Man dressed as a 'killer clown' tries to scare shoppers but it totally backfires. Or does it?

Picture: TrollStation
Picture: TrollStation

A video released this week shows a prankster dressed as a creepy clown trying to scare a Londoner - and getting bottled in the head in return.

It shows a prankster in a 'killer clown' horror mask waiting to jump out on an unsuspecting passerby.

But the 'creepy clown', dresed in an equally horrifying yellow jumper, got more than he bargained for when he pounced.

Burly shopper guy proceeds to scream: "What the f*** is wrong with think this is a joke?"

He then violently smashes the bottle down on the clown's head, before standing over his motionless body with a maniacal glint in his eye, shouting: "Ha, ha, ha, ha...that's a joke."

YouTube channel Trollstation posted this video on Saturday, and it's already garnered almost a quarter of a million views, and over 14,000 likes on their Facebook page.

This comes amidst the recent surge of 'creepy clown' incidents all over the world, including the UK, the US and Canada.

While a few viewers questioned the video, many believe the incident really happened.

Nevertheless, 'Light' from TrollStation (so-called because he "lights up peoples lives") confirmed to indy100 that the video is a staged prank; a comment on the recent 'killer clown' craze.

People are going around doing this for real, but this video is a public sketch, a sort of street theatre. It's designed to make a mockery of the recent 'killer clown' prank videos, but also to show how they can go wrong.


Both the clown and the burly shopper are actors, using a sugar glass bottle.

We think that the craze has gone too far. People shouldn't be doing anything like this near schools, or elderly people. Others are walking around with machetes and chainsaws. You can't do that in a public place, because you're terrorising people.

He added: "We don't condone anything like that."

This isn't the first time that the Trollstation group has been in the news this year.

Four members were arrested for faking art gallery heists when they staged a mock robbery at the National Portrait Gallery, and co-founder Danh Van Le was jailed for nine months after staging a fake bomb hoax.

Picture: Nathanx1Picture: Nathanx1

What is the 'creepy clown' craze?

The creepy clown pranks seemed to originate in the UK, were largely ignored, and then dribbled across the pond only to explode all over America.

Remember the 'Northampton clown' of 2013? A guy got nearly 200,000 likes on Facebook by posting photos of himself dressed as a killer clown in public places.

This sparked a rash of copycat pranksters. Reports started circulating around Derbyshire and Yorkshire of clowns carrying knives or staring through windows to scare pensioners.

But this recent mania really kicked off in the US in August, when a string of 'scary clown' sightings across the country started to cause panic, particularly one report of a clown trying to lure children into the wood.

Things reached fever pitch when a group of students at Penn State University went on a mad rampage to hunt down the rumoured "creepy clown on campus'', armed with tennis rackets and lacrosse sticks.

Since then, incidents involving 'creepy clowns' in the US and UK are being reported on a regular basis.


Innocent pranks - or sinister and possibly dangerous stunts?

What started as a harmless mischief seems to be escalating.

One Newcastle teenager in a clown costume was given a police warning for carrying a blade. Other reports suggest that masked figures menacingly approached schoolgirls in Essex.

One couple who left their child at home to take part in some 'creepy clown' shenanigans are actually facing neglect charges.

There's even a report of a man in a clown suit trying to snatch a one-year-old baby girl out of her mother's arms.

Police officers are now cracking down on incidents involving people dressed as clowns.

Commenting on recent reportings of so-called 'Killer Clown' incidents in London, Met Police Commander Julian Bennett (the lead for this year's Autumn Nights Campaign) said:

“We are currently accessing a small number of reported 'Killer Clown' incidents in London, three of which meet the threshold of a criminal offence.

“Anti-social behaviour can leave people feeling scared, anxious and intimidated. I would urge those who are causing fear and alarm to carefully consider the impact their actions have on others."

Picture: kobzev3179Picture: kobzev3179

Why clowns, anyway?

Fear of clowns - coulrophobia - is actually one of the most common fears in the UK, with long roots in popular culture.

The evil clown archetype was already a known trope, with origins in Dickens's The Pitckwick Papers, and his work (under pen name 'Boz') on the memoirs of actor Joseph Grimaldi, inventor of the whiteface clown, and commedia dell'arte-inspired Punch and Judy puppets.

It came back into public consciousness in connection with the high profile case of of John Wayne Gacy, a real serial killer known as the 'Killer Clown' in 1978.

But it was Stephen King's 1986 novel It that really skewed the traditional circus clown stereotype, with the monster Pennywise dressing as a clown in order to entrap a group of children.

Criminologist at Birmingham City University, Dr Adam Lynes, said that the disguise could allow people the freedom to behave in a way that they never would normally, playing on popular cultural trends like Batman’s the Joker.

He also believes that social media coverage of the antics inspire copycats and encourages escalation.

Why now?

Criminologist Ben Radford, author of Bad Clowns, believes that there is evidence that clown sightings are more common during periods of social anxiety – like Halloween... Or Brexit.

But Trollstation's Light thinks that it could be related to a marketing stunt, publicising the upcoming remake of the film adaptation of It.

According to Commander Bennett: “In the run up to Halloween, it is expected that these types of incidents will increase.

"However, with the launch of our annual Autumn Nights campaign in the coming weeks, additional reassurance patrols and will be on hand for those who are especially vulnerable during this period."

He added: “Whilst we do not want to stop people from enjoying themselves, it is important that while having fun they remember to act in a responsible manor and understand that they could be prosecuted if a criminal offence is committed.”

But fears are growing in the US that people might panic and shoot pranksters dressed as clowns.

Picture: kkgasPicture: kkgas

More: Clown 'carrying machete' seen peering into driver's car.

More: Clown - latest news, breaking stories and comment from the Independent.

More: What is behind America's hysterical obsession with creepy clowns?

The Conversation (0)