Police Warn Creepy Clowns Plan Halloween Night Purge-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Threats about creepy clowns planning a Halloween night purge were sent to schools and businesses in October 2017, prompting police and the Department of Homeland Security to warn people to stay inside for their own safety.
False rumors about creepy clowns planning a Halloween night purge in October 2017 came from a website that’s known for publishing fabricated reports.
The rumors started with a story that appeared at Action News 3 under the headline, “Creepy Clown Plan Halloween Night Purge, Cops Warn ‘Stay Inside’.” The false report, which was quickly shared nearly 100,000 times on social media, begins:
Creepy Clowns Plan Halloween Night Purge “If you value the safety of yourself and your children, stay inside on Halloween night,” warned the Sgt. William Stein during a meeting with the Department of Homeland Security. “We have escalated these threats to acts of domestic terrorism and are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to keep Americans safe this Halloween season.”
Action News 3 is known for fabricating its content, and there weren’t any credible police warnings circulating about creepy clowns in October 2017.
The creepy clown craze actually began in 2016 when reports of clowns trying to lure children in woods in South Carolina, and reports of a creepy clown spotted at night holding a black balloon, captured the public’s attention. As it happens, rumors about a creepy clown Halloween purge also circulated in 2016, but those warnings never came to fruition.
By 2017, creepy clown hysteria had even made its way to Australia. There, a social media handle dubbed “Clown Purge Australia” had put Aussies on edge by posting disturbing messages like this one:
As the Toowoomba News Chronicle reported, however, Creepy Clown Australia hasn’t threatened violence and seems content simply creep people out with random groupings of creepy clowns, “All these haters but we ain’t even in this to harm people, we are simply here to use Clown Horror as entertainment,” the group posted on Facebook.
In the end, rumors about creepy clown purges and sightings of creepy clowns have become fairly common around Halloween time. However, there aren’t any credible reports of creepy clowns actually hurting someone, and no police departments have issued warnings about them.