Creepy 'clown purge' craze hits Toowoomba

The "clown purge" has hit Toowoomba and it is no laughing matter.

The clown craze has had everyone on high alert in the United States and now it has moved down under, with reports of people dressed as terrifying clowns emerging in Australia.

The craze involves people dressing up as creepy clowns and wandering the streets trying to scare people 

The first Australian sightings happened on Thursday night, one in the sleepy north coast New South Wales city of Grafton, the other in Gladstone in central Queensland. 

Now, it seems crazed clowns have made their way to Toowoomba.

Last night on the Toowoomba Crime Alerts and Discussions Facebook page, city residents were discussing sightings right here in town.

Some people said there were sightings around Newtown Park.

Others were saying there were three clowns in a white van in Harristown.

There have been mixed responses to craze with some people taking it as a joke, while others are genuinely scared.

One woman said, "Is this serious? I am petrified and I mean serious fear of clowns."

The Queensland Police Service has responded, issuing a warning saying all reported matters would be taken seriously.

"The QPS has received reports of concerning behaviour involving people dressing up as clowns with the intent to scare others," the statement read.

"While there have been no reports of physical threats or acts of violence involving clowns, police will not tolerate anyone engaging in intimidating or anti-social behaviour.

"Police will treat all reported matters seriously and people need to be aware that by engaging in these activities, they may be committing criminal offences or become victims of crime themselves."

It has not been confirmed where the clown craze came from but many people are speculating it was generated by Stephen King's 1986 horror novel, It. 

The novel follows the story of children who are terrorized by a clown.

It is currently being turned into a film which is set to be released in two parts with the first to be released on September 8, 2017.

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