Bizarre 'creepy clown craze' reaches the Kootenays

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 13th, 2016

A bizarre US trend – dubbed the ‘creepy clown craze’ by media – has made its way to the Kootenays, according to Trail RCMP Cpl. Darryl Orr.

Orr says the phenomenon (which Time Magazine says began in August in South Carolina after reports of people in clown costumes trying to lure children into the woods and has since expanded to see reports of “killer clown” sightings all over the US and even some in the UK), has escalated to violence and has achieved a sort of cult following.

“It’s gotten a lot of media attention, which attracts some people,” he said, explaining there were instances in the US of people dressing up as clowns and threatening, intimidating and even assaulting people – creating a backlash in which vigilante types were attacking innocent clown-costume-wearing citizens.

And now the fear has reached our region, as Orr says his detachment has received two calls this past week regarding clowns in Fruitvale.

“One was of a clown sitting at the end of someone’s driveway, and the other was a clown walking down the side of the road,” he said. “Members attended on both occasions, but they did not encounter any clowns.”

He said no crime was committed in either instance, but police are obligated to respond to calls of “suspicious occurrences”.

“It’s kind of a perplexing situation,” he said. “We believe it’s a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars and resources we could be better using in other places.

“But we are aware there is fear in the public of this phenomenon and people are discouraged from dressing up as clowns in public, because people might take matters into their own hands and we could end up seeing assaults like in the States.”

Orr did say, however, that he wouldn’t be shocked to get more of these sorts of calls in the lead-up to Hallowe’en.


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