“He doesn’t juggle. He doesn’t twist balloons into animal shapes. He just stares,” reports the Northhampton Herald & Post. They are referring to an anonymous clown that appeared in the U.K. town on Friday the 13th and has been turning up in various locations every day since, often carrying a teddy bear. You’ve probably heard about him already because he is a viral internet sensation. His presence has inspired a Facebook fan page, which now has more than 78,000 followers, two Twitter hashtags (#northamptonclown and #clownwatch), a couple of local, clown copycats (two teens in town whose faces were “covered with large amounts of white paint” and “wearing dungarees” offered to paint a woman’s house) and a self-proclaimed superhero who refers to himself as The Clown Catcher.
So who is this clown and what does he want? Some have speculated that the clown is Alex Powell, the man who directed a short film shot in Northampton, “The Local Clown.” Powell responded to the suspicions saying:
“There’s been lots of rumours that I’m the ‘Northampton Clown’ but i am NOT! But thanks for the interest as its shot my views right up…And i don’t live in Northampton anymore.”
The clown also responded to the rumors on his Facebook page: “I may have to change my appearance as the actor in that ‘Local Clown’ film has the same costume as me. If what i am doing does get too much for people, I will have to stop … Too much hate not enough love . No, i don’t have a knife on me!, thats just stupid rumours spread by stupid people.”
See now? He’s not so scary. He’s just a kind, compassionate and loving clown. According to his latest Facebook status update, he has a big surprise coming our way at the end of the week:
“I’ll be seeing you all very soon (in the day!) but i’m going to lay low for a bit as i have a big surprise for you all hopefully due at the end of the week!! Beep Beep!”
Don’t automatically jump to horrifying conclusions. There’s nothing to fear. He seems kind of sweet –l ess crazed stalker and more silent guardian. And we can’t ignore how he’s brought the entire town — heck, the entire WORLD together. I’d like to think that he’s like Oprah: ready to surprise all of Northampton’s residents with new cars and a message of love. I guess we’ll find out at the end of the week. Until then, live by the wisdom of the clown: less hate, more love.