No, I'm not talking about about the 2016 election. That blog would take me right up until the 2020 election to accurately and comprehensively write. I'm talking about all the actual clowns being spotted around the country, and now apparently in Hannibal.

It all started back in August, when a clown was spotted in Green Bay, WI. It later came out that this was all promotion for an independent film called "Gags" about a creepy Green Bay area clown, which has its world premiere this weekend (10/3).

More fuel was added to the clown fire when clowns were reported in the woods near an apartment complex in Greenville, SC in mid-August. And that's when when the fad went from "creepy" to "oh god, oh god, we're all going to die!" Soon, clowns were reported in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.

After it came out that the Green Bay clown was just publicity for an upcoming movie, there was some intense speculation that the nationwide clown sightings was a poorly thought out viral marketing campaign for the film 31, an upcoming film about killer clowns from musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie, but there's no indication that the clown sightings are related to the film. You can watch the trailer here, but it's not for the faint of heart or easily frightened.

Now it seems the clowns have come to Hannibal.... maybe. In an e-mail to media outlets, Lt. John Zerbonia of the Hannibal Police Department said "the Hannibal Police Department received (1) unsubstantiated report, Tuesday evening, of a passenger in a vehicle dressed as a clown. The vehicle in question was only driving  down the roadway.  It was not reported that this subject was attempting to scare or threaten anyone.  Merely dressing in a costume is not a violation of any city ordinance or state statute. There is no active investigation into criminal activity involving people dressed in costumes at this time."

So there we have it. The clowns are not currently here, we don't know precisely what it is (other than the Wisconsin incident) that's causing this uptick in clowns around the country. My guess? Clowns are creepy, and we're quickly approaching Halloween, which is when people like to scare other people. Creepy clowns have certainly been a big part of pop culture, from Stephen King's IT (both the book and the original TV movie, which is being remade as we speak), to Killer Klowns from Outer Space to several episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? to a recent season of the hit show American Horror Story.

I think it's just people latching onto a trend and taking this opportunity to scare people. There are incidents where the clown escalated the situation to assault, and I in no way dismiss those incidents as harmless fun. That's assault and dangerous and should not be taken lightly. But I think more than a few are just bored people trying to have a bit of fun.

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