Clowns Are Terrorizing France Now Too, So Thanks a Lot, Social Media

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Clown masks are displayed at the Fantasy Costumes HDQ. store October 17, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois. Halloween, the day normally observed with dressing up in disguise, trick-or-treating, and displaying jack-o-lanterns during the evening is only two weeks away on October 31. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Source: Tim Boyle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Bad news, guys. It looks like the evil clown epidemic is not only still a thing, but now it's spread to another continent, and it's getting more and more violent. Clowns are now terrorizing France, and in recent weeks, police have arrested more than a dozen of these creeps, some of whom were armed with actual weapons. But it appears the French are a lot less tolerant of these clowns, and many citizens have formed anti-clown vigilante groups to fight back. As they try to contain both sides, the French police are pleading with the public to stop spreading the phenomenon on social media.

The current evil-clown trend first appeared in Staten Island and Southern California, the site of the now-infamous Wasco Clown. But because humans are curiously fascinated by the grotesque — and not very original — copycats have inevitably cropped up. The latest string of clown sightings have been all over France, where the situation is a lot more heated. At least in America, the clowns carried balloons, not actual weapons.

On Saturday, police arrested 14 teenagers dressed as psychotic clowns and carrying knives, pistols, and baseball bats in Agde, southern France. That same day in Montpellier, a man was attacked by a man dressed as a clown wielding a metal rod who was trying to rob him. And last Friday, a teenager from Douvrin received a suspended jail sentence for scaring children and others while dressed as a clown and waving a long stick resembling a knife. Where did he get the idea from? Facebook.

Social media is unquestionably the driving force behind this horror-inducing trend. The Wasco Clown alone has two fan pages on Facebook, and its Instagram account has more than 56,000 followers. So it may be totally apropos, then, that an anti-clown vigilante group has also formed its own community page on Facebook. The Chasseur de Clowns (Clown Hunters) page was created in response to the recent violent clown sightings and is reflective of outraged French communities who refuse to tolerate this kind of terrorizing. But according to France's Police Nationale, acts of vigilantism are just as illegal as the acts perpetrated by the clowns and both clown and clown hunter will be arrested.

The Police Nationale also took to Facebook to announce (translated):

Initiatives appeared on social networks to promote hunting for clowns. In Bordeaux and Mérignac, public security police arrested 4 teenagers seeking to do battle with clowns following the broadcast of this phenomenon on social networks.
The agency also asked the public to "be responsible" and "not relay this phenomenon on social networks." People resisting the urge to share creepy, evil clowns on social media? Yeah, good luck with that.

Image: wascoclown/Instagram

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