Police Arrest 14 Armed Clowns Terrorizing Small Towns

French police arrested 14 teenagers dressed as clowns on Saturday night for wielding deadly weapons, including pistols, knives and baseball bats.

There were numerous instances throughout the south of France of residents complaining about “armed clowns” or “scary clowns.” One such clown was arrested in Montpelier, a town on the Mediterranean coast, after beating a pedestrian with an iron bar.

These evil clowns, it turns out, have been terrorizing France since early October, when five teens were arrested near the French-German border for forming an “anti-clown” vigilante group.

The threatening faux-circus performers have mostly been spotted outside schools, as well as on public roads, squares, and behind bushes. All this hubbub in a nation where Halloween is rarely celebrated has caused something of a panic, prompting a response from French authorities.

“Since mid-October, a rumour inspired by videos published on the internet, is worrying the population about the presence of threatening and aggressive clowns in France,” the national police said in a statement this week. “Despite numerous reports made to police, there have been only a few sightings of people dressed as clowns having fun scaring passers-by… Symptomatic of the impact of the internet, this phenomenon can lead to damaging individual acts and disturbances to public order.”