A small French town took drastic action to protect residents from ‘killer clowns’ who were terrorising the whole country back in 2014.
Officials in Vendargues banned all people aged over 13 from wearing clown costumes in the street during the Halloween period.
Vendargues is a town of around 6,000 residents near Montpellier and although it did not directly have much trouble with ‘killer clowns’ it took drastic action before the social media craze came to the area.
During 2014, police across France were arresting dozens of people who would dress up for pranks or even cause havoc to people by being armed with knives and baseball bats.
The trouble got so bad in parts of northern France that according to The Local, anti-clown vigilantes started taking matters into their own hands.
It is thought that officials decision to ban the costumes in Vendargues came following a ‘clown’ attack in a nearby city after one was spotted chasing a man with an iron bar and beating him with the weapon.
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Officials believe the antics of the ‘clowns’ could have caused disruption so the mayor at the time, Pierre Dudieuzere, signed a decree banning people from wearing clown costumes from October 31 to November 1.
Speaking to AFP At the time, official Bruno Giraudo said he wanted to "avoid any disruption by evil clowns” and the ban was about “protecting children by preventing any ill-intentioned clowns from mixing with residents."
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The ruling, which was posted on the town’s website, said: “It is forbidden unless authorized previously for any individual or group of persons aged 13 years or more to (be) disguised as a clown in the streets and public spaces in the urban centre of Vendargues."
After several years since the ban was made, the Daily Star contacted locals to get their thoughts on the decision made by officials at the time.
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“To tell the truth I will not be very objective towards the clowns because basically I am terrified,” said Estelle, a local in Vendargues.
“This period when evil people disguised themselves as clowns to deliberately frighten or even hurt, no?
“So we can understand that a town like Vendargues with a mayor very concerned about its inhabitants, takes care to protect them as much as possible. Personally, this ban neither disturbed, nor shocked me.”
Local Josy said: “Everyone is afraid of everything now, right or wrong. Who can hide under this clown costume? Life doesn't get easy.”
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Another local, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “For the safety of the village, the mayor preferred to ban them in order to reassure people for Halloween night. I think that's good. Our mayor has a good idea. After that, it (killer clowns) was a fad of the moment, like Squid Game."
The ‘killer clown’ craze slowly ended in the country that same year with incidents becoming very rare across France.
Vendargues' clown ban was enforced in 2014 but according to reports, they advise those planning to wear clown costume during Halloween to ask for authorisation.
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