'A nightmare coming true': Gangs of clowns terrorize N.S. drivers
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Writer
Published Saturday, October 1, 2016 12:12PM EDT
It was a scene torn from the pages of a Stephen King novel. A woman driving home from work in Glace Bay, N.S. spots someone lurking by the roadside. Her headlights reveal a stranger dressed as a clown standing in the shadows. As she brings the car to a stop, the figure walks into the middle of the road, blocking her path.
“Once I stopped, he started running towards my car. So I started backing up,” Michelle Doubleday told CTV Atlantic. “He kept going faster and faster.”
The incident frightened her so much that she sped off in the opposite direction. She’s still not completely at ease behind the wheel when she's driving alone at night.
“It was like a nightmare coming true right in front of me,” said Doubleday, who had a fear of clowns to begin with.
On the same night, another Glace Bay woman reportedly turned down a side street to avoid a person wearing a mask. When she rounded the corner, she was surrounded by as many as five clown-costumed characters in the middle of the street.
Cape Breton Regional Police say bizarre confrontations with sinister-looking clowns are on the rise. Three similar incidents were reported last week, but no charges have been laid.
A first offender that blocks the path of a car when it’s impractical for the driver to stop could face a $410 ticket, according to police.
THE CREEPY CLOWN PHENOMENON
So-called “creepy clown” encounters are making people nervous across the U.S. as well – with reports in at least 16 states.
An Ohio public school was closed on Friday after a man in a white mask, red wig, and striped costume grabbed a woman by her throat. According to the New York Post, he told the victim “I should kill you now,” adding: “Some students and teachers would wish they were never born at junior and senior high school today.”
Two Long Island, N.Y. school districts were also put on lockdown, and kids were banned from playing outside Friday after a separate creepy clown sighting.
In North Carolina, a machete-wielding clown tried to lure a woman into a wooded area on Sept. 3. The woman told Forsyth County, N.C. sheriff's officials the man wore a red nose and bushy hair, black gloves, a tie and white shoes.
The unexplained rash of clown sightings has led some to suggest the phenomenon is part of an elaborate hoax, or an attempt at a viral marketing campaign.
Some have linked the sightings to the upcoming remake of “It,” the Stephen King novel-turned-film about a sadistic, wisecracking clown able to transform itself to exploit the phobias of its victims.
Producer Barbara Muschietti has denied any involvement in the multiple sightings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hoax or not, victims like Doubleday says the gangs of clowns are no laughing matter.
“I could have hit somebody,” she said. “I could have had my kids in the car. I couldn’t see where I was going when I was backing up.”