I want you to take a moment and think about your very first interaction with a clown. You were probably just 5 or 6 years old and you were fascinated by the big; floppy red shoes, the colorful costume covered in polka dots and giant puff balls, you loved the rainbow colored wig, his big cheesy smile and you giggled every time he honked his nose. It helped that he had balloon animals and a squirting flower. There was nothing threatening or scary about the clowns of your childhood.

Then the movie Poltergeist came out and suddenly you were terrified of clowns because anytime you saw one you imagined it sitting in a rocking chair in your room; staring you down until he suddenly vanished, only to reappear from under your bed and drag you into a closet. You haven't been able to look at clowns the same way ever again and Stephen King's It didn't help your cause.

The general consensus is that clowns are creepy and they're even creepier when they're spotted in the dark shadows of the night...in your neighborhood. While there haven't been many clown sightings in the Rockford area, yet, there have been several across the country and it's caused so much concern that police and the FBI have had to get involved.

One case in particular happened in Philadelphia; according to Fox 32 a 13-year-old girl was behind the "Clown of Philly" and was responsible for making threats of violence against local schools, teachers and students.


I understand that it's that time of year when we like to play tricks on each other; they don't call it "trick or treat" for nothing, but threats to kill and kidnap students is taking a "prank" too far. Thankfully, while it was meant to be a joke, school officials and police are taking this very seriously.

With only one clown sighting in Illinois, so far, it's hard to say if this trend will catch on. If it does, just know that while you think it might be pretty funny, innocent people and coulrophobics of Rockford won't.