Wilton police announce they are taking seriously reports of “creepy clowns” that have been circulating around Connecticut and the country.

“Due to rumors, erroneous reports of sightings and social media posts, calls from concerned resident are on the rise,” a press release from Capt. John Lynch said.

Vague threats on social media have been made against schools in New Haven, North Haven and Naugatuck. New Haven schools are prohibiting clown costumes and “any other symbols of terror” during the Halloween season. Rumors of clown-related threats also circulated at UConn and Quinnipiac, but none could be substantiated.

Lynch emphasized that despite the many reports, there have only been a few actual incidents involving violence or attempted violence. “To date, the Wilton Police Department has not received any ‘actual’ creepy clown sightings,” the release said, but added police are monitoring all public areas including the schools.

“The Wilton Police Department takes these incidents seriously and will investigate all reports or sightings and take the appropriate action,” the release said.

Police are asking residents to discourage any such activity and call police if there are any threats or an actual incident occurs. “Anyone who creates a public disturbance will be charged with the appropriate offense which may include a court appearance and fine,” the release said.

According to media reports, incidents range from people dressed as clowns and acting in a threatening manner to threatening social media posts to unfounded allegations brought on by the national attention reported incidents receive. The phenomenon is not limited to the United States; there have been reports in Canada and the United Kingdom as well.