Get ready for some nightmares.
In what is fast becoming a viral video, a creepy clown — yes, you read that right — purportedly has been spotted in Nipomo.
The creepy clown phenomenon started making headlines last month, as the frightening figures began showing up in the woods of Greenville, South Carolina, supposedly attempting to lure children to join them.
Then it quickly spread across the country, with reports of sightings in more than a dozen states from coast to coast and hyped-up residents forming “clown hunts” to track down the nightmare-inducing jesters. Even the White House and pre-eminent scary clown expert Stephen King weighed in on the phenomenon this week, as clown hysteria reaches an all-time high.
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The Modesto Bee reported multiple sightings of creepy clowns over the past two days.
And on Monday, more than 500 Penn State students hit the streets, chasing rumors of a creepy clown.
Now the trend looks to have spread to San Luis Obispo County, based on a Facebook video posted late Tuesday night.
The video claims to show two Nipomo residents — including Evan Thompson, who posted the video — driving in an unpopulated area of Nipomo late at night.
In the video, Thompson turns around in the middle of the road after spotting something on the side of the road and has his friend film it. As they drive closer to the intersection, a person dressed up as a clown in dingy white can be seen in the headlights and streetlight.
When the car begins passing the clown, it lunges toward them before the video cuts out.
The pair react with a chorus of profanity and yelling before apparently hightailing it out of the area.
So is there a creepy clown roaming Nipomo?
It’s unclear, as the whole thing could have been a prank or the video simply reposted from someone else.
The clip, which was posted to Thompson’s Facebook page about midnight Tuesday night, had been viewed more than 50,000 times and shared more than 1,000 times as of Wednesday evening. Thompson did not respond to requests for comment.
Just a reminder, it’s not against the law to dress up as a clown, but if it appears to be suspicious or acting in a suspicious manner, we are recommending people call us so we can check it out.
Tony Cipolla, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office spokesman
Questioned about the video, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla was skeptical and said it does appear to have been posted once before: Thompson’s post says the events of the video took place Tuesday night, but Cipolla says a concerned parent reported the video to them Wednesday morning, saying it was posted on Instagram several days ago.
The clip is up on Thompson’s public Instagram account, though the time stamp says it was posted about the same time as the Facebook video. No evidence of an earlier posting is present.
Cipolla said a deputy was dispatched to the area Wednesday morning and “no clown was located.” No other clown sightings have been reported to the Sheriff’s Office.
“Just a reminder, it’s not against the law to dress up as a clown,” Cipolla said, “but if it appears to be suspicious or acting in a suspicious manner, we are recommending people call us so we can check it out.”
Sleep tight, SLO County.