Are You Afraid of Clowns?


Zak Parchen

There have been numerous reports of horrific clowns terrorizing the community of Bakersfield. Although many of the reports are believed to be false, one thing is for certain, and that is that the situation has created panic.

The clowns are believed to have originated from a photography project, where a woman took pictures of her husband in Wasco while he wore a grotesque clown costume. Several residents of Bakersfield, mainly teenagers, took inspiration from this to start a prank in the county. The pranks, however, have escalated to the point where some of the clowns are chasing people while wielding weapons; witnesses are reporting that they are carrying everything from baseball bats to axes, and one report even claims that one was carrying a firearm, although it was likely just a BB gun. However, there are no accounts of any attacks.

Bakersfield police have arrested one of the clowns who was chasing a group of minors, and charged him with harassment. The suspect was fourteen years of age and told the police that he was just a part of the clown prank. Despite all the clowns being part of a large prank, the police want it to come to an end for they fear it will give reason for people to commit crimes, and this is already beginning to show with clowns having weapons. Sergeant Grubbs, of the Bakersfield county police, addressed the clown incidents saying, “We will make arrests on this. We want this to stop this.”

On October 8th, there were several reports of a clown chasing people with an axe around the Golden Valley High School campus. When law enforcement arrived, they could not find anyone who fit the description of the person in the reports, showing that this was no more than a hoax.

The National Clown Association has even become outraged by the Bakersfield clowns. President of the association, Randy Christensen, says that clowns should be “positive, family-friendly,” and the clowns in Bakersfield are “taking something innocent and wholesome and perverting it to create fear in their audience.”