LONDON – A mysterious clown dressed like the malevolent character from the Stephen King novel “It” has been terrifying residents with random appearances in the English town of Northampton.
The true identity of the “Northampton Clown,” who wears a white mask with red hair like the character Pennywise in King’s 1986 book and holds balloons, remains a mystery, but his alter ego has attracted a following of 172,000 people on Facebook.
The clown confirmed that he was, well, just clowning around. “Naturally, some people would have been extremely frightened by what they saw, but I hope many are starting to see it as a bit of harmless fun,” he told the local newspaper, the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, on Friday. “Most people enjoy being a bit freaked out and then they can laugh about it afterward. It’s like watching a horror movie, when people get scared they usually start laughing.”
He admitted that he had based the character on Stephen King’s clown, adding he was 298 years old and wakes up every 30 years.
The book “It,” which was made into a television film in 1990, is about seven children in an American town who battle a murderous force that often takes the form of a clown.