Students at Copperas Cove High School are still shaken up after some say they spotted two creepy clowns near campus early Wednesday morning. While the sighting is unconfirmed by the district, the claim did cause the school to move students inside while police secured the perimeter.
"I saw him on the train tracks over there and then he went through those bushes. It was pretty scary, pretty terrifying and kind of crazy" says Copperas Cove junior Riley Delong.
Rumored clown sightings and threats are happening nationwide, closer to home though a clown made a threat online against a Killeen high school this week and a different clown targeted students at two separate Waco High Schools the week before that. Kids in the area say they're now walking home from school in groups because they're scared of getting kidnapped by a clown.
"If you get kidnapped other people are there to help you out. Some of them are funny some of them are scary so I usually want to walk home in groups now" says Jordan, Copperas Cove sophomore.
Mr. Bubbs The Clown, a professional clown in Temple, says during his 19 year entertainment career he's never seen something like this. He worries that all the threats and scary sightings are giving clowns a bad name, and says in some ways it's impacting his business.
"I was scheduled to do a party dressed as a clown at a pizza place next weekend, but the parents were a little concerned so being the creative adapter that I am I was like how about I come as a magician or a pirate" says Mr. Bubbs The Clown.
However, a local psychologist says he's not surprised that the nationwide clown threats are creating a lot of fear for school-aged children.
"Younger kids are more vulnerable, the whole idea behind it is the secrecy behind the mask behind the paint, it promotes the fear of the unknown" says Baylor Scott and White Psychologist David Blackburn.
However Mr. Bubbs says fear is the last thing he wants people to feel when interacting with a clown, he says clowns aren't here to harm the community they're here to help.
"People who just dress up as scary clowns and threaten people they're just silly guys in costumes they're not real clowns, real clowns bring joy" says Mr. Bubbs The Clown.
In a statement released to Channel 6 News Copperas Cove ISD says they are working with the local police department to get to the bottom of the rumored sighting.