THE anonymous creator of the Spot the Burnley Clown Facebook page has admitted the whole episode was a hoax.

The person behind the page, which attracted more than 6,000 followers, said it was set up as a ‘social experiment’.

Last month, hundreds of messages on Facebook and Twitter claimed the clown was spotted in the Rosegrove, Rosehill, Towneley Park and Harle Syke areas of Burnley, as well as Blackburn, Accrington, Clitheroe, Sabden and Haslingden.

Lancashire police were prompted to issue a statement after several second-hand reports of the ‘clown’ mugging people and even attacking people with baseball bats.

The Lancashire Telegraph first reported that the clown was fake on Sunday, November 21, after police said they had received no first-hand reports of any sightings.

They did, however, release a statement the following day confirming that they had taken ‘a number of calls from concerned members of the public’ regarding the clown. Pictures posted online, allegedly showing the clown in Burnley, were taken from the original Northampton clown page, which gained almost 200,000 followers on Facebook in October.

On Friday, Spot the Burnley Clown wrote: “All right Burnley, I made this page as a social experiment to see if people would believe it. I never expected 6,000-plus likes.”

It added: “There never was a clown. I just made this page and then all of a sudden Twitter and Facebook exploded with rumours and lies of a clown going round attacking people.

“There never was a clown! And yet schools had assemblies about it, the police issued statements, it was just a Facebook page! Never mind the hundreds of death threats this page received. Truly, Burnley it is you who are the clowns.”