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Definitive Map of America’s Creepy Clown Epidemic

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Why did it have to be clowns?

For the past few weeks, cities across the U.S. (more recently, the U.K.) have been plagued by a creepy craze: clown sightings. Some of the mincing harlequins appear to be harmless pranksters, others are far more frightening but, whatever the case, creepy clown sightings have become so prevalent, even the White House addressed the issue. In Idaho, numerous sightings had the Nampa Police Department warning people against resorting to vigilantism. If you can choke down your coulrophobia and are interested in knowing more about sightings of these shambling sideshow menaces, keep up with Atlas Obscura's Definitive Map of America's Creepy Clown Epidemic.

The interactive cartograph lets readers revel in details of the scores of incidents nationwide, from the transparent attempts of high schoolers to get out of taking a test to the outright bizarre. Or you can follow the advice of author Stephen King, who tweeted, "Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria—most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh." This from the guy who wrote It... which has been adapted for a movie scheduled for a 2017 release. Hmmm...