‘Killer Clown’ craze that gripped entire nation and ran police forces ragged

It might seem like some sort of horrifically surreal fever dream, but a bizarre "killer clown" craze had the entire nation in its grip just five years ago.

In 2016 the police received numerous reports of incidents of youngsters terrorising the streets dressed as killer children's entertainers.

The first "killer clown" incidents occurred in the US, but the phenomenon quickly spread to other parts of the world.

Thames Valley Police received 14 reports of people being intimidated by clowns in just two days.

Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Police were called six times in 48 hours.

Most of the activity was pranksters trying to scare people – others included criminal activity.

Either way, children and adults alike were left terrified by the pranks.

Some clowns were even spotted wielding knives, chainsaws and other weapons.

The craze continued into last year, with youngsters clad in evil clown gear standing outside schools to scare kids.

It is believed the creepy clown costumes grew in popularity due to Stephen King’s horror novel IT, released in 1986.

In 2017, a film adaption was released featuring Pennywise the clown who terrorises children in Maine, America which reignited the craze and caused pranksters to adopt the disguise.

The killer clown craze has made an unwelcome reappearance.

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It is feared the sightings will be ramped up as we approach Halloween.

Last month, "killer clowns" were spotted lurking outside a school and asking kids to "follow them" sparking panic among parents in Singapore.

Parents began to receive text messages from other parents stating "persons dressed as clowns seen loitering around primary schools," as one text read.

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Last year, when spooky season hit threats of a "killer clown" return on social media have left kids terrified.

Concerned parents in Cleator Moor, Cumbria reported to local authorities, a post made on Instagram shown to them by their children.

An Instagram account called Clowns Cleator Moor had panicked kids in the town with sinister posts including a fake news report that a teen had been killed by a clown in the area.

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