OGDEN, Utah, Oct. 3, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Two schools in Ogden were placed on lockout Monday as a precaution after a Facebook post referenced a scary clown and threats to the schools.
Several community members saw the post, and alerted the Ogden Police Department.
OPD officials reported on the department Facebook page that no sightings could be confirmed at the schools, and the threatening Facebook page later was disabled by its owner. The clown image used also was one that is readily available on the Internet, the OPD post noted.
The lockouts on Gramercy Elementary School and Mound Fort Junior High were lifted after officials could find no evidence of a threat.
Meanwhile, about 66 miles to the south, Orem police on Monday were dealing with some of the same public fears.
Orem police decided to have a little more fun on their Facebook page.
According to Heavy.com, a news Website based in New York City, the “scary clown” phenomenon has affected at least 28 other states:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Police are finding some reports of scary clown sightings are real, and the people dressed as clowns were pranksters. In several cases, arrests have been made after people who dressed as clowns did harm people, or intend to, or were found to be disturbing the peace.
But the phenomenon seems to be far more active on social media than in real life. An 11-year-old girl in Athens, Ga., reportedly was taken into custody after bringing a knife to school because social media reports convinced her creepy clowns were a real threat.
Since the surge of scary clowns began in August, multiple police departments across the country, including Georgia’s LaGrange Police, have warned potential “clowns” that although their prankish threats might not be real, criminal charges would be.