The "creepy clown" phenomenon has spread West. Police in Nampa, Idaho, are taking action in response to recent clown sightings and strongly discouraging local residents from embarking on their own “clown hunt.”
Officials posted to Facebook on Saturday to confirm they had received reports of clown sightings in the area, and that residents who were looking to join in the search should not participate.
Reports of “creepy clowns” have swept many southern states in recent months, some of which have turned out to be hoaxes. The first clown sighting report surfaced in South Carolina in August, while Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have also reported sightings on school grounds, near homes and by local wooded areas.
Pasco County Schools in Florida issued a campus alert Friday for “creepy clowns” following a threatening Twitter post. Although police were investigating the threat, Pasco County Schools issued a statement stating it had “no reason” to believe that threat was credible. A school system in Ohio also went on lockdown after a woman was reportedly attacked by a man in a clown outfit and makeup.
Recent weeks have seen multiple accounts of “clowns” posting threatening messages to Facebook and Twitter. And in response, a Twitter hashtag is gaining momentum, aptly named #IfISeeAClown.
There have been both real and fake clown sightings in northern Idaho, according to Boise Weekly. Shoshone County Sheriff's deputies have reported finding “fake” clown Facebook pages.
"A majority of these cases seem to be pranks that are taken too far," Shoshone County Sheriff Lieutenant Taylor Marlow wrote on Facebook. "The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office takes these reports seriously and are currently working on the 'clown' cases that have been reported to us."