A number of clown sightings reported recently in Nova Scotia has some people wondering if the bizarre encounters are part of a publicity stunt.
Cape Breton Regional Police say they were made aware of three clown-related incidents in the past week.
In one reported incident, a woman from Glace Bay opted to take a side street to avoid a masked individual, only to be surrounded by a group of clowns, according to CTV News.
Another woman, who is also from Glace Bay, said she had to stop her vehicle after coming across a clown standing in the middle of the road. She told CTV Atlantic that the clown then ran directly at her vehicle, forcing her to reverse down the road with the clown picking up speed.
The woman referred to the incident as a “nightmare.”
These odd incidents aren’t just happening in Canada. Reports of intimidating clowns have been popping up across the U.S. in recent weeks, including two scary clown appearances that prompted school closures in Alabama.
On Twitter, the Tennessee Highway Patrol issued a statement on Sept. 24 warning that clowns were “trying to lure children in to the woods” and “they are possibly predators.”
In response to these creepy encounters, the Boston Globe noted that 1981 was a banner year for clown sightings, which means this isn’t the first time a string of creepy incidents have taken place.
It should also be noted that a remake of the movie It, which is based on a Stephen King novel and includes a frightening clown, is expected to be released in 2017.
The growing number of clown sightings across North America has led some to question whether this is all just some big publicity stunt for the new movie, but that charge has been flatly denied by a studio spokesperson, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Whether it’s a prank or a menace, those who are scared of clowns are likely hoping this trend can be saved for Halloween.