Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut October 13, 2016 - 7:00 am

Nunavut community reports creepy clown sightings

Hamlet steps up night patrol following complaints

SARAH ROGERS
Police are investigating complaints of menacing clowns scaring children in Rankin Inlet over the long weekend. (FILE PHOTO)
Police are investigating complaints of menacing clowns scaring children in Rankin Inlet over the long weekend. (FILE PHOTO)
Creepy clowns have been inspired by such cartoon characters such as the Evil Clown, a minor villain in Disney's The Brave Little Toaster. The only word this clown says other than demented laughter is
Creepy clowns have been inspired by such cartoon characters such as the Evil Clown, a minor villain in Disney's The Brave Little Toaster. The only word this clown says other than demented laughter is "Run." He dresses as a firefighter with a fork and fire hose. (PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

The creepy clown phenomenon appears to have reached the Canadian Arctic.

Residents of Rankin Inlet, population roughly 3,000, reported sightings of people dressed up as clowns over the long weekend, who appeared in the evening in an attempt to scare children.

Police are investigating complaints of those sightings, but the RCMP has yet to say if any suspects have been identified.

Although there haven’t been any reports of people injured in the incidents, residents are upset and angry, saying children are now frightened to play outside.

“There is nothing funny about scaring and terrifying young children,” said a poster on social media, who listed three points on Rankin Inlet Facebook page for local news:

“1) if it’s you doing it, stop it. It’s not funny, it’s not a game, and it’s not acceptable. You can’t go around scaring kids. You will be arrested if caught. You can protest as much as you want that you’re not doing anything wrong, but you’ll be doing it from a jail cell;

(2) if you see someone doing it, no, you cannot attack them. Call the police at 1111. Use a cell phone to take a picture of them.

(3) if it’s your family member or friends doing this, tell them to stop. If you know who is doing it and you allow them to continue doing it, that’s not right.”

The local hamlet office said it has heard complaints about clown sightings and has instructed bylaw officers to keep an eye out.

“We had bylaw (officers) patrolling last night a little more intensely, but they didn’t see anything (Oct. 11,)” said the hamlet’s senior administrative officer Justin Merritt.

“This seems to have just started over the weekend, but I’m not sure if it was a one-time thing or not.”

The incidents in Rankin Inlet follow a wave of clown sightings reported in recent weeks across North America, where individuals with painted faces and menacing grins have been spotted near school yards or coming out of wooded areas, with the aim of taunting children.

A clown is typically a comical character who provides fun and entertainment for children. But clowns have also been depicted as stalkers and murderers in horror films, leading to coulrophobia—a phobia of clowns.

McDonald’s fast food chain has recently scaled back appearances of its well-known mascot, Ronald McDonald due to the number of scary clown pranks, the Associated Press reported earlier this week.

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