In Romerike County, Norway, a 26-year-old driver with two children was frightened by a "weapon-wielding" clown.
"He had a completely white clown mask, the kind one would wear on Halloween. The weapon had a silvery glisten and looked like a machete to me, but could also have been a bat," the frightened 26-year-old driver told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.
Subsequently, a 14-year-old boy was apprehended by police, whereas the "weapon" turned out to be a hockey stick. Since the culprit's tender age makes him virtually unpunishable, police were left with contacting his parents as the only option.
Some things are too scary…even for Hallowe'en. I blame @StephenKing 😱 #Pennywise #PTSD pic.twitter.com/HBzNkrcoxD— an cailín cainteach☘ (@Trillian_01) 11 октября 2016 г.
"This is the first episode of this kind we have experienced, but if the situation degenerates, in a way it already did in America, it would be rather unpleasant. This sort of humor is uncalled-for form of joke, and may become a horror issue for some," Patrick Solberg of Romerike police told Verdens Gang.
"Some people probably think this is funny, but it's actually both frightening and distressing behavior that we will challenge," Espen Fagervold of Nordland police told Verdens Gang.
Another teenager in a clown outfit reportedly terrified a 21-year-old driver in Møre og Romsdal. The "killer clown" reportedly made scratches on the car roof and window.
"Ronald McDonald has to limit his appearances…. But you can't stop me! Muahahaha!!" #Pennywise #CreepyClown 🎈🎈🎈 pic.twitter.com/pBikGRjkoa— courtney harlowe (@LaSirene_XX) 12 октября 2016 г.
In Norway's eastern neighbor country Sweden, clown hysteria is rising as well. In Timrå, an intimidating clown chased two colleagues in a parking lot as they travelled to their car after work, Swedish newspaper Sundsvall-Tidning reported.
"The clown started to run after them and jumped on their car," Helen Häggmark, police investigator in Medelpad County, told the newspaper.
"He walked slowly past and looked me straight in the eye," Emelie Abrahamsson told local news outlet 24Blekinge. "I do not understand the point of this. People who are afraid of clowns might panic for real," she said.
Furthermore, 18-year-old Jasmine Johansson, met a person dressed as a clown in Linköping. She was terrified and ran away immediately, the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reported.
Stephen King's 1986 horror novel "It" is widely believed to be the reason behind the clown craze phenomenon. In 2017, a new film adaptation featuring Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård in the role of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, will be released. This is the second interpretation of Stephen King's novel after the eponymous mini-series in 1990. New Line Cinema, which is behind the new adaptation, denied any involvement.
See #Pennywise's full horrifying look from the new #StephenKing's IT movie: https://t.co/LQHeY8OadW pic.twitter.com/guS4Xghmkp— Nerdist 🎃👻 (@nerdist) 21 августа 2016 г.
Last week, Stephen King himself tried to take the edge off the situation with a humorous tweet.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria--most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) 3 октября 2016 г.