Imagine seeing this ↓ at night in your town.
Or this ↓ standing at an intersection while you’re driving home.
Or this ↓ in front of a supermarket — at midnight.
Or this ↓ outside your home, at night.
The above are some of the pictures taken by residents of California’s San Joaquin or Central Valley who are being terrorized by sick people dressed as evil clowns roaming the streets after dark.
The AP and the Daily Mail report that people dressed as evil clowns and roaming through towns in the middle of the night are causing a stir in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The latest after-dark sighting came Saturday (Oct. 11, 2014) night, when police in Bakersfield responded about 8 p.m. to a report of a clown holding a firearm, according to The Bakersfield Californian.
Officers searched but didn’t find anyone.
The latest sighting came after a week during which police received numerous calls about scary or mischievous clowns. “We’ve had multiple of these clown sightings all over town,” Lt. Jason Matson of the Bakersfield PD, told The Californian. “He was gone by the time we arrived.”
In the town of Wasco, some 30 miles away from Bakersfield, local residents have reported sightings of clowns in different costumes and props since October 1.
“I just seen him about three times already,” Anthony Garza, of Wasco, told KGET. “But yeah—he’s creepy.” “Some of the residents go in cars searching for him,” Noah Sanchez told KGET. “They have flashlights and try and spot him in neighborhoods after he posts to Twitter.”
Nobody really knows who the clowns are. Some people think it’s one person, others say it’s several.
KGET reports that one child says he was chased down the street by a clown carrying an ax. A deputy with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office told KGET that there have been reports of crimes committed in the neighborhood by people in clown costumes. But so far, none of the clowns has been actually linked to any crimes.
“We have had no reports of any assaults by a clown nor have we any arrests of any clowns at any time I have been here and I have been here two years,” Sgt. Ian Chandler told KGET.
Despite creeping plenty of people out, the stunt strikes some locals as a big Halloween joke. “It’s kinda fun though to get us in the Halloween spirit and all of us in the community,” Sanchez told KGET.
Police said they have arrested one minor who acknowledged dressing up and chasing younger juveniles. One local Wasco resident, who requested anonymity, told KGET that he dressed up as the clown as part of a a year-long photography project with his wife. He said he didn’t “expect to start a trend, and did not mean to cause any harm.” The couple plans on posting more pictures on their social media accounts throughout October.
Update (Oct. 18, 2014):
The evil clown phenomenon has spread nationwide, with reported sightings in Florida, Indiana and New Mexico.
Update (Oct. 27, 2014):
The evil clown phenomenon has spread to France — and some of the French evil clowns are VIOLENT.
The Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports (h/t FOTM’s Anon):
A wave of panic sparked by evil clowns stalking French towns has spread to the south of France where police on Saturday night arrested 14 teenagers dressed as the pranksters, carrying pistols, knives and baseball bats. […] In the nearby city of Montpellier a man disguised as a clown was arrested after beating up a pedestrian with an iron bar, while three motorists in different towns complained about “scary clowns” threatening them.
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.