WorldViews: How pranks, assaults and social media led a French town to ban clowns for Halloween

By Adam Taylor, October 31, 2014

Clowns are a perennial Halloween costume: Not particularly zeitgeisty or inspired, but timelessly creepy and easy to recognize.

This Halloween, however, one town in France has other ideas. In a decree issued Oct. 28, just days before the big day, Pierre Dudieuzere, mayor of Vendargues, a small town near Montpellier, banned all clown costumes for anyone over 13 on Halloween and for a month afterward. The decree makes clear that the ban is "absolute" on the eve of Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, and that anyone violating it would be arrested and prosecuted.

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