Creepy Clowns: The Power of Social Media

It’s that time of year: Halloween. This holiday brings out all the ghoulish and creepy terrors we all have nightmares about. It’s all about the spirit of the holiday, right?

I happen to love Halloween. Although I would not necessarily volunteer to traipse through a haunted house full of bloody zombies, I do love the costumes, movies and the overall eerie feel of this month. That is why when I first heard about The Wasco Clown, I had to figure out what he was all about.

If you haven’t seen him yet, this is The Wasco Clown.

wasco clown 3

He has an Instagram account featuring one or more clowns who are traveling the streets of Wasco, Calif. at night this month. The creepy clowns are posing by recognizable landmarks and posting to social media to intrigue the citizens of Wasco and beyond. While some seemed entertained by this account, others are not as amused. The account, which has reportedly been created by a couple and is a photography project, is now prompting copycat clowns to come out of the woodworks, including one who was arrested. The Wasco Clown and other clowns involved in the project have not been cited with any dangerous intent, but have successfully captured national attention.

Despite either way people stand on the subject, it has gained serious media attention over the weekend. The account now has almost 30,000 followers in just seven days and only 14 posts. This shows the power of social media. Let’s take a look at how this account has become viral.

wasco clown 2


This project could happen at any time during the year, but the attention it is getting could also be attributed to the fact that it is almost Halloween. Choosing the month of October is a surefire way to create a connection in people’s minds between the creepy clowns and the upcoming holiday that everyone is anticipating.

Strategic posts

The photos aren’t randomly taken at any time or any place. The clowns are featured only at night and in areas that are familiar to the residents of Wasco. These choices are intentional to draw in the local community. It gives the followers a personal connection to the photos. It also gives the clowns credibility of actually being out and about in Wasco.


This account has extremely intriguing visuals. This, of course, is the point of the photography social media app. However, the choices in costume, lighting, placement of subjects, etc., are deliberate and enhance the creepy feel of the account.

Call to Action

Along with some of these photos is a call to action: the clowns are prompting the public to come find them. This creates engagement with followers. It also creates an ongoing campaign that keeps followers returning to the account to see what is going to be posted next.

wasco clown 1

I don’t know about you, but I am interested to follow The Wasco Clown throughout the rest of the month to see what will happen and to eventually hear what the couple’s plans are with this project. What do you think about the social media attention surrounding The Wasco Clown?


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