Map: Creepy clowns from coast to coast

October has had many more tricks than treats for people with colurophobia— the fear of clowns.

For nearly two months, creepy clowns have been found across the nation — lurking, watching and occasionally making terror threats. 

That’s troubling, as a Morning Consult/Vox poll found that 42 percent of Americans have experienced some fear of clowns. 

As the map shows, few states are safe.

The map, originally made by the website Atlas Obscura, tallies clown sightings nationwide since August. 

The recent clown epidemic apparently had its origins in Greenville, S.C., where police were contacted about sightings of clowns in the woods flashing green lasers. Tallying each clown appearance is an inexact science, as there is no federal monitoring system and not every incident makes the local news.

San Diego isn’t completely immune. According to the San Diego Reader, there have been clown sightings in Imperial Beach and Chula Vista. 

Also, on Oct. 6 two San Marcos teens dressed as clowns drove by a middle school, prompting the students to call police. And that same day, studenta at an El Cajon middle school felt threatened by a clown on Instagram.

Some local school districts have banned the costumes for children on campus. 

Kemper County Mississippi has gone even farther — banning clown costumes by adults and children alike in public. Violations may result in fines up to $150, although there are questions as to the ban’s constitutionality. 

Amid rising tensions, businesses have had to react. Target stopped selling clown masks for Halloween.

"Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online," Joshua Thomas, the spokesman, said.

McDonalds has also been affected: Ronald McDonald has been keeping a low profile since the craze started. 

Reach the writer at: daniel.wheaton@sduniontribune.com or @theheroofthyme

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