In 2016, hundreds of clown sightings happened this time of year all across the United States. Many people expected sightings to happen again, especially with the movie It being released. But for some reason, clown sightings in the United States have been few and far between so far. And now that it’s close to Halloween, any clowns that you see might just be people wearing holiday-themed costumes. So far, only six states have reported creepy clown sightings in 2017, compared to more than 40 states in 2016. Here are the clown sightings that have happened so far this year in the United States, along with sightings reported in other countries. It actually appears that there are more international sightings so far than within the U.S. for 2017.
Clown Sightings in the United States in 2017
Colorado Clown Arrest Made from 2016 Incident
In April 2017, arrests were made in Fort Collins, Colorado in connection with clowns that threatened high school students at Poudre High School. The actual threats happened in September 2016, but the arrest wasn’t made until April. The post was made by a fellow student. The student was expelled.
Florida *FALSE* Clown Sighting
In Deltona, Florida in mid-October, an 11-year-old boy said a clown leaped out from the bushes while he was biking to school. He said the clown had a rainbow painted face, blue hair, a red nose, and a long-sleeved green shirt and black pants. The boy said the clown tried to drag him away, but he hit the clown repeatedly with a selfie stick and ran, with the clown chasing him. Later, the boy confessed to police that he made the whole thing up.
Maine Clown Sightings
In late July, a man in Maine was arrested while dressed as a creepy clown and carrying a machete. He was found after residents called 911 early that evening. He ran into the woods when he was spotted, and authorities found him about an hour later. The man, Corey Berry, 31, was arrested and charged with criminal threatening. Police said his arm was amputated and he had a machete duct-taped to it. Berry was intoxicated but cooperative, police said.
Montana Clown Sighting
In mid-July, residents told Whitefish Police that a man wearing clown makeup and dressed in black was throwing fireworks and yelling while he was walking down the street. The man claimed he was going to a party and someone else was throwing fireworks.
North Dakota Clown Sightings
Some scary clowns were reported in Fargo, North Dakota in May. One person was holding a knife and a boa constrictor, according to reports. The children who reported the sighting said the man dressed as a clown threatened to kill them.
Ohio Clown Sighting
The source of Ohio’s creepy clown sighting was quickly revealed in mid-September, NBC reported. A father put on a clown mask and chased his six-year-old daughter around the neighborhood. The child took refuge in a stranger’s apartment, screaming that a clown was chasing her. A man in the apartment fired a gun at the father, not knowing who it was. The dad was charged with child endangerment and inducing panic. The dad said he was trying to scare his daughter as a form of discipline.
Pennsylvania Balloon & Clown Sightings
In early September residents of Lilitz, Pennsylvania were terrified to see red balloons tied to sewer grates and gutters, Esquire reported. The balloons were used in It when a creepy clown monster tried to lure children into traps.
But in mid-July, a scary clown was sighted in Pennsylvania, NBC reported. One morning, a man dressed as a clown tried to lure a girl on a scooter to come with him by offering her money. The girl ran away screaming instead. He was tall and thin with red hair, his face and arms were painted white, and he was wearing yellow pants and a blue-and-red polka dot shirt.
Wisconsin Clown Sightings
Wisconsin had some reported clown sightings in July. Two girls said they saw scary men wearing clown costumes and carrying knives. The children ran away and the men weren’t found.
Many Clown Sightings Are Reported in Israel
Israel has been hit particularly hard. On October 4, two killer clowns were reported to have sprayed a 10-year-old girl in the face with mace in Israel. The girl was playing in a local park in Beersheba. A total of eight people were arrested in Israel in early October for dressing as clowns and trying to cause panic.
Cops in Tel Aviv also arrested two teens who were wearing clown masks and carrying a hammer, trying to scare people. Incidents have also been reported in Dimona, Ramla, and Kiryat Gat.In Kirya Gat, two 14-year-olds were dressing as clowns and scaring people. They told police they were just “clowning around.”
Here’s a creepy video one person in Israel took:
A rise in cases have been happening late at night in Israel, including in Ashdod, Ofakim, and Dimona. One resident said they were walking home in the middle of the night when someone in a clown costume jumped behind them and yelled. Four minors were arrested in an undercover operation.
In early October, a number of clown sightings were also reported in Afula.
Australia & the UK Are Reporting Creepy Clown Sightings
While things may be slower in the U.S., it looks like Australia and the UK are seeing an uptick in clown sightings for 2017, according to The New York Times. Groups are threatening to show up in suburbs late at night, and it all started with a Facebook page called Clown Purge Australia (which has since been taken down.) The page reportedly said that 50 clowns would show up in one place on Halloween night, carrying balloons. The user said he’d reveal the location if he reached a specific number of followers. The person later emphasized he was not threatening people and was just doing this for fun.
But that’s not the only source of clown sightings outside the U.S.
In mid-September, WA police warned people in Perth that if they dressed up as clowns to scare people, they could face criminal charges. Clowns have been spotted in Kwinana, Byford, Forrestfield, Waikiki, and Kingsway, WA Today reported. A Clown Hunters Perth Facebook page was created to track the sightings. In one incident in Baldivis, a group of eight people in clown masks chased a teen girl on Eighty Road after she got off a bus one evening.
And in Sheffield, England, one resident reported a clown dressed in all black lurking around a park in mid-September. Some of the sightings in Sheffield, however, were more lighthearted than creepy.
But not so near Bristol Park, the Mirror reported. In mid-September, a man dressed as Pennywise the clown was holding balloons and taunting young girls, chasing them through the park.
Read an in-depth look at all the clown sightings from 2016 in Heavy’s story below.