Australian police have moved to calm fears about people dressing up as scary clowns in public as the so-called "clown purge" craze spreads across the nation.
The creepy phenomenon started in North America, with a number of sightings of sinister clowns reported in the United States and Canada in recent weeks.
Victoria police this week confirmed it was aware of similar incidents in its jurisdiction.
"The clown purge appears to be a copycat of incidents being seen in the US," Victoria Police said on its Facebook page.
"Any intimidating or threatening, as well as anti-social behaviours will not be tolerated and will be investigated. Please contact your local police station if you have any concerns."
Police have reportedly not been able to confirm where sightings have been made in Victoria.
Now NSW police are also showing concern about the phenomenon, with Campbelltown police Inspector Tara Norton telling the Macarthur Chronicle that officers knew of the worrying behaviour.
"There's the potential for retaliation or people could be seriously hurt or could die by trying to get away," she said. "You also don't know if the person has a physical condition or mental condition where this behaviour could have disastrous effect.
"There is absolutely nothing funny about scaring people and using fear to do it."
There are all reports of clowns terrifying people further north, with one terrified Aussie telling NewsCorp Australia she came across a nightmarish clown on a Brisbane road.
"I was driving home from work last night went to park my car, and then I see this clown on the road," she's quoted as saying.
"I stopped to get a better look trying to figure out what it was and next thing I know it pulls up a knife and starts running at my car. I almost ran the f****** thing over. I screamed so loud I'm absolutely terrified, and this was in Redland Bay too."
The sinister craze -- where people dress as clowns and scare unsuspecting victims -- began in South Carolina and was followed by reports in Alabama, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Schools in Texas and Alabama have even shut down over the phenomenon.Suggest a correction