Creepy clowns have been making headlines recently, with police being called out to sightings in New Zealand and across the US.
Porirua police on Thursday were called after reported sightings of a menacing clown, following a spate of clown-related threats in America.
The people behind these incidents are exploiting people's coulrophobia, the specific fear of clowns, which has been preyed upon by horror movie producers for decades.
In honour of the sleepless nights caused by scary characters in face paint, here are the five most terrifying movie clowns ever.
Produced by Eli Roth, this 2014 film focuses on a man who becomes possessed by a clown demon after putting on a clown costume. Murder and unspeakable acts ensue.
4) House of 1000 Corpses / The Devil's Rejects
Captain Spaulding, played by Sid Haig, features in two of rocker Rob Zombie's horror films. A redneck patriarch who thrives on "blood, violence and freaks of nature", he's a very nasty piece of work.
The clown scene in Steven Spielberg's 1982 horror is one of the film's more iconic moments. It's the reason some people continue checking under their beds for evil clowns to this day.
Although this 2003 movie is rubbish, there's no denying just how horrible the villain's image is - because, chillingly, it's based on real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
The most iconic creepy clown of all time has to be Pennywise, played by Tim Curry in the 1990 adaptation of the Stephen King novel. He spawned nightmares in an entire generation and is single-handedly responsible for countless cases of coulrophobia.