A group of unknown individuals are taking after the creepy clown that lured children in Stephen King’s “It.” This band of evil clowns are traveling throughout the country, appearing on desolate roads, college campuses, and school grounds. Worst of all, they’ve traded balloon animals for lethal weapons like machetes and guns.

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Before making their way into the tri-state area, these disturbing clowns were first spotted in August by residents living in an apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina. Parents filed complaints after their children recalled disturbing encounters with mysterious clowns. After reports in Greenville, the clowns started to spread across the country, making their way into Ohio and North Carolina. A teen from Columbus, Ohio recalled being chased by a clown wielding a knife.

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Recent clown sightings in the New York area have put residents there on edge. Luckily, the New York Police Department isn’t clowning around. Despite receiving several reports of frightening clown sightings across multiple towns in New York, the NYPD isn’t worried.

“Our message is: don’t believe the hype, and don’t be afraid of the clowns,” advises NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller.

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Many New York residents continue to be fearful of the reported clown sightings even if it is simply a hoax.

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For more of where you can potentially spot a clown see posts below:

“More arrests in Ohio amid growing rash of clown-related threats”

“Reports of Creepy Clown Sighting Across North Texas”

“Creepy Clown Sighting Reported in Brentwood, North Babylon”

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“As creepy clown rumors sweep college campuses, cops urge calm”