How to stay safe from the creepy clowns on campus

A step-by-step guide to not being the next victim in a cliche murder mystery

More stories from Sara Klein

Great Debate
December 6, 2016

This is a humorous response to events happening on campus.

Since the beginning of August, 39 different states have reported creepy clown sightings on or near college campuses.  With all of these Pennywise wannabes lurking around, students need to start taking precautions in order to prevent becoming the next victim in a cliché clown murder mystery.  Here are a few simple tips to preventing your own demise and why they work.

Tip number one: Travel in groups of two or more.

There’s proof that when students band together, the chances of a creepy clown sightings decrease substantially.  Take the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) clown hunt for example.  On Oct. 3, an estimated 500 students took to the streets to chase down three clowns that were allegedly lurking around the campus.  Later that week, local police reported that there weren’t any clown sightings that night.  The theory holds true.

Tip number two: Pay attention to Snapchat.

Numerous Eau Claire students have had the misfortune of running into one of these creepy clowns on campus.  A few snapchats taken by some of these students have been widely circulated across social media.  Whether posed at the top of the Horan stairs or peeking out of a dorm window, sightings of the colorful creep always manages to make my skin crawl.

Tip number three: Stay on well lit paths.

If you’re anything like me, when you watch horror movies you talk to the characters during the intense scenes.  “You’re so dumb!  Don’t go wandering out in the woods to try and find your missing friend.  She’s gone!  Forget about her!  Yes, that is the murderer rustling in the bushes dummy!  He’s going to kill you!  I told you, gosh dang it, why didn’t you listen to me?”  

Countless horror movies marathons have taught me this, if nothing else: Don’t go wandering after dark.  Add step number one and you have: Don’t go wandering alone after dark.  Maybe just avoid all dark and creepy areas like Putnam Park after 6 p.m.  Common sense, right?

Tip number four: Don’t be a copycat.

The UW-Eau Claire Police said on a recent twitter post that although it’s legal, dressing like a clown could have “unexpected consequences.”  Basically, if you dress up as a clown and go around spooking people, don’t be surprised if someone maces you in pure terror.

Tip number five: This halloween, skip the red nose and oversized shoes.  Just trust me on this one.

As funny as you think it would be to show up at a party as the creepy campus clown, I’d wager there’s more than a small chance that you’ll startle someone on the walk there.  Need I bring up the mace again?  Doesn’t sound like very much fun to me but I suppose you can take the well-being of your eyes into your own hands.

Tip number six: Invest in clown repellant.

It might be difficult to find but if Batman has shark repellant on his utility belt then you should be able to get clown repellant from somewhere.  You can find anything online these days.

In the event that you do find yourself face-to-face with a scary circus escapee, avoid them. Do not engage with them and maybe even phone a friend for help, a ride or even just to stay on the phone with you until you get home.  

With these helpful tips in mind, you can go forth and be confident that you won’t become the next victim of a creepy clown encounter.