SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Facing panic, French town bans ‘evil’ clowns

A French village has banned teenagers from dressing up as clowns for Halloween after people kitted out as the colourful pranksters have sown terror and violence in several parts of the country.

Facing panic, French town bans 'evil' clowns
It's no joke. Clown panic is spreading across France. Photo: Shutterstock

The 6,000-strong village of Vendargues in southern France wants to "avoid any disruption… by evil clowns," Bruno Giraudo from the village hall told AFP on Thursday.

"It's about protecting children by preventing any ill-intentioned clowns from mixing with residents."

The eerie trend of fake, evil clowns terrifying passers-by has hit several parts of France over recent weeks in what many see as a follow-on from hugely popular YouTube prank videos.

Police have jailed or arrested more than a dozen teenagers after they dressed up as the pranksters and wrought havoc on the streets, at times armed with pistols, knives or baseball bats, sometimes beating people up.

The phenomenon in France has even prompted anti-clown vigilantism, forcing police to step in to try and quell growing hysteria.

According to an order published on the village hall website (see below), "individuals or groups of people aged 13 or more" are banned from dressing up as clowns on streets and in public spaces on October 31st and November 1st.

After that, any teenager wanting to dress up as the funny men so dear to children will have to ask for official authorization.

The phenomenon of terror-inducing clowns appeared earlier this month in the north of France.

According to police, people increasingly reported spotting clowns "outside schools, but also on public roads, in bushes, in a square."

Last week, a 19-year-old got a six-month suspended jail term for threatening passers-by while dressed as a clown in the town of Bethune.

And the phenomenon has spread across the country.

Police at the weekend arrested 14 teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying weapons in the Mediterranean port town of Agde.

Not far away in Montpellier — which is very near Vendargues — a fake clown chased a man down a street and beat him with an iron bar, prompting a court to jail him for four months.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

A 75-year-old man has been arrested in France over a murder on a well-known nudist beach outside the southeastern city of Lyon, prosecutors said.

Pensioner held over murder on French nudist beach

The victim, aged 46, was killed on Saturday at the La Mama beach on a lake in the Lyon suburb of Miribel, regional prosecutors said.

The 75-year-old is suspected of shooting the victim multiple times in the bushes nearby following a dispute that arose after the younger man allegedly exposed himself in front of a woman, they added.

The regional daily Le Progres said that the suspect is a member of a shooting club and legally possesses a calibre 22 rifle. The victim was known to the police, it said.

The Le Parisien daily added that according to its information the victim had been a cause of trouble on the beach all Saturday morning with tensions rising to a peak when he began to masturbate in front of a woman.

An altercation ensued at which point the septuagenarian reached for his gun.

Le Progres said that at the peak of the summer season the beach — well known to Lyon’s inhabitants — was operating as normal on Sunday.

Participants in the World Naked Bike Ride France arrived even as police carried out investigations and images showed naked bathers enjoying the hot weather.

SHOW COMMENTS