Sightings and reports and, especially, rumors of clowns- doing things very unfunny- came out in 10 states by the last week of September: in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky and, as of Wednesday, in Coffee County, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
In the intervening week and a half, additional reports came in from 22 additional states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
The list below covers only states in the south.
On September 28, two men — one dressed in a clown mask — robbed a Memphis bank after carrying explosives inside, USA Today reported.
Additionally, last week Antioch High School and Glencliff High School were on a lock-out after a social media threat involving clowns. It was later found not to be credible.
Deputies from the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, for instance, have not been able to verify an attack even happened. Someone called in to report that a clown attacked a juvenile in the Summitville area. He told police that he got in a scuffle with a knife-wielding person wearing a red hoodie and clown mask.
While Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves treated it seriously- “People in Tennessee carry guns and somebody jumping out and scaring someone is subject to getting shot,” he said – at the same time no evidence turned up that the attack even happened.
At the same time, violent clown videos as a prank are a thing on the Internet, Graves said, wherein in people dress up.
At least nine high school students have been arrested after making a clown video threatening violenc, from Geneva to Huntsville, seven of whom are charged with felonies.
A 10-year-old was arrested in Montgomery on the 22nd for making clown threats.
Some of those arrested had created Facebook pages with clown names, like Flomo Klown and Kaleb Klown, which they made threats with.
Arkansas Online reported an unconfirmed report of four people dressed as clowns were driving down West merriman Avenue in Cross County. Sheriff J.R. Smith said they had zero tolerance for anyone dressing up as a clown to scare other people. There was another unconfirmed report of clowns in Pine Bluff. And according to Arkansas Online, a school resources officer is under investigation after posting a picture posing in a clown costume.
In Poinsett County a man in a clown mask harassed a store clerk, NWA Online reported.
— GUS (@MSovak) September 29, 2016
In Victoria Park a report of someone dressed as a clown most likely was doing it as a prank, USA Today reported.
Also in Gainesville, a clown was reportedly moving around an apartment complex.
In Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times, a Largo High School tennager reported that a person in clown clothing chased her away from her school bus stop.
In LaGrange, authorities had multiples reports of clowns trying to lure children into the woods.
In Hogansville, Ga., last week. Two witnesses made 911 calls about clowns driving to town in a white van and parking on the side of the road, before beckoning children to enter the vehicle. After following this down the rabbit hole, authorities were told by one of the callers, Brandon Jerome Moody, that he just made it up – he heard about the whole meme and went with it. Moody was arrested.
In Athens, Georgia, an 11-year-old girl was arrested for carrying a knife to school after she heard all the reports and got scared.
In Fort Oglethorpe, two girls took a Snapchat video of a knife-wielding clown from the window of their apartment, according to a WSB report.
Lurking clown arrested by Kentucky police
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 23, 2016
In Bell County, police arrested a man for skulking around in a clown costume outside apartments at 2 a.m.
Other sightings in Kentucky have been reported: in Drake, Kentucky-
In Paulina, KPLC 7 News reported that two people entered a grocery store with clown masks on, but they left peaceably.
In Rolla, teens shooting a video involving clowns were stopped:
From the above Facebook post by a police officer: “Then I ended up tracking down the young aspiring cinematographers, who will remain nameless… They had also heard of the creepy clowns that have been sweeping through the nation doing their nefarious deeds. Well it turns out one of the girls has [sic] a little bit of a fear of clowns so they decided to play a joke on her. They had one of the husbands put on a black outfit and put on a creepy clown mask.”
In Cole County, despite multiple reports and sightings, nothing has been confirmed by police.
Creepy clown lurks in Mississippi town https://t.co/wwtN5WHKRy
— Deanne Tanksley (@deannetanksley) September 26, 2016
In Clarion, a man carrying a machete and dressed as a clown ran from police, and wasn’t apprehended. A man dressed in a multi-colored wig, a mask, and overalls was seen carrying a machete in Mississippi.
In Rankin County said a clown sighting caused a wreck on Highway 469.
In Greensboro in early September several residents reported watching a man chase a clown into the woods.
Later, near Greensboro children reported that a clown tried to lure them into the woods with candy, but no arrests have been made.
In Winston-Salem. N.C., David Wayne Armstrong was arrested after police said he filed a false report about seeing a scary clown.
The New York Times reported a white man in clown makeup and red hair staring a woman down at a laundromat. Children reported clowns trying to lure them into the woods.
Police also said a number of clowns were reported in Greenville County hiding near apartment complexes and knocking on doors. One apartment complex even sent a letter out to residents warning them. The sightings haven’t been confirmed by police or with video or photos.