Clowns are always scary, but especially when they’re following kids and women at night.

At around 8:15 on the night of November 2, a junior high school-age boy was walking through the Koori neighborhood of Ibaraki City, in Japan’s Osaka prefecture, when he spotted a man following him. Luckily, the boy was unharmed, as the man who as shadowing him apparently didn’t try to make contact of any sort, but the boy still wisely decided to report the incident to the police.

As is standard procedure, the investigators asked for a description of the man. He was of slightly heavy build, the boy told them, and dressed in a black sweatshirt. That might make sense as just the sort of attire someone who’s up to no good would wear in order to not stand out to potential targets, but there was one other, less ordinary part to the man’s outfit: he was wearing a clown mask.

That’s a chilling enough story on its own, but things get even more disturbing. Less than a week later, on November 7, a woman who was also waling through Koori reports that she notice someone following her as well, shortly before 11 p.m. When speaking to the police, she said that her pursuer was tall, stocky, and, yep, wearing a clown mask.

And because apparently terrifying things come in threes, on November 15 a high school boy and girl report that while on their way in Koori, at about 11:30 p.m., they spotted a stocky man wearing dark-colored clothing and, once again, a clown mask. Adding a final disturbing layer to the sightings s that the November 2 and 11 incidents took place not far from an elementary school and a reform school for boys, though the time of night suggests that any students would no longer be on campus.

Contrary to predictions made by anime film Akira’s biker fight sequence, clown masks have not become everyday fashion in 2019 Japan, and residents are being asked to be on guard and to immediately report the clown to the authorities should they see him.

Sources: Kyodo (1, 2), via Twitter/@fushinsha_joho (1, 2), Gaccom via Twitter/@anzen_osaka via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
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