Missouri town’s creepy clown search nets a lot of rumor — and little else

Someone wore this clown mask to scare a friend in Rolla, Mo.
Someone wore this clown mask to scare a friend in Rolla, Mo. Facebook

Police across the country have just about had it with reported sightings of “creepy clowns” in their towns, many of which are fake.

They’re tired of wasting time and energy chasing down pranksters.

Kenneth Hampton, police chief in Tchula, Miss., posted a warning to Facebook last week after he saw someone walking around in a mask, multicolored wig and overalls as he patrolled town, according to the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

He told the newspaper he figured it was a gag, but he was concerned because the person was carrying something that looked like a machete or sword.

“Whoever you are running around in Tchula wearing a clown suit waving a sword and scaring the hell out of people, let me give you some advice. STOP IT!!!!” Hampton wrote on Facebook.

“Because if I roll up on you and you wave that damn sword at me. IT’S GAME OVER SON!!! I’m gonna teacha how da duggy!!!”

One officer in Rolla, Mo., decided to meet the problem head-on this week.

In a Facebook post that has been shared nearly 1,600 times since Thursday, the officer, who is unidentified, details how he spent an entire day investigating reports of malevolent clowns skulking around his south-central Missouri town.

His conclusion?

“CREEPY CLOWNS IN ROLLA!!!!!!!…..are not real. Well they are, but they aren’t.”

Rolla Detective Adam Meyer told KSPR in Springfield the department has received several reports of clown sightings, including one report of an assault by a clown.

But the reports were all false and the only actual sighting was a prank that a group of friends played on a clown-fearing friend. One of the pranksters put on a scary clown mask and another shot video of him walking around a city park.

In the Facebook post, the Rolla police officer described how he spoke with every person who claimed to have seen a creepy clown in town.

“Some people told me that they didn’t actually see one but they heard they were real. Other people told me, ‘Well, I didn’t see one, but my good friend ______ saw one and I’m sure they almost were killed!’ ” he wrote.

He spoke with one young man who claimed he was assaulted by the crazy clowns of Rolla.

The guy lied.

“He quickly admitted that he had not been assaulted, stabbed, threatened, mean mugged or even given a stern talking to by any clown whatsoever,” the officer wrote.

“Has anybody else found it somewhat of a coincidence that right as Wal-Mart and other major retailers began to sell Halloween costumes is when all of these creepy clowns started to pop up?”

His conclusion: “There are no creepy killer homicidal clowns in Rolla, Missouri. I did hear about a mime stuck in a box though that may still need assistance.”

He ended on a serious note, though, warning about the consequences that could befall someone who thinks dressing up like a scary clown is a hoot.

“If you think it’s a good idea to put on a clown mask there is nothing illegal about that,” he wrote.

“Keep in mind that scared people do crazy things sometimes and there (is) the chance you may find yourself in a precarious situation.

“But don’t worry, we will respond and investigate the assault.”