Poets are panicking on Twitter as “clown hysteria” arrives in Whittier. A photo of two possibly violent clowns standing next to a sign located at a local Whittier landmark was posted on Twitter account @PhyscoClowns on Tuesday Oct. 4 at 10:12 p.m. This photo was re-tweeted by Whittier students late Tuesday night and lead to conversations throughout campus all Wednesday.
Sophomore Kacey Whitney said she spotted a clown riding a bicycle on Whittier Boulevard Tuesday night at approximately 7 p.m., but was the only one who saw the individual. Whitney says she is still incredibly skeptical of whether Whittier inhabitants should be fretful.
According to Time Magazine the craze of reporting scary clown sightings began in late August in South Carolina, and has caused a nationwide panic. Students at Whittier are taking different sides about the possibility of unidentified clowns in Whittier.
Senior Tana Duong is fascinated by the clown stories and has been participating in discussion on Twitter. However, she is unsure whether or not the public really has anything to fear. “I think it’s always important to be aware of one’s surroundings. However, the reality of this is so absurd that I think society’s perception is far worse than the actual hype of it,” Duong said.
Junior Rudy Marquez is extremely uncomfortable with the alleged clowns in Whittier. “I have this huge fear of clowns and the scarier they are, the worst it gets, so after viewing that picture, I was completely in shock,” Marquez said. “I don’t understand who has the audacity or time to dress up as a clown and scare people. All I gotta say is, I’m locking my doors and windows until I know the whole situation dies out.”
Other students believe the clowns shouldn’t be worried about. “My opinion is that it’s a giant ploy to get people really hyped for the Stephen King movie IT,” junior Gunner Joachim said referring to the remake of the movie. Associate Dean of Students Josh Hartman agreed and emphasized that it was all a big joke.
Time Magazine also reported that there have been supposed sightings in over two dozen states, the majority of which have been hoaxes. Some have lead to actual arrests, but there are no reports of serious injuries or deaths. The New York Times reported that there have been 12 people faced with charges of making false reports or for threatening and chasing people.
As of now, there have been no confirmed cases in Whittier and there is no serious threat to the Whittier area. Allegedly the clowns will be gathering at Whitwood sometime this Friday.