This is a weird one. It's part urban legend, part reality, all very confusing. Back in the early 90's, the TV In Living Color introduced a character called Homie the Clown - more or less a silly clown that went around smacking misbehaving kids with a sock. The show itself was great, but the sketch inadvertently set off a strange panic in the Chicago area among elementary school kids. According to some reports children were seeing a man - or even men - in clown outfits trying to lure kids into his white, blue, brown, or black van that had the words Ha-Ha printed across the door. It's perfect urban legend fodder.
I remember a similar thing in about the 4th grade - a clown living in the sewers was going to get you! Of course, the IT miniseries had just aired, and older siblings told their younger ones about Pennywise, and bam, urban legend. However, in the case of Homey (which is how I've seen it spelled when referring to the real clown), the police took it seriously - or at least semi-seriously. I did manage to find a couple articles relating to it, but it all felt very April foolsy to me. Nevertheless, it does make for an interesting story, and with what happened in around 2016 with clownpocalypse, maybe there is something to these claims. 5th to 8th graders didn't have a 30 megapixel camera phone in their pockets back in 1991, so evidence would have been hard to come by.
Regardless of the truthfulness of it, coulrophobia is a real thing, and clowns are indeed a little creepy. But for the whole story, you'll just have to listen.
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