PORTLAND, Ore. -- The scary clown sightings that began in South Carolina and spread across the country have found their way to Oregon.
First, there was a reported sighting in Central Oregon last Wednesday when a woman in Redmond said she saw a person wearing a creepy clown mask with blue-painted teeth.
Then on Friday, the Oregonian reported that 20-year-old Crystal Foster was driving near O'Bryant Square in Portland on Friday afternoon when a man dressed in black with a silver clown mask approached her car.
Foster said the clown started banging on her windows and trying to open the doors to her car. She sped away and called police.
Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Pete Simpson told the Oregonian on Friday that he hadn't heard of that specific incident.
"In Portland,where Darth Vader rides a unicycle and has a fire-breathing set of bagpipes," Simpson told the Oregonian, "clown sightings might just be an average Tuesday."
This weekend there were numerous reports of clown sightings around the Clackamas County area.
Rhett Mosqueda says he and a group of friends were riding the Max train Saturday night to Clackamas Town Center when they spotted a clown sitting a few seats down.
“Every time we looked at him, he was staring at us with a creepy grin,” Mosqueda said.
The clown then got off the train, walked to the window where Mosqueda and his friends were sitting and stared at them until the train took off.
“I don’t think he messed with us since we were a group of seven guys,” Mosqueda said. “However, if it had been just me, I wouldn’t feel too confident that he wasn’t going to mess with me.”
One person tweeted a report of seeing a clown at Clackamas High School East Campus Sunday night.
PSA CLOWN SIGHT AT CLACKAMAS HIGH EAST CAMPUS— Braysen Tiller? (@braysenhaines) October 3, 2016
Another person earlier that night tweeted about a clown at Oregon Trail Elementary.
PSA: THERE IS A CLOWN @ OREGON TRAIL ELEMENTARY!!! STAY AWAY FROM THERE !!! STAY AWARE OF WHAT IS BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF YOU PLEASE!!!— Mykayla S (@mykayla_luv) October 3, 2016
Oregon City High School says it took calls Monday morning from concerned parents whose kids told them a clown was going to show up at school today.
That prompted the Oregon City Police Department to post on Facebook that it was nothing more than a viral rumor.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department says it received a report of a social media post about a ‘gang’ of clowns heading to Clackamas High School, but nothing ever came of it.
There were also reports of a clown in Happy Valley, but the police department there said it has not received any reported sightings.
However, in Gresham Monday afternoon, a report of a “suspicious clown mask” did turn out to be legitimate, sort of. The police department says it was a group of high school students playing around. They were released to their parents after meeting with an officer.
There have also been reported sightings in Washington.
Ryan Naylor tweeted out this video he took of a clown on 26th Street in Tacoma Sunday night. He says he called the police, who told him to stay inside.
WATCH OUT Clown Sighting in Tacoma, WA on 26th St. be careful when walking around. pic.twitter.com/M5Yjl1b64j— Ryan Naylor (@RyRynaylor) October 3, 2016
The sightings began in South Carolina in mid-August with multiple reports of clowns trying to lure children into the woods. From there, the sightings spread, and there have now been reported sightings in at least 18 states.
In Alabama, a 10-year-old boy was arrested for making clown threats. A report in Mississippi resulted in one of the few instances where police spotted a clown after the report. The clown ran away when he saw the patrol car.
Sadly, there has been one fatality linked to the sightings. A high school sophomore in Reading, Pennsylvania, was stabbed to death while wearing a clown mask.
So, what's going on with these sightings? Is it a hoax? Some internet commenters have opined that it's part of a marketing ploy for the upcoming movie "It," based on the Stephen King horror novel. But a producer for the movie told The Hollywood Reporter that New Line Studio is not involved in the rash of clown sightings.
Others think the sightings are a serious epidemic that has already turned deadly.
What do you think? Join a Facebook conversation about the issue here and share your thoughts.