not to be clown or clown like.

Having said that I'd never begrudge anyone using clowns in any way or dressing as one. Here in the U.K. We had a "Killer Clown" phase in the early 90s and there were genuine cases of people dressed as clowns attacking people but I think since then it's all playing on people's fears!
 

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I'm doing a circus theme this year so it's all clowns. I think there were probably one or two incidents that started this hysteria but now it's just blown out of proportions. Or it's a really good marketing scheme for the new 'IT' movie. Anyone else remember when the original Blair Witch movie came out and there was all these supposed incidents and documentaries.
 

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Absolutely not. I will never give in to the hype of overly sensitive people's overreaction to things that are only meant in good fun.
I understand some people have a genuine fear (coulrophobia) of clowns and I don't find that a laughing matter. But as someone who is scared of heights, I'm not going to stand on cliff just like someone who is scared of clowns isn't going to a circus. I'm not dressing as a clown and chasing you down the street, I simply have a prop or 2 that you can choose not to come see.
You can't cater to everyone's fears, likes and dislikes and if you did that nowadays, you'd have an empty yard.
 

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Creepy Clown has been my go-to costume for years. I LOVE the way it scares both kids and adults!

But this year, I will wear an oversized goblin costume and stage the clown as a dummy - lurking in sight- and looking like he might just jump out at any second. Since he will ONLY be up during TOT- everyone should understand it's one more prop- and no one calls the police!
 

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I don't do clowns in my display or dress up as one so I don't have a strong opinion on whether one should pull a clown. I wouldn't personally be offended but I'm pretty lax in that department to begin with. I do want to say that the majority of this hysteria is all hoaxs. I just heard on the news that Penn State had a riot over "clown hunters" because someone falsely reported 3 clowns on campus. The source that reported someone dressed as a clown was shot wasn't a reputable source and no other evidence supports that it happened. With that said, I'd be more worried about someone who innocently dressed up as a clown being harassed because someone assuming they mean to cause trouble. The choice is yours whether to completely pull or modify your display if it involves a clown.

Keep Calm and Halloween On.
 

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I just bought my 11 yr old daughter her harlequin honey clown costume and my 13 yr old wants to be the original Harley Quinn. I'm gonna paint there faces all creepy and have some fun. What has this world come to, clown hysteria, ridiculous.
 

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How soon we all seemed to forgotten serial-killer John Wayne Gacy ?
A classmate of my Ex served coffee to Gacy at 2AM, and the clown suit was on him.
I have had numerous people coming through my haunted house who see my Crawl Space display and then tell me how close they physically lived to the Gacy house!
Just a short while ago a woman told me she married into a Family whose Son was one of the victim of Gacy, and they lived very close to him too!
The "Gacy-Fact" that never ceases to amaze me is that he was the "JC Man-of-the Year in Illinois and in Iowa! (as he relocated)
I will always wonder if he worked in the JC Haunt,, dressed as a clown?
 

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Actually I hate clowns, always have... BUT... I am soooo tempted to throw together a quick clown prop to stick in the woods next to our house near the road. Something that looks OK but is cheap because I'm pretty sure it will get shot at some point. lol.
 
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