How Social Media is Helping Spread the Clown Epidemic Across the Country

By Kayla Whatley

Clowns are popping up in cities all over the country and people are not happy about it, especially as Halloween approaches.

Since random clowns have been walking the streets for no apparent reason other than to terrorize everyone that sees them, people have took to social media to keep up with the latest happenings by sharing videos, tweets and Facebook posts of people’s different experiences with these clowns.

Screenshot of tweet by David Beard

An example of how social media has caused literal panics and riots is the Penn State clown riot. After different tweets of pictures and videos of three separate clowns spotted on the Penn State campus, the campus was shut down and about 500 students took it upon themselves to stop these clowns by running around campus looking for them. This goes to show you how quickly something can spread through social media, especially when it’s something happening locally.

As Halloween approaches, people are becoming even more cautious of these creepy clowns. Police have even started to tweet out information about clowns and to not shoot them no matter how creepy they might be. Especially since clowns have begun to be spotted wielding weapons such as knives or hammers.

So a word of advice: if you see a clown on Fry Street, don’t buy him, or her, a drink. Call the police, or at least pick a different bar. Or just tweet about it like everyone else seems to be doing.



Beard, David (@debeard). “Police in Utah advise: No matter how creepy, please don’t shoot random clowns.” 2016, October 4, 10:16 a.m. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from

Hartley-Parkinson, Richard (2016, October 9). Clown filmed chasing a man with a hammer on night of six ‘attacks.’ Metro. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from

McBride, Jessica (2016, October 6). Penn State Creepy Clowns: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Heavy. Retrieved October 9, 2016 from


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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism