We’ve been telling you about the alarming trend (though we think it’s kind of cool as long as no one gets hurt) of people dressed as evil clowns walking around at night for a few weeks now, and it seems as if the epidemic of evil has gone international!
The thing is? It seems these folks dressing as comical circus performers gone awry aren’t clowning around in France. The Telegraph UK reports that a 14-year-old dressed as a clown was arrested on Monday near Paris for attempting to attack a woman, as a strange phenomenon of fake, evil clowns terrorizing passers-by continues to spread.
The phenomenon has even prompted anti-clown vigilantism, forcing police to try to quell the hysteria by saying there have only been a few sightings of the terrifying clowns.
This past Monday, October 27th, a woman who had just gotten out of her car in Chelles called the police, saying two clowns – one of whom was armed with a fake axe – had attacked her, a source said. They escaped when a passer-by armed with a baseball bat tried to stop them, although one was later detained when police spotted him, white make-up still all over his face.
In a separate incident just half an hour afterwards, a dozen people wearing the smiling, white masks associated with the Anonymous hacktivist collective attacked three youths at a station in Melun, also in the Paris suburbs, stealing their mobile phones, the police source added.
The phenomenon of dressing up as an evil clown and terrifying passers-by – a trend which has also been seen in the United States and Britain – cropped up in the north of France in early October.
In the town of Bethune, a 19-year-old received a six-month suspended jail term last week for threatening passers-by while dressed as a clown.
These “clowns” have been “mostly spotted outside schools, but also on public roads, in bushes, in a square. Their targets are often young children or teenagers, but also adults,” a police source in northern France told AFP.
And the phenomenon has spread to the south.
Police on Saturday night arrested 14 teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying weapons in the Mediterranean port town of Agde.
In the nearby city of Montpellier, a man disguised as a clown was arrested after beating up a pedestrian with an iron bar.
Theories abound as to the origin of the not-so-funny trend of violence in a country where Halloween has yet to take hold. The suggestions include a challenge launched on social networks, a popular video on YouTube showing a terrifying clown pranking people, or even a recent episode of the popular TV series “American Horror Story” featuring Twisty the killer clown.
This goes to show you… no matter how innocent or fun things start out, there’s always some group of assholes somewhere looking to fuck it up for everyone. Let’s see how long it takes people to start blaming the Insane Clown Posse again.