Not sure why, but creepy clowns entered my mind again. Out of that wondering, I decided to find out when that phenomenon began. I learned it had its beginnings 41 years ago in Missouri.

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Some people believe that creepy clown sightings began in 2016. Not true. Yes, they did reach a fever pitch and were covered by many national news outlets when mysterious clowns were sighted all over the country that year. But, the beginnings go much further back than that.

I found an article by Slate that tried to assure the public that they shouldn't panic over sightings of people in makeup that seem to be threatening. They claim that this happens every so many years and that it began in 1981. They document that one of the first creepy clown sightings happened in May of 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri. Here's a snippet of a UPI report from that year:

Police earlier this week were skeptical of reports that a garish clown was chasing schoolchildren with knives, but they now think those reports are valid and the frightened children who report them are telling the truth.

It first happened to two sisters who were waiting on a school bus. They said that a creepy clown pointed a knife at them and tried to convince them to get into a van. The man was wearing clown clothes and had a painted face "with red polka dots". That initial report eventually became thousands as children all over Kansas City started seeing clowns...everywhere.

The UPI report says that police did finally locate one clown in a van, but it was someone heading to a catering event so no one was ever arrested for what was described as an "attempted abduction" a clown.

This was the one of the first creepy clown sightings that made the national news. There was another that happened almost concurrently in Brookline, Massachusetts, but at the very least Missouri has the infamous claim that creepy clowns began here. That might make an interesting movie topic someday.

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