• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Scary clown' craze hits Spanish city

George Mills · 30 Oct 2014, 10:06

Published: 30 Oct 2014 10:06 GMT+01:00

Spain's self-styled 'Gijónclown' — he even has his own Instagram account with nearly 5,000 followers — is the latest manifestation of a social media-driven phenomenon which has seen French police arrest over a dozen teenagers who dressed up as clowns carried weapons and even beat people up.

 

¿Y yo soy el payaso malo? #gijonclown #gijón #asturias #payaso #clown #gijon

Una foto publicada por GijonClown (@gijonclown) el

A photo posted by GijonClown on his Instagram account on Wednesday. "Am I the bad clown?" he asks.

With coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, sweeping across France, vigilantes have taken to the streets to try and stop the pranksters. 

After Facebook reports that one aggressive clown was threatening people in the centre of the eastern town of Mulhouse, five youths took it up themselves to hunt down the joker.  Armed themselves with baseball bats, knuckle dusters, a hammer and a canister of tear gas, they went in search for the fake clowns, intent on meting out their own form of punishment, but police thwarted their attempts.

Police in France have now warned they will not tolerate violence — either from people dressed as clown or from vigilantes. 

Now the strange phenomenon with roots in the UK and the US — which may or may not have something to do with the approach of Halloween — has made its way to Spain, with people in Gijón reporting sightings of a clown on the streets of the sight at night, according to Spain's 20 minutos newspaper.

Described by one witness who saw the clown in the early hours of the morning as being of "medium height", the prankster was also said to be "unarmed" but acting in a "sinister" fashion.

On his Instagram account, Gijónclown asks: "Scared of clowns? But we are the most friendly, nice and sociable people you'll meet. You'll find us at night".

Story continues below…

For the witness  who spoke to 20 minutos though, the situation had a different complexion: "People will have their own opinion on whether it's good or bad, but I think there are a lot of people without a sense of humour who wouldn't find it very funny to run into such a figure at night."

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's crisis-hit Socialists set for leadership showdown
Pedro Sanchez is facing pressure to resign. Photo: AFP

Spain's crisis-hit Socialists geared for a key meeting on Saturday that could decide the fate of embattled party leader Pedro Sanchez and help end the country's prolonged political deadlock.

Everyone loves Spain: Tourist numbers break new record
2016 is set to be a record breaking year for tourism. Photo: AFP

More than 10 million tourists visited Spain in August, setting a new record for visitor numbers.

Catalan leader wins backing for independence referendum
Carles Puigdemont won support for a referendum. Photo: AFP

Catalonia's regional president won a confidence vote to hold a Scottish-style referendum on independence next year.

 Spanish police seize over 100 tonnes of contraband tobacco
Over 100 tonnes of tobacco was seized. Photo: AFP

Spanish police have seized a record 100 tonnes of contraband tobacco worth €16 million ($18 million) and arrested 13 people suspected of selling it over the internet.

The Local list
Ten great reasons to discover the real Malaga right now
Malaga's modern port. Photo: Nick Kenrick/Flickr

Autumn is a great time to discover Spain's southern city of Malaga.

Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Photo: AFP

Spain is going through one of the worst political storms in its modern history.

Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Photo; Carlos Olmedillas / Flickr

Filming for Game of Thrones season 7 gets underway in Spain in October. The Local takes a look at the special places chosen for the next episodes in the epic HBO drama.

Catalan leader promises 2017 independence referendum
Photo: AFP

The president of Catalonia vowed to hold a referendum on independence next year, whether Spain allowed it or not.

Spain's stricken Socialist party hit by 'coup' attempt
Pedro Sanchez is under pressure to resign. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialist party was hit by a "coup" attempt on Wednesday with half of its leadership quitting in a bid to oust leader Pedro Sanchez and unblock the country's political deadlock

British mother arrested for leaving child to party till dawn
The mother went clubbing until dawn leaving her seven-year-old alone at the hotel. Photo: AFP

A British mother has been arrested in Mallorca after leaving her child alone overnight in a hotel while she went clubbing till dawn.

Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
National
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
International
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
National
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
National
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
International
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
Travel
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
International
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Technology
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
National
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
Society
Pregnant woman in niqab attacked by two men in Spain
National
Spanish café offers cut-price coffee to those with manners
Travel
What's on in Spain: September 2016
Travel
'We drank from animal troughs to survive'
National
Forest fires threaten Costa Blanca resort of Jávea
National
Loyal dog mounts vigil at hospital doors for sick owner
Politics
Five reasons why Spain's Socialists won't back Rajoy
National
It's a girl! Rare giant panda cub born in Madrid zoo
Culture
La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
3,230
jobs available