‘American Horror Story’

Over a dozen US cities have reported suspicious clown activity.

If you’re not afraid of clowns, you really should be. There have been a surplus of creepy clowns lurking around the United States and it’s gotten serious. These clown creepers have spooked people on the side of the road and even lured children into the woods and chased them with knives (!!!). (Quick PSA: Never, ever follow a clown into the woods).

Over a dozen US cities have reported these strange clown sightings, and in some incidents, police made arrests. Most recently, two young girls in New Jersey were charged in clown hoaxes and a 20-year-old kid was arrested for hanging out in the woods at 1am. A 7-year-old boy from Michigan came forward and said a clown “slowly touched” his arm with a knife a few blocks away from his home. It’s like you’re not safe anywhere anymore.

Some schools have gone as far as issuing warning letters about the sightings and banning clown costumes during Halloween season, according to ABC.

Stephen King, AKA the king of horror, weighed in on the rise of clown sightings, urging people to calm the F down. You know it’s serious when the creator of sadistic clown Pennywise says enough is enough.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Josh Earnest addressed the “creepy clowns” at a press conference on Oct. 4, saying law enforcement should be taking this seriously. No shit.

Mashable created a map of the “clown-pocalypse” to put all of the sightings into perspective. News flash: A lot of clowns have been making their way around the US, and they’re starting to infiltrate the UK.

While theories about the clown sightings vary—some posit they’re a viral marketing campaign (wut?); some say an expression of human anxiety (double wut??)—chasing kids with knives and bats isn’t a joke. This may sound like an “American Horror Story” plotline, but it’s no laughing matter.

So let’s just avoid all these places on the map, especially if they’re near the woods. Do not trust anyone who wears a clown suit, and quite frankly, anyone who says clowns are not terrifying.

Stay safe out there, kids, especially with Halloween coming up.