Creepy clown craze hits the Central Coast
October 7, 2016
Hysteria over scary clowns, which has recently been spreading around the world, has reached the Central Coast and particularly Nipomo. A video purportedly showing a creepy clown scaring two men driving in rural Nipomo has been viewed nearly 100,000 time on Facebook alone.
In recent weeks, residents across the United States, as well countries including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, have uploaded photos and videos of clowns scaring people. Often, the clowns are seen scaring people passing by in cars. Footage has also shown clowns approaching schoolchildren, and some clowns are said to have been carrying knives or guns. Additionally, police have arrested clowns for offenses including disorderly conduct and making threats against schools.
Critics say many of the incidents could be staged and may not actually involve clowns scaring people. Also, critics say social media hype and press coverage is fueling the craze and convincing some people with malicious intentions to dress up as creepy clowns or threaten schools.
On Tuesday, Nipomo resident Evan Thompson posted the Facebook video of the creepy clown in rural Nipomo. The video shows a person in a clown outfit standing by a street corner at night and then beginning to chase after the car. Thompson also uploaded the video to Instagram, where he described the incident as “by far the scariest shit” he has ever seen.
“Yall are never going to believe what just happened to me and daniel on the way back to his house,” Thompson stated in the Facebook post. “We saw a fucking clown! I dont know what kind of sick joke someone was trying to play but they are lucky I didnt run them over. If I seen you again its on! #fuckclowns #tooclosetohome.”
In addition to the purported clown sighting in Nipomo, a twitter account named “ClownWatch” has posted reports of clown sightings in downtown Paso Robles and in Atascadero by San Benito Elementary School and Atascadero Middle School. However, the Twitter account informs its readers that “sources are not 100 percent reliable.”
Also on the Central Coast, the Santa Barbara Unified School district sent out a robocall informing parents that it is working with law enforcement to investigate threats posed by creepy clowns. The district issued the robocall despite not receiving a direct threat.