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Creepy Clown Craze Sweeps Scandinavia

© Photo : PixabayClown in Make-Up
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The US-inspired craze, with people dressing up as creepy clowns to scare passers-by, has mushroomed out to Europe. Of late, Scandinavia seems to have caught the "killer clown" craze too.

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In recent weeks, unnerving incidents involving scary clowns terrorizing the public have occurred in both Sweden and Norway.

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.

​"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.

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Meanwhile, two boys dressed up as clowns were reported to have assaulted young people in Bodø, northern Norway, as they were heading home from confirmation classes. The assailants reportedly wielded an umbrella and a toy sword.

"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.

​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.

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The same trend has become manifest in Blekinge County, southern Sweden, where a number of people shared Facebook stories of being harassed by clowns. Emelie Abrahamsson was alone in a gym in Ronneby, when she saw a black-clad person with a clown mask outside.

"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.

​Last week, Stephen King himself tried to take the edge off the situation with a humorous tweet. 

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