A CREEPY Instagram account has promised 20 clowns with a “knife” will descend on schools this week as part of the “killer clown” craze sweeping the nation.
As many as 20 reports were made last week as terrifying clowns were spotted all over the country and they seem to be deliberately targeting schools and schoolchildren – prompting warnings from police.
Clowns_r_coming_to_essex, which is now private, declared schools in Essex would be targeted on Wednesday and encouraged people to propose other schools to visit.
The account was met with a mixture of amusement and outrage from people commenting on the posts.
It said the schools clowns would visit in the county are Bower Park School, Havering College, Sanders School and Marshalls Park School.
A post which included a picture of a clown and the Bower Park School sign said: “Next on Wednesday at 2:30 with 20 clowns with knife good luck.”
All schools were contacted and a spokesman for Havering College said they were aware of the posts and had passed the information on to their security.
A spokeswoman for Marshalls Park School said: “The school is aware of this clown phenomenon that is sweeping the nation at the moment. We have been made aware of posts on social media.”
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are aware there is a suggestion on social media of clowns planning on visiting schools as part of this current craze.
“We would like to reiterate our previous message that people involved in this may commit offences under the Public Order Act 1986 and could find themselves being arrested.
“We would urge people to be considerate of the feelings of others, especially young children and the elderly.
“We also understand how this craze, which is becoming prominent on social media, is causing some people alarm and distress.
“Following this information relating to schools we will be liaising with them to provide reassurance. Anyone who has any information about any activity which is being planned is asked to contact police on 101.”
The clown craze has swept the UK after a string of creepy incidents in the US, and masked people are continuing to terrify school children and adults alike.
The trend has been inspired by clown-related pranks in America, police have said, with it growing so quickly warnings have been issued.
Drivers in Manchester were startled to see two clowns running at their cars on Sunday, and a mum-of-two was left with terrified children after one jumped on her car.
A masked man carrying a knife left a group of children aged 11 and 12 “upset and distressed” when he jumped out on their way to the Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at 8.40am on Friday.
While in Suffolk, a boy “younger than a teenager” was chased by “several people dressed as clowns” in Beatty Road, Sudbury, at 8pm on Thursday, Suffolk Constabulary confirmed.
Tom Jackson, 18, a first year student at Leeds Beckett University was “very scared” when he saw a man dressed as a clown near an underpass in Leeds at 4.30am on Friday.
A 13-year-old boy was arrested in the Blakelaw area of the city on Tuesday following reports of someone dressed as a clown attempting to scare passers-by.
A brave woman in Cornwall who said she was jumped on by two teenage “idiots” dressed as clowns in car park had the last laugh as her dog chased them off.
Aimee Gilbert posted on Facebook today about her encounter with the two clowns and she wasn’t happy about it.
She changed her status on Facebook to ‘feeling angry’ and said the jokers were either 15 or 16 years old and were dressed in “clown masks, black hoodies and black trousers and trainers.”
A group of friends who met for a meal in a restaurant in Bracknell, Berks, had a scare over the weekend as they noticed a creepy figure wearing a mask looking through the window.
This weekend Thames Valley Police were called to 14 reports of people being intimidated or frightened by others dressed as clowns, Gloucestershire Police had six reports and South Wales Police attended numerous reports.
In Crawley, West Sussex, a clown with a hatchet was seen by a motorist in a park while another was seen on a street corner.
This clown was seen heading south in Penistone Road, in the Hillsborough area of Sheffield.
It was seen, and captured on film, by staff at Martin Lee Car Sales.
It’s unclear if the person is wearing a full clown outfit or if it was just a mask – which has a bald head and red tufts of hair.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Mel Sutherland, of Durham Police, said: “I would like to appeal directly to the people who are dressing up and carrying out these stupid acts to think seriously about what they are doing, the distress they are causing to young children is unnecessary and it needs to stop.”