Creepy clown hysteria has parents worrying this Halloween - WNEM TV 5

Creepy clown hysteria has parents worrying this Halloween

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Source: Letter provided. Source: Letter provided.

Whether a recent string of alleged creepy clown sightings is just a hoax or justified, hysteria is coming into question once again after more reports in Mid-Michigan.

Students at one local school claim to have seen a clown lurking in the woods near the building but the school district isn’t convinced.

"I'm not concerned. No, I think it's just people trying to do a practical joke that's just really not that funny,” Rachel Harris said.

Harris isn't laughing, though.

She's like a lot of people who are tired of all the clowning around happening in Mid-Michigan.

This time Midland is the latest location with so-called scary clown incidents. Harris has a hunch to what's behind the mischief.

"I seen something on Facebook referring to the movie “The Purge.” Having to do with the Election Day and all of the clown sightings and they were almost wondering if people were doing this to kind of correspond with that movie as well,” Harris said.

It’s not the only upcoming movie being linked to the phenomenon.

Many on social media are also speculating it could be a marketing ploy for the remake of Stephen King's popular horror movie "It.”

"Everything can be taken to an extreme. So I mean, if it's just kids playing pranks I think it's harmless, you know? But if they take it to the next level then somebody's going to get hurt,” Harris said.

Authorities said they've investigated these sightings but so far there's no evidence of clowns in this area.

"We as police officers have not located any clowns. There have been no confirmed sightings of these clowns,” Michael Sokol said.

Sokol is the interim lieutenant at the police department. He said these clown calls have turned out to be nothing more than a bad joke.

However, he said his staff takes each of these reports seriously.

"If you think that there's a clown that's acting in a threatening manner or if you see a clown holding a weapon, yeah absolutely call 911,” Sokol said.

Meanwhile, we've learned some children are fearful about trick-or-treating this Halloween because of clowns. Something that Harris called unfortunate.

She said she wants these pranksters to stop.

“Halloween is about kids and their enjoyment of the holiday as well, so I think that it's really best for them to stop what they're doing so kids can enjoy their trick-or-treating,” Harris said.

Midland public schools sent a letter to parents and staff about these clown sighting reports.

It reads, in part:

“Numerous parents, teachers and students have contacted us in reference to rumors involving clowns. There have been no reports of violent or criminal clown behavior in or around the Midland area. The area was checked but no problems were discovered."

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