Imagine if Pennywise from It had an Instagram.
The town of Wasco, California, has seemingly been targeted by a devoted prankster with a lot of time on his hands – either that, or we’re never sleeping again.
Instagram and Twitter (Twitter bio: “IM [sic] THE REAL DEAL”) profiles have popped up belonging to an apparently threatening clown, whose favorite pastime seems to be lurking around local landmarks after dark.
That’s uh, about it.
There appear to be several of the clowns, so whether this is a franchise-type situation or a clown gang has yet to be confirmed, but the official Instagram account makes sure to note that “I’m not the only one out there.”
The clown mostly seems like an elaborate Halloween prank, and residents are treating it as such. “Some of the residents go in cars searching for him. They have flashlights and try to spot him in neighborhoods after he posts to Twitter, Noah Sanchez told local news station KFOR. “It’s kind of fun, though, to get us in the Halloween spirit.” (Though it’s not always that innocent: Lt. Jason Matson of Bakersfield did tell Tech Times that reports “range anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses.”)
A 14-year-old has been arrested and booked into juvenile hall for “harassing minors” while dressed as a clown, but so far, that’s the only arrest. The boy told police he was inspired by social media.
Last September, a similar trend took place in the United Kingdom, so maybe the events are related? Between this and the new season of American Horror Story, it seems safe to say that scary clowns are having a moment. It’s definitely a rough time to be a coulrophobe.