SINGAPORE: McDonald's is limiting public appearances by its mascot as reports of creepy clown sightings continue to rise.
According to the Associated Press, the fast food chain said on Tuesday (Oct 11) that it is being "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events" as a result of the "current climate around clown sightings in communities".
Since late August, the trend of trying to scare unsuspecting people with It-style clowns has grown, with scary clowns spotted lurking in woods, ambling on dark roads or driving in cars. Some have even been seen brandishing knives.
The spine-chilling sightings have been reported in states ranging from California and Minnesota to South Carolina, New Jersey and New York, and have generated the hashtag #IfISeeAClown and even the account @ClownSightings on Twitter, which has 337,000 followers.
Authorities in Australia, New ZealandBritain and the Netherlands have also received reports of "killer clowns" in their own territories in recent weeks, and have issued stern warnings to people clowning around in bid to scare residents.