Like a virus, the creepy clown phenomenon that has garnered headlines this Halloween season has now crossed the Atlantic Ocean and is beginning to inspire real crimes. Police in the town of Varberg, Sweden are still searching for a knife-wielding man in a clown mask who stabbed a 19-year-old last Thursday night. It’s the latest criminal clown incident to occur in Scandinavia, and in response one toy store chain in neighboring Norway has decided to stop selling clown costumes.
Authorities say the man was stabbed around 10pm at night, while smoking a cigarette outside his apartment building. The masked fiend stabbed him in the shoulder as he walked by, completely unprovoked. He ran off after the man cried out for help. Police say he was wearing a yellow raincoat and blue jeans, along with the ubiquitous clown mask.
The attack follows two different incidents where people in clown outfits lurked outside schools and “scared children,” according to police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm. She said, the craze “likely had spread via social media from the United States,” and added, “it is not funny when people are being scared.” In response, the Ringo toy store chain in Norway will no longer sell clown costumes in any of its 114 shops. Speaking to The Associated Press, Ringo chief executive Gro Svendsen said, “This is a phenomenon which we strongly oppose. Costumes and disguises should be for fun and not motivated by the desire to spread fear.” [Photo: Getty Images]