The Knife-Wielding Clown Stalking Douai, France Is The Latest Incident In A Terrifying Trend

OK — what is the deal with this clown thing, you guys? French English newspaper The Local reports a 17-year-old was arrested Monday for terrorizing France dressed as an armed clown. The knife-wielding clown had been reported chasing, threatening, and attacking students in the town of Douai. The situation is strikingly similar to the Wasco Clown in the U.S., which saw a gun-toting clown haunting suburban streets in the wee hours. Shut. It. Down.

Basically, the collective nightmare of coulrophobics (clown fearers) everywhere is coming to life. The teenager received a six-month suspended jail term in connection to three incidents. The Local says the first incident occurred Oct. 13, when a girl reported being chased by an armed person in a clown suit. The second occurred the next day on Oct. 14, when a middle school student reported she was attacked by a clown. The third attack occurred on Oct. 15, when a male student said he was threatened near a primary school. NOPE.

What's really scary is that it hasn't been established for sure yet if this individual is responsible for all of the attacks. The difference between this clown (or clowns) and the ones freaking out people in the U.S. is that he/they actually attacked people – children, to be exact. The incidents have parents freaking out, understandably so, and many have called their children's schools to ask about security measures. People living near the town have also taken to Twitter to spread the word and express their opinions on the situation.

It's also unclear whether these clown sightings around the world are related, or just a long string of dedicated copycats who enjoy feeding off the Internet buzz they've generated. Perhaps the attention they're getting on the news and on social media is what encourages them to keep escalating their pranks. Maybe we should stop talking about them, but, it's kind of hard to when they're so freakin' creepy.

Needless to say, France, California, and basically anywhere in the dead of night won't see me for a while. What was once a kind of funny, albeit weird, Internet trend has officially gotten way too creepy for my taste. Shudder.