It’s called coulrophobia: fear of clowns. It’s a thing (so to speak). If you suffer from coulrophobia, you don’t want to Google Bozo the Clown, attend a Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey’s Clown College reunion or visit Bakersfield, California. “The latest in a series of  creepy clown sightings came shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday when Bakersfield police officers near Valhalla Drive and Belle Terrace responded to a report of a person in a clown suit holding a firearm,” bakersfieldcalifornian.com reports. “Officers checked the area but were unable to find the person. The incident came after a week with numerous calls to police from residents reporting seeing scary or mischievous clowns. ‘We’ve had multiple of these clown sightings all over town,’ said Bakersfield police Lt. Jason Matson. ‘He was gone by the time we arrived.’ On Thursday, Bakersfield police officers arrested a minor whom investigators said admitted to dressing as a clown and chasing and scaring younger juveniles.” What’s up with all the clowns? Turns out. . .
The rash of incidents is reportedly inspired by a married couple’s year-long art project, featuring “Wasco Clown,” a circus figure appearing at local California establishments for photo shoots, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
As the latimes.com article reveals, that’s original Wasco clown photo at the top of this post. (He’s named for the small San Joaquin Valley town from whence he came.) Click here – if you dare – for Instagram images inspired by the project, where people dress up as the creepy clown and pose for photos. Apparently, this is a serious business.
Police are taking potential copycat clowns seriously. Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Joseph Grubbs said the force will not hesitate to protect public safety.
“We will make arrests on this,” Grubbs told the newspaper. “We want this to stop.”
I guess they just don’t get It. Anyway, a clown with a gun? Where have I seen that before? Anyway, time to ban clowns? [h/t Pascal]