These days, many Israeli children are too afraid to leave their homes for fear of running into teenagers dressed as scary clowns. The reason for the sudden phenomenon is the release of the horror movie ‘IT’.

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As the phenomenon continues to grow in Israel, parents are asking themselves what is suddenly making teenagers dress up as clowns and scare passersby across the country. The answer, as with many other cultural trends, comes from the US.

In the US, reports of people dressed as clowns near suspicious settings began to take place in August of 2016. The actual source of the phenomenon could be traced back to the 1986 horror novel ‘IT’, which was released as a movie last month. It is likely that the movie’s release in Israel has caused teens to follow the US-inspired trend.

Scary clowns

Scary clowns Photo credit: Sky news/ Channel 2 News

As a result, many Israeli children are too frightened to leave their homes or schools and authorities were even forced to make some arrests. Despite the clear dangers, the teens themselves don’t seem to see what’s wrong with their actions. “I think it’s fun to scare the children,” stated 16-year-old Tsahi. “I’m not doing any damage. Don’t be afraid of me…I do it because I’m bored, I don’t really want to murder people.”

Today (Tuesday), the Israeli Education Ministry even published instructions for teaching staff that explain how to deal with such incidents.