Mysterious clowns have been seen lurking in the streets of the northern Israeli town of Afula and residents don’t think it’s funny.
In fact, many are terrified.
Social networks and WhatsApp groups in the town have been buzzing over recent days with parents discussing reports and rumors about mysterious clowns loitering on streets after dark.
One mother wrote, “My children are hysterical over this whole story,” according to the local Emek News site.
Many speculated that Afula’s clowns had been inspired by the horror movie “It” based on a Stephen King novel and featuring Pennywise, the dancing clown.
Police said they are looking into it, but face paint and red noses are not crime.
“A wave of rumors apparently started after people saw a video clip of a clown in fancy dress,” a police statement said,
“Even though we have not received any complaints, we made a number of inquiries and located a number of youths in clown costumes. They said they were just playing with the costumes for fun. Obviously, this is not a crime.
“Despite that, we explained to them and to their parents that this is sensitive in light of the movie and the clip that has gone round on social media. Beyond this, everything is just rumor.”