US spooky clown craze moves to Australia, New Zealand

It's unclear what started the craze, although some have suggested it may be part of a horror movie publicity stunt or an elaborate hoax.

By: Reuters | Melbourne | Updated: October 9, 2016 9:42 am
clown, creepy clowns, US creepy clowns, Australia creepy clowns, news, world news, international news, US news, Australia news Numerous sightings of clowns appeared on social media in the early hours of Sunday in several Australian cities, with one woman in Brisbane telling local media she was chased by a clown holding a knife. (representative image)

Sightings of creepy clowns that have spooked the United States appear to have sparked ‘copy-cat’ acts in Australia and New Zealand, with police issuing stern warnings for would-be clowns. Numerous sightings of clowns appeared on social media in the early hours of Sunday in several Australian cities, with one woman in Brisbane telling local media she was chased by a clown holding a knife.

The clown sightings started around Greenville, South Carolina, in August, when police received reports of clowns standing silently by roadsides, lurking near laundromats and trying to lure children into the woods with bags of cash and green laser lights. It’s unclear what started the craze, although some have suggested it may be part of a horror movie publicity stunt or an elaborate hoax.

Since then videos and pictures have appeared on social media of clowns scaring residents in various US cities, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. In the New Zealand city of Hamilton, a 22-year-old woman was assaulted early on Saturday by two men dressed as clowns, police said.

“This was a very frightening experience for the young woman,” New Zealand police said in a statement. Australian police have issued strong warnings to those dressing as clowns, saying they could be committing criminal acts or become victims if scared citizens attack them.

“The clown purge appears to be a copycat of incidents being seen in the U.S. Any intimidating or threatening, as well as anti-social behaviours will not be tolerated and will be investigated,” police in the Australian state of Victoria said in a statement posted on social media.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. T
    Toto Johnson
    Dec 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    The photo being used in this story has NOTHING to do with the article. This photo is of me and was taken during a 32 day tour I did in INDIA with a group of international clowns in 2014 that was put together by one of Mumbai's finest producers. I have dedicated my life to bringing happiness and laughter to people around the world and it saddens me that this photo is being used in relation to a very small group of criminals in Halloween masks trying to scare people and then other criminals making up false stories about people in masks trying to scare them. I ask that you please remove the photo...and be extremely careful what photos you use in the future as you could directly be destroying someone's livelihood...and life.
    Reply