— karli bennett (@karlibennett) October 5, 2016
Rumors of creepy clown sightings have been swirling around campus as well as on social media.
So far, Montclair State officials have confirmed that there have been no clown sightings. Spokesperson for the University Police Department, Captain Kieran Barrett said, “We have received concerns of third party information that may have been circulated on social media or to loved ones off campus, but there have been no confirmed reports of any sort. These have largely played into fear that some may have and also rumor of unsubstantiated or unrelated incidents in other jurisdictions off campus.”
For the past few months there have been creepy clown sightings across the nation.
The sightings started in South Carolina where two clowns tried to lure a little boy into a house in the woods. Since then, there have been hundreds of clown sightings throughout the country. There have been reports of some clowns chasing people with knives while other clowns have been said to just stand and stare. There have also been lots of sightings on college campuses.
“When I first heard about the creepy clowns I thought it was just a fun prank until people started reporting that clowns were actually chasing them home and had knives. Now I’m terrified of even seeing one,” said undeclared freshman Maryam Malik.
It has been tricky for law enforcement to tackle the issue. Barrett said, “Law enforcement across the United States and New Jersey are well aware of the clown sightings both real and in rumor. As with any trend, we take it seriously and have educated officers on what charges might be appropriate if needed and also to deal sensitively with those reporting incidents.”
Some people have expressed anxiety toward Halloween celebrations this year.
“I am terrified to go out during Halloween this year. I’m so scared that people are going to dress up as clowns as a joke but I’ll be so scared I’ll probably call the cops,” said junior psychology major Rachel Opdyke.
With Halloween coming up, the University Police Department reminded students to use common sense when attempting to prank someone and recognize that people’s fears are real. In addition, police stated that community members are always held accountable for actions that violate law or student conduct, and warned them to be careful to note this when deciding what is fun and what is violation of law or conduct.
This isn’t the first time Barrett has seen something like this. He said, “There are things similar to this we have seen over time that tend to gain popularity and then go out of fashion. Our role is to handle the concerns seriously, and hopefully the results are a safe experience for our community.”