UPDATE: Mum adds to mystery of spooky clown
MYSTERY is deepening over claims that an infamous clown who has terrorised a town is Paignton student Alex Powell.
The 22-year-old budding film maker has been named as the person who has been popping up all over Northampton since Friday September 13.
The clown has been compared to horror writer Stephen King's character Pennywise (played by Tim Curry) from the TV mini-series It.
National newspapers named him as digital film making university student Alex Powell, who comes from Elmbank Gardens in Paignton.
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However Alex's parents, Keith Powell and Dorinda McGann, say he has told them he is not the clown.
Dorinda said: “I don’t think it is my son.
“All I know is that he did have a clown costume and he did donate it to one of the charity shops.
“Then he said that a couple of people have asked if he is the clown but he said it’s not him.
“He is doing digital film making at Northampton University so maybe people are putting two and two together.”
She added that they are unaware of the online frenzy accompanying the mysterious clown’s Northampton appearances.
“We have access to the internet but Alex has taken the laptop to university so we don’t really know anything about it.” She added: "He is absolutely brilliant and has done some really good films already. He is such a lovely lad. Her's a credit to us."
WARNING - Video contains strong language
Alex lives with his girlfriend Rachel Perkins and film-making buddy Elliot Simpson - all ex-Paignton Community College students - in Northampton.
Today in the Elmbank Gardens and Derrell Road area some neighbours and friends of the trio said they knew that Alex was the clown. But others, including close family members, were unaware of the sensation surrounding Alex and his friends.
The Northampton clown appears in random locations around the town, holding balloons and staring at by-passers. Like the scary Pennywise character, he says nothing except ‘Beep Beep’.
The clown’s spooky appearances instantly went viral on the internet worldwide and gained almost 190,000 Facebook followers.
Opinion has been divided over the clown. Thousands of followers love the clown but there have also been internet trolls making death threats.
Alex, who now lives in student digs in the Abingdon area of Northampton where the clown has mostly been filmed and photographed, has posted a series of YouTube films, including one filmed this May called ‘The Local Clown’. Other films by Alex, filmed in and around Paignton, can also be viewed on YouTube. On the site Alex denied rumours that he is the Northampton clown, but said the story had pushed up views of his film to 90,000.
Despite admitting to a national newspaper that he was the clown, the Spot Northampton’s Clown Facebook page still claims that his identity is “safe” and tells followers “not to believe everything they read in the papers”, leading to the suggestion Alex may not be the Northampton Clown after all.
When approached by a national paper he at first denied that he was the clown, but after being photographed coming out of his student digs wearing the clown outfit he confessed: “OK, I am the clown but I’ve been trying to keep it as mysterious as possible. To be discreet so people didn’t find out.
“Your pictures are from the day I went to meet a little girl who only has six months to live.
“Her mum messaged me saying she really wants to meet you before she dies. I took a picture with her and gave her a clown teddy and stuff.
“On Facebook I’ve had over a thousand death threats. It was just a bit of fun at first and a lot of people seem to enjoy it but it gets a bit hard sometimes with the death threats.”