A recent string of strange and creepy clown sightings have swept the nation. Police in several places across the United States are dealing with an influx of reports involving clowns of the less than friendly sort. Despite quick response in many cases, police in any given area have been unable to capture or even make contact with one of these weird clowns that seem to be disturbing people. Most if not all of these strange clown sightings involve particularly disturbing clown behavior ranging from the more innocent ‘clown strolling through the graveyard at 3am’ to knife attacks and even attempts at luring children into the woods.
As it turns out, this recent rash of creepy clown sightings is just the latest addition to a phenomena that has been occurring since the 70s and possibly even prior to that. The timing of these clown sightings have prompted many skeptics to blame the clowns on some weird viral marketing campaign launched by the creators of the new “IT” movie or possibly a new piece that Rob Zombie is currently squeezing out. However, given the nature of many of these clown sightings and encounters the viral marketing explanation seems more and more unlikely.
Many of the encounters involving these clowns are violent, implicate child abduction and at the very least highly disturbing. Police in many places (especially South Carolina) are becoming very serious about people dressed as clowns terrorizing people and have vowed to arrest anyone caught doing it.
Citizens of these places are likewise becoming dead serious about the terrifying clown sightings as they arm themselves and post pictures to social media wielding weapons. At this point a viral marketing campaign would have taken things much to far becoming something more like organized crime or terrorism.
While many clown sightings are being reported to police right now, it is apparent that a lot more are either being ignored by the media or are not being reported at all due to fear of ridicule. Some of the stranger aspects of these clown sightings are being left out of mainstream media reports altogether.
There are tales floating around that small towns all across the Midwest are also being visited by similar clowns but these incidents are going largely unreported by the media or downplayed by authorities. No small town wants to be thought of as the place where all the hicks are scared of clowns.
The most disturbing rash of recent clown sightings though, does stand out from the rest. South Carolina is dealing with some really serious and disturbing clown activity at the moment.
Clowns Terrorizing South Carolina
The city of Greenville, South Carolina seems to be at the epicenter of this weird clown phenomena. As this article is being written this city of around 62,000 is being terrorized by a massive rash of weird clown sightings that continue to go unexplained. Much of the city is confused and scared as it seems their children are the prime targets of this malicious clown phenomena. The police have yet to make contact with any clowns or even so much as confirm any of the many reports they have received involving strange clowns. However it does look like the police in Greenville, South Carolina are not clowning around when it comes to these incidents, in fact they seem to be taking them quite seriously making it clear they will arrest anyone dressed like a clown on sight. Multiple law enforcement agencies are now involved in the investigation of these clown sightings.
The weirdness all started with things kids had been telling their parents about spooky clowns at the edge of the woods near Fleetwood Manor apartments trying to entice kids to come with them. At first nobody took the stories to seriously and for the most part chalked it up to kids just being kids with their wild imaginations and all. But as the stories continued and began coming from more and more kids, concerns began to mount.
“I thought my child was seeing things,”
one resident said.
“And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?'”
Thats when people started taking it seriously and reporting clown sightings to police. The management of the apartment building decided to issue a letter to its residents warning of the potential danger. It read as follows:
To The Residents of Fleetwood Manor
There has been several conversation and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods. First and foremost at Fleetwood Manor Apartments childrens safety is a top priority. At no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night. Also if a person or persons are seen you are to immediately call the police.
Greenville County Police Department is aware of the situation and have been riding the property daily. Remember there is a 10pm curfew for the property so to ensure your childrens safety please keep them in the house during night hours and make sure at ALL times children are supervised.
Anymore information that becomes regarding this issue will be sent out to all residents.
People were now taking this very seriously and the reports of clown sightings began to pour into the Greenville police department. Tweets with blurry photos of clowns began to show up, much like the tweets further down.
On Aug. 21st police were called to Fleetwood Manor Apartments to investigate when several residents reported seeing a “a suspicious character, dressed in circus clown attire and white face paint, enticing kids to follow him/her into the woods.”
Police met with a mother who wishes to remain anonymous. The mother witnessed the clowns in the woods after her son came and told her about them. The woman told police that it looked like the clowns were shining something like green laser light around out in the woods.
Another anonymous resident reported seeing a very large hulking clown standing under a streetlight near a trash dumpster as his nose blinked. The freakishly large clown just stared at her.
When deputies spoke to children in the area they were told that the clowns had been trying to entice them into the woods with large amounts of money, candy among other things. The children also told deputies that they believed the clowns lived in an old abandoned house out in the woods that is near a pond. However when deputies went to investigate the abandoned house they found no signs of clowns or anyone living there.
Deputies say they had also received two calls about clown sightings prior to this. Police had also received another report of gunshots being fired at clowns as well.
The following Monday the police responded to Emerald Commons apartment complex after a child reported another clown sighting. Deputies released the following 911 call in reference to the incident:
Later that same night another report came in from Shemwood apartment complex. This time a 12 year old told police that he saw 2 clowns lurking in the area of his backyard. The kid described one as having red hair and the other wearing a body suit with a white mask. The child claimed that these clowns were taking photographs of him and other children regularly.
Police responded to these initial reports by increasing patrols in the area of these strange clown sightings. Their investigation is ongoing. At this point police were not able to substantiate the reports but believed them. The police made a statement saying:
“This type of call in particular where people are alleging that the clowns are being used to lure children, of course we are going to take that seriously,”
On the following Tuesday the calls continued. Two new clown sightings were reported at Shemwood Apartments within hours of each other.
Callers told police that kids started chasing two clown through the apartment complex before the clowns ran through a wooden fence and breaking it to get away. Callers said that one clown was waiting in a car and the other two clowns jumped in and zoomed away.
On the following Wednesday police received a report from a young girl who was walking home from school. The girl reported seeing a clown in the wooded area by Hughes Academy in the Pleasant Valley area.
Later that Wednesday a resident at Park Haywood Apartments reported seeing a clown in the apartment complex’s laundromat. The resident reported that the clown did not make any actions, just stood still and stared. The clown was described as being maybe 35-45 and about 5’10” 200lbs . The clown was said to be wearing a swimmers cap with red hair coming out of the sides, white face paint and a red line around his mouth. The clown was wearing a gray long sleeve shirt, white gloves, white balloon pants and black boots. The witness claimed he smelled weird like sulphur or paint.
As reports in Greenville continued, now of clowns knocking on doors late at night, the clown sightings now quickly spread to neighboring towns like Spartanburg where one woman reported seeing a clown standing in her backyard.
Now the reports in Greenville continue to roll in at an exponential rate. Many calls of clown sightings near wooded areas, apartment complexes and parks where children frequent. Countless calls of clowns knocking on doors late at night and standing in backyards continue to come in. Meanwhile the police have yet to make any contact with a clown or clowns.
As of this moment, news is coming in that the clown sightings have now spread to nearby Winston-Salem. Clowns are now being encountered in this area as well. The two reported sightings there so far involves a clown trying to lure a child into the woods with candy and another sighting only 2 miles from the first. Both spots are near woods and residential areas.
This clown thing is NOT a joke, spread awareness!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/4Nh2VOQMLy
— Hala ✍ (@makeyaman_hala) September 7, 2016
— Sarah Krueger (@SarahKruegerTV) September 5, 2016
Since this article was written the clown sightings have spread like wildfire. Clowns are now being seen all over the country, you can read about the most recent clown sightings in this article:
So Whats Behind the Clown Sightings in South Carolina?
This seems to be the sixty-four thousand dollar question. A lot of curious people and frightened people really want to know.
It really is hard to say what exactly is going on here, no doubt whatever the explanation it is sure to be on the strange side. Seeing as how this is a website about the strange and paranormal I won’t shy away from speculation.
Secret Clown Cults & Societies
There is actually a lot of history behind this and most people have never heard of it. Clowns in history were known for deviant behavior and the practice of sorcery. This could originate in ancient clown cults that some say have existed for a very long time.
While none of it can be confirmed, according to some the modern white-face clown originated with an ancient Cletic tribe called “Klauns” who were known for trickery and deviant behavior, and widely feared. The Klauns would paint their faces white and dye their nose and hair red, smear the area around their mouth with the blood of a stag or even from eating the hearts of their enemies. This ritualistic painting would help them transform into demons and channel spirits, they believed. Their strange behavior and appearance would more often than not send enemies running.
Around 1230 after meeting with Pope Gregory IX, the tribe who had almost been wiped out by the Romans and now called themselves the “Klowns” went into secrecy under the leadership of their Druid priests. Now the clowns were more of a cult than a tribe, with only their twisted Druidic sorcery traditions. The tradition that had once belonged to a tribe transformed into a secret society or clown cult.
Over the next 200 years the clown cult now without a homeland, began to travel allover Europe and beyond in the guise of travelling entertainers. Still performing their blood rites and human sacrifice in secret and using their clown facade to lure people in and continue their savage traditions.
Over time the clown cult lived on and spread throughout networks of circuses owned mostly by Gypsy who were sympathetic to their traditions and ancient practice of sorcery,cannibalism and blood ritual. The clown cult was hidden in plain sight becoming tight knit and powerful with large networks that spanned continents and possessed powerful alliances.
Today the clown cult is said to be as strong as ever, but the practice of painting their faces and dressing like clowns is no longer functional for them. They have long ago transcended from being tramps and circus performers to being deeply embedded in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, particular in children’s programming such as cartoons which are used to convey hidden modulated, subtle and suggestive mind control techniques to the children. The Insane Clown Posse could possibly be some form of the traditions stemming from this ancient clown cult.
The practice of painting their faces and taking on clown persona may or may not be functional for these secret clown cults, but it is still a deeply embedded ritual central to their clown cult society and its organization. It is said that low level initiates are considered every so often and in small numbers, these initiates must take on the clown persona and lure in their blood sacrifice which is a requirement for the initiation ritual that involves the eating of the heart.
The area the clowns are now being sighted in is ripe in occult conspiracy, secret societies and lodges. What we me be seeing now is the commencement of the initiations into this society. The recent re-making of the “IT” movie along with other clown based fear inspiring movies could very well be a signal from the secret clown society that initiations and blood sacrifice are to begin.
Other clown societies with similar practices are said to have originated with the conquering of other strange and obscure Celtic tribes such as the “Mymes”. After the roman execution of one of their Druid priests the remaining Druids of the tribe enacted an oath of secrecy and silence on the remnants of the tribe. Their network is said to be ultra exclusive and secret, but also conducts blood ritual to appease their mad gods.
While the theory of ancient clown cults is based off little more than rumor, we can find evidence of other clown cults.
Native American Clown Cults & Societies
Clown society is a real part of many cultures all over the globe. Not all clown societies are so secretive, take for instance the Zuni and Puebla clown societies of the Americas.
From Wikipedia’s entry on Native American clown societies:
Sometimes clown societies have a sacred role, to represent a trickster character in religious ceremonies. Other times the purpose served by members of a clown society is only to parody excessive seriousness, or to deflate pomposity. In the sense of how clowns function in their culture:
A clown shows what is wrong with the ordinary way of doing things.
A clown shows how to do ordinary things the wrong way.
Members of a clown society may dress in a special costume reserved for clowns, which is often a ridiculously extreme or improper form of normal dress. Some members paint their body with horizontal black and white stripes, which represent a skeleton.
In the case of the Zuni clown society of the Pueblo Indians, “one is initiated into the Ne’wekwe order by a ritual of filth-eating” where “mud are smeared on the body for the clown performance, and parts of the performance may consist of sporting with mud, smearing and daubing it, or
drinking and pouring it onto one another”. The sacred clown and his apparently antisocial behavior is condoned in Indian ceremonies.
While in their costume, clowns have special permission from their society to parody or criticize defective aspects of their own culture. They are always required to be funny. Other persons living within the same culture may recognize a clown when they see one, but seldom consciously understand what the clowns do for their society. The typical explanation is “He’s just a funny man.”
In the case of the jester at the English Royal Court with his cap of bells and pig’s bladder stick he was allowed to make fun of, be indelicate and sometimes downright rude to members of the royal family and their entourage without fear of reprisal.
Clown societies usually train new members to become clowns. The training normally takes place by an apprentice system, although there may be some rote schooling as well. Sometimes the training is improvisational comedy, but usually a clown society trains members in well known forms of costume, pantomime, song, dance, and common visual gags. Occasionally these include a scripted performance, or skit, which is part of a standard repertoire that “never gets old,” and is expected by members of the culture that the clown society is part of.
In Native North America. humor assumes “a sacred position within ceremonials”; examples are found in Trickster traditions, Pueblo clown societies, Cherokee “Booger” dances, and aspects of the Northwest Coast Potlatch. Humor is a fundamental aspect of Native American life, and has many purposes related to sacred rituals and social cohesion.
Those are all nice theories about what could be going on in South Carolina. But honestly it is not any of those things. If you really want to know what is up with the clown sightings in South Carolina then you need look no further.
Psychotic ‘Juggalo’ Clown Cult
Someone had to say it. I know I am not the only one that thought of this either. For those of you who do not know what a ‘Juggalo’ is, allow me to enlighten you.
There is a hip-hop duo known as “Insane Clown Posse”. These rappers perform under “wicked clown”
personas known as Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. These bad boys of pedestrian hip-hop lost their initial Disney record label over bad language. They then went on to somehow find a tight knit following of clown loving hip-hop enthusiasts known affectionately as ‘Juggalos’ (like jigelows that juggle, with make up on). Wikipedia lists some of the endearing characteristics of the juggalo:
- Drinking and spraying the inexpensive soft drink Faygo.
- Listening to horrorcore and other types of underground rap music.
- Wearing face paint.
- Having the Hatchet man logo applied on personal effects and, die cast, worn as jewelry.
- Displaying the gesture of wicked clown, the westside sign with the left hand and the C sign in ASL with the right, with arms crossed over.
- Making and responding to “whoop, whoop” calls.(Without being annoying at all)
- Expressing a (generally) tongue-in-cheek obsession with murder, committed with a blade weapon.
These guys may be cool most of the time, but I gotta say they kinda fit the profile here. It is not hard to imagine a group of these guys becoming a little disgruntled because their horrorcore performances are under appreciated and over the years begin to experience more than a little sexual frustration. Before you know it that obsession with murder committed by blade weapons becomes not so tongue-in-cheek, the “whoop, whoop” calls go forth with no heart and you start to wonder if anybody will ever follow you into the forest.
All fun aside. Regardless of how it sounds, Insane Clown Posse fans take it very seriously. The Juggalo subculture could easily be considered a clown cult especially at the inner core. Some say they Juggalo traditions have origins in an ancient clown cult or secret society. More on that below.
Horror Fans on Synthetic Drugs
Theres no shortage of enthusiasm for the cult horror classic “IT” remake. We all know how immersed cult horror fans can be when it comes to the movies they are really passionate about.
Perhaps dressing up like clowns and eluding the police, scaring the crap out of an entire city is a rogue group of cult horror fans way of living out one of their favorite movies.
Of course most of us know how these remakes turn out, so something just does not add up here. The logical conclusion is that these guys must me on some hardcore research chemicals like a-pvp and mephedrone to be this amped about a Stephen King movie being remade. Enough said.
Is ‘Phantom Clowns’ Whats Really Going on?
On a more serious note, this phenomena is actually nothing new at all. Phantom clown sightings exactly like this one have struck cities allover the world since 1981. In 1981 several cities had similar clown scares that started with talk among children that adults ignored until seeing the clowns themselves. The phantom clowns are always trying to lure or abduct children. The police are always in hot pursuit in the wake of thousands of reports but can never catch anyone. South Carolina is without a doubt another case of a paranormal phenomena known as phantom clowns.
You can read full documentation of phantom clown events here and decide for yourself. You will no doubt be shocked at how the media could ignore the fact that this exact same thing has been happening for a very long time now.
One could at the very least chalk this up to a very strange form of mass hysteria. Though that explanation does not entirely make sense.
The fear of clowns is widespread and deep rooted. Maybe the coming release of some of these new movies has sparked the wild imaginations of the children in the area, and those fears have taken on a level of reality to now bleed over into the minds of the parents who now only give the manifestation momentum with their panic, like pouring gasoline on a fire.
Maybe some latent or resonant energy has hijacked these fears and used them to manifest itself. Perhaps a once widely worshiped pagan god has been woken up by a few select residents of the Salem area and is now but a skinny blood-starved demon that demands blood sacrifice of it’s weak minded contactees.
Do not think I am saying that people are just crazy and seeing things. The worst monsters and most powerful demons lurk inside the minds of people, have no doubt about it. There are some views of psychology that do not underestimate what this can mean. When enough people feed into something, it may be possible that this thing manifest physically as flesh incarnate with the full capability of causing harm to people.
Occult & Psychological Meaning of Clowns
From the traditional white-face to the auguste, contra-auguste, character clowns, the popular North American hobo, and the Pierrot and harlequin of the Commedia dell’Arte to the ubiquitous Tricksters of mythology, clowns have come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and dispositions.
This is because clowns have meaning deep rooted in archetypal occult and psychological symbolism. Carl Jung understood archetypes as universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.There has always been representations of this archetype in our psyche, societies and cultures.
The earliest known records of clowning in general date all the way back to our earliest written records, with the clear descriptions of clowns in the 5th dynasty of Egypt around 2400 B.C. The clowns of the medieval times were known as court jester’s or fools. They dressed strangely and acted even more strangely, and were commonly employed by nobility to entertain with their presence.
The clown is basically a manifestation of ‘The Fool’ or trickster archetype. And despite what some may have you think, this is not the light a light hearted personality only concerned with entertaining others. Because somewhere deep down a clown that invites others to laugh at him institutionalizes acceptable forms of social transgression and the mocking of power (like a court jester) and transforms into an object of fear, a monster.
‘The Fool’ or trickster is a deviant from the social norms, he not only dresses and acts foolishly but is also unpredictable. What this means is that clowns are demonstrating a manifest side of the human psyche, one that is much more animal and has very few boundaries like morals and civility. The fool plays tricks, mocks, acts on animal instinct and completely disregards taboo. Often times the fool or jester received his position at a kings court not through recommendation but in sheer awe of his lack of self preservation in being the only one who would dare mock a king to his face, this was something out
of the ordinary that fostered a laughing response from the royalty who found it entertaining. Much like clowns who continue to terrorize and taunt a community who has been taken so far they now wield weapons and speak of killing them, and in the face of an angry police force. Yet still in their foolishness they seem to always elude the authorities. This blind luck is the nature of the fool who obliviously approaches a cliffs edge as his worried dog barks warnings, in his colorful suit holding a flower and looking toward the sky in complete blissful ignorance.
Being humans that are also deeply tapped into the deepest subconscious realms of our own minds, we recognize this representation and this is likely the source of fear and creeped out feelings many experience in the presence of clowns. We are innately familiar with the primal side of the human psyche that is in representation when we see a clown. We can sense that these individuals are channeling something inside us all that has shed boundaries and constraints, and is capable of anything. Being laughed at and ridiculed by choice in mockery of social structures and humanity in general, indicates a disregard for taboo.
Carl Jung theorized that this trickster fool or clown aspect of our personalities could be a remnant from an earlier time before the development of civilized man. Dr Jung also claimed that the purest manifestation of this archetype that gives us a look at its real nature is in native American myths like that of the trickster coyote who was said to be able to take on many forms to play tricks. Coyotes tricks would sometimes be on the gods like when he stole fire from them and gave it to mankind in a heroic act. Yet coyote could also be a villain that uses his tricks to lead travelers off the beaten path to their deaths. Sometimes evil, sometimes heroic and always unpredictable and untrustworthy due to lack of boundaries.One could easily make an analogy of clowns trying to lure kids into the forest with candy and trickster coyote ‘s ways.
Jung likened the trickster to what he considered the real manifest psychological phenomena of poltergeists which seems to apply to the clown sightings in South Carolina as well when he said this:
The so-called civilized man has forgotten the trickster. He remembers him only
figuratively and metaphorically, when, irritated by his own ineptitude, he speaks of fate
playing tricks on him or of things being bewitched. He never suspects that his own hidden and apparently harmless shadow has qualities whose dangerousness exceeds his wildest dreams. As soon as people get together in masses and submerge the individual, the shadow is mobilized, and, as history shows, may even be personified and incarnated.
Other Clown Activity
As it turns out a rash of phantom clowns trying to lure children away while police can never seem to catch up with them has happened before, in many places. Read about phantom clown incidents here.
While there are other clown incidents being reported right now, non have yet to compare to the nightmarish circus that is going down in South Carolina right now. Here are a few others:
A 14 year old reported early in September that he was chased by a clown wielding a knife after he got off the bus at his bus stop. He says the clown was wearing a mask and had a white glove on one hand and bloody bandage on the other. This clown was dressed in all black. Supposedly the kid was able to escape the murderous clown by throwing a rock at him.
Hoax? Possibly. Viral marketing? No way.
‘Gags’ the Clown Haunts Greenbay, Wisconsin
Residents of Greenbay, Wisconsin are seriously on edge after many sightings of a disturbing… but so far non-threatening clown they have given the name ‘Gags’. The strange clown was supposedly first sighted around August 1st and has apparently been keeping the city on edge ever since.
Police have been receiving a lot of calls about gags. But they say there is not much they can do about someone walking around dressed like a clown.
If there actually is a viral marketing campaign going on it is likely to be something more like ‘Gags’ and not at all anything like whats going on in South Carolina right now. In fact im pretty sure ‘Gags’ is all theatrics.
Graveyard Clown in Chicago, IL
Last year some sightings of a clown that liked to wander around locked graveyards at 3am and wave at passers by really bothered some residents. Chicago being the city that John Wayne Gaycey once called home, and the place that the legendary Bozo hails from explains why clowns tend to inspire mixed emotions among its residents.
Worth mentioning? Probably not, but stories like this stand in stark contrast to illustrate just how strange what is going on in South Carolina really is.
What is The Deal With All These Clowns?
The phenomena is explored in detail in the following Smokey Mirror articles.
Had a Clown Sighting? Or an Opinion on Whats Going on With the Clown Sightings?
Maybe you have a better explanation for the clown sightings. Or perhaps there has been some clowns in your area the media is not talking about. Perhaps you have more information on clown cults.
Comment and let us know, we would love to hear it.