AUBURN — An Auburn woman reported Wednesday night that a clown in the back seat of an SUV formed a gun shape with his fingers, pointed them at her and mouthed the word “bang” as she sat on her porch.
The woman pulled out her legally carried 9 mm handgun and the driver of the clown car sped away.
It happened at about 5:30 p.m. on Gamage Avenue. The 49-year-old woman said she was sitting on her porch when a black SUV rolled to a stop in front of her house.
The vehicle’s rear window went down, she said, and there sat “a scary clown” in face makeup.
“He had a red Afro wig on and a red nose,” she said. “The smile was creepy — the painted-on one.” He was wearing a “clown-looking shirt/costume,” and his neck was white.
“I say, ‘I’m not afraid of clowns,'” the woman said. “I started laughing. It’s almost Halloween, so I didn’t think too much about it.”
Then the clown formed a gun shape with his fingers, the woman said, and mouthed the word ‘bang.’
“I picked up my 9 mm — I didn’t point it at him directly,” the woman said, “and said, ‘Back at ya, clown.'”
The driver of the SUV decided Gamage Avenue was no longer the place for hijinks.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, reported the weird incident to police. She handled the clown encounter with finesse, she said, but once the SUV was gone, she started to feel unsettled.
There were people walking in the area when the encounter occurred, she said. There were children outside playing and she shuddered at the thought of how things might have played out if the situation had turned ugly.
“It seems like something bad is going to happen,” she said.
The woman said she had heard media reports about clown sightings around the country. What began as a series of unsettling clown encounters over the summer has since spread to other parts of the U.S., including Maine. On Monday, a clown caused a stir in the town of Orono, causing police to caution people against putting on the wig and clown makeup for the express purpose of scaring people.
Other clown encounters have been reported in Bath, Kennebunk, Gorham and Wells.
After dark Wednesday night, the Auburn woman said what she told the SUV clown is true: She’s not afraid of them. However, hours later, she was still feeling jumpy after the face-to-face showdown.
“It freaked me out,” she said.