Thursday, September 01, 2016

Phantom Clowns: Ohio

In 1981, when I began first hearing of what I would eventually term "Phantom Clowns" in the Boston area, I had to rely on an informal network of Fortean investigators literally clipping news articles around the country. I engaged in widespread letter-writing, message exchanges via stamps and mails, as well as the physical sharing of cut out and labeled newspaper items. Only then was I able to piece together that an actual wave of "Phantom Clown" encounters were occurring in the USA.

Today, the Internet, emails, Twitter, and Facebook make this process almost instantaneously possible.

After the South Carolina reports, I felt we would begin hearing of more clown incidents.

This is easy to explain as caused by the media copycat phenomena, social contagion, and even via that overused phrase, "mass hysteria."

By comparison, therefore, I find the Phantom Clowns wave of 1981 is all the more chilling. No national news service, no AP or UPI had picked up on the similar clowns sightings happening from Boston to both Kansas Cities. No, it was only a locally published story in various unconnected newspapers around the nation that lead me to discover the "Phantom Clowns" we're popping up all over.

Now, it won't be long before we see more Phantom Clowns stories rapidly making it into the news feeds.

BTW, one interesting outcome of the 2016 discussions about Phantom Clowns in the last few days has been the revealing of cases that pre-date the 1981 ones. I like that bit of sharing now taking place. I'll have to compile all those someday.

In the meantime, here is a jump in the current Phantom Clowns sightings from South Carolina to Ohio.


A knife-wielding clown reported in the Northland area might prove a hoax, but Columbus police say they aren't taking any chances. 

A 14-year-old boy told police that a 6-foot-tall man in dark clothing and a clown mask chased him a short distance as he walked to a school bus stop at about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday [August 30, 2016], said police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner. 

The boy told police that the incident occurred just before sunrise in his neighborhood, near Satinwood and Ironwood drives. 

He fended off the clown by throwing a rock at him and then fled to the bus stop, according to a police report. He arrived safely at Columbus North International School in the University District and then reported the incident to officials there....

According to the report, the man was wearing a mask, black pants, compression sleeves and tennis shoes. He also wore a glove on his right hand and a bandage on his left, the police report said. 

(h/t Enki King)

During a period of high media interest, other news outlets begin to pick up any similar clowns scare reports and they are published. This is not to say these encounters and incidents are not happening all the time, but only that they are "newsworthy" during flaps.

And don't let your guard down....

The clown election-connection name-game is showing here in the moniker of the police spokesperson, Sgt Weiner. The name is shared by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's assistant who has the married name Weiner. She's been in the news lately because of emails, and perhaps her ending of her Weiner marriage.

Stay tuned for more.

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