Are you here for the kid’s party?
Perhaps. The truth of the matter is, everything about the Northampton Clown is proving a bit of a mystery.
Reports of a clown lurking in the streets of Northampton and staring at passers-by began circulating on Twitter, but the first picture of Mr Clown came to light on … Friday the 13th. A Facebook page, purportedly set up by the mystery man himself, has also emerged, with grainy cameraphone Images adding eeriness and catching the world’s imagination.
Has Northampton welcomed its new local hero with open arms?
Far from it. While some residents have congratulated the clown for bringing “creativity and mystery” to “Nothing-happening-ton”, most feedback has been hostile. “Get out of the clown suit and start acting like a grown-up,” wrote one Facebook user. “Some people do have real fears of clowns and you are terrorising them.”
Fear of clowns?
Yes, it is officially referred to as coulrophobia. Symptoms of the affliction include feelings of dread, increased heartbeat, sweating, nausea and anger. Many have pointed out the similarities between the white mask and red face of the Northampton prankster and Pennywise, the clown in the 1990 film based on Stephen King’s novel It.
So who’s behind the mask?
There was speculation yesterday that the clown’s had been identified, with a YouTube clip showing a local actor, William Unwin, roaming the city centre in a similar get-up. However, the clown has denied this connection on his Facebook page. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Northamptonshire Police confirmed the force has “neither arrested nor dealt with any crimes involving anyone dressed as a clown”.
Where will he appear next?
No one knows – but the negative comments are getting to him. At the time of going to press, his most recent Facebook posting read: “If what I am doing does get too much for people, I will have to stop.”