18 September 2013



From the net:

The first week of May, 1981, Daniel O'Connell, the Investigative Counselor of the Boston Public School Board, alerted the district's principals that "it has been brought to the attention of the police department and the district office that adults dressed as clowns have been bothering children to and from school. Please advise all students that they must stay away from strangers, especially ones dressed as clowns."

Several days later, in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 5, two clowns using candy as lures tried to entice children into their black van parked near Lawrence Elementary School. According to Loren Coleman in Mysterious America, police had a good description of the vehicle: it was an old model with ladders on the side, a broken front headlight and was missing its hubcaps. The following day the Boston police, "responding to persistent complaints, warned that men in clown suits were harassing elementary children." One, driving a black van, was seen to be dressed as a clown only from the waist up; from the waist down he was naked.

"By May 8th," writes Coleman, "reports of clown men in vans harassing children had come in from East Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Canton, Randolph, and other cities near Boston.... 50 miles south, in Providence, RI, reports of clown men disturbing children were coming to the attention of psychiatric social workers counseling the city's youth."

Encounters with "evil clowns" proliferated quickly westward. Pittsburg children began reporting being pestered by two men dressed as clowns driving a van. Mid-May, frightened Kansas school kids told of a clown who had chased them home and threatened them to get in his van. On the afternoon of May 22, in Kansas City, Missouri, chased a "knife-wielding clown in a yellow van that had been reported at six different elementary schools":

Earlier in the day, at 8:30, a mother had watched a yellow van approach her children as they walked to a school bus stop. The van stopped and someone inside spoke to her two girls who then screamed and fled; the vehicle sped away. The children told their mother that a man dressed as a clown and carrying a knife had ordered them inside. By noon the police had received dozens of similar reports - of a clown in a yellow van. The calls did not taper off until five o'clock that afternoon.

Coleman quotes LaTanya Johnson, a then-sixth grade student at Fairfax Elementary School, who told the Kansas City Star of her sighting of the clown:

He was by the fence and ran down through the big yard when some of the kids ran over there. He ran toward a yellow van. He was dressed in a black shirt with a devil on the front. He had two candy canes down each side of his pants. The pants were black too, I think; I don't remember much about his face.

That Spring, scared children in Nebraska, and in Colorado, and elsewhere, spoke of being menaced by knife-wielding clowns who ordered them to get in their vans. No suspect was apprehended, and perhaps most significantly, no child was abducted. Frustrated police departments began backtracking, and discounting the allegations. Besides, most of the witnesses were young children - how much could their word be trusted? As the sightings petered out, and as children were merely terrified and not missing, "group hysteria" was floated as an explanation, and eagerly seized upon by most. But Coleman makes a significant observation that suggests something else was going on:

The story of the phantom clowns went unnoticed on a national scale until I began getting a hint we were in the midst of a major flap of a new phenomenon. Slowly, after contacting fellow researchers by phone and mail, I discovered the phantom clown enigma went beyond Boston, Kansas City, and Omaha. Indeed, the reports filtering into me demonstrated that a far reaching mystery was developing. In the individual cities, the local media were not aware they were living through a series of puzzling events that were occurring nationwide.

2 comments:

  1. Creepiest shit I've read in a while. I love reading about this stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I started looking at the clown weirdness when I read about this:
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/09/theres-clown-terrorizing-small-british-town/69425/

    ReplyDelete

I eat your comments with jam and butter.