Fact Check

Did Scary Clowns Kill 23 People in Canada?

Fake news reported that weapons-wielding clowns from the U.S. invaded Canada and murdered 23 victims in 2016.

Published Oct 4, 2016

Weapons-wielding clowns from the U.S. invaded Canada and murdered 23 victims.


On 3 October 2016 the Global Sun web site published an article reporting that weapons-wielding clowns from the U.S. had invaded Canada and murdered 23 victims there:

As it’s getting closer to halloween, what seemed to be a harmless joke at first, suddenly turned into a serious matter with the police. What started off as reports of creepy clowns luring around neighbourhoods in the US, has suddenly escalated to another level. It is believed that the surge of clowns spotted wielding weapons originated from some states in America, but has made it’s way up north.

There was no truth to this story. The Global Sun is a fake news web site that does not publish factual stories, as noted in their disclaimer:

The Global Sun is a satire website, articles/post on the website are all made-up stories and should not be taken seriously.

This fabricated killer clown story was published in amidst numerous reports of clown sightings in the United States. In August 2016, residents of Greenville, South Carolina reported that clowns were attempting to lure children into the woods. A few weeks later, the clowns had migrated to North Carolina, and since then scary clowns have been reported in various locations across the United States — although actual evidence of their existence is lacking:

But amid all of these reports, no clowns have been photographed. Police investigators have found no traces of clown activity. Not even a stray red nose or a strand of blue hair.

So what are these insidious creatures? According to one clown expert, they’re probably “phantom clowns.”

Fake news web sites have taken advantage of the recent uptick in coulrophobia to publish bogus reports about clown-related deaths. However, clowns did not kill 23 people in Canada, nor was a clown shot in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


McAndrew, Frank.   "Creeped Out by clowns? This Might Be Why."     CNN.   3 October 2016.

Brown, Jennings.   "“Phantom Clowns” Have Been Terrorizing the U.S. Since 1981."     Vocativ.   8 September 2016.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.