This article originally appeared at US VICE
What began as a lone sighting of a few clowns in South Carolina quickly snowballed into a full-blown harlequin pandemic last year, with people suddenly spotting evil, bloodthirsty clowns cropping up all over the country. And while things have stayed relatively quiet on the clown front this summer, the rogue band of Pennywisers just won't seem to go away. On Tuesday, police arrested one in Maine, ambling down a rural street with a machete taped to his amputated arm, the Associated Press reports.
Residents first spotted the masked man in Hollis, Maine, at around 6 PM, local NBC affiliate WCSH reports. They told police the nightmarish figure—wearing a black hoodie and a clown mask—had been wandering down the road before he took off into a the woods.
After scouring the area for about an hour, police saw the clown lumber out of the forest, wielding a machete. The officers managed to apprehend him and unmasked him like a villain straight out of Scooby Doo.
Police identified the guy as 31-year-old Corey Berry and charged him with criminal threatening. Upon closer inspection of his blade, they saw that he had duct-taped the roughly foot-long machete to his amputated arm as a kind of makeshift weapon. Berry, whom police said was "very intoxicated," told the cops he was trying to pull off a gag after hearing about all the previous creepy clown sightings from last year.
But the specter of killer clowns terrorizing neighborhoods all over the country—across the globe, even—is decidedly unfunny. After a Swedish clown allegedly stabbed a little kid in the shoulder back in October 2016, the Clown War made its way onto US soil. In May, a clown with bladed gloves actually slashed a man to death in Denver.
These horrifying stories, along with gags like Berry's, have only helped to give real, professional clowns a bad rap. As one professional, who goes by "Gabby the Clown," told VICE last year, "Don't be afraid of clowns. We're really just nice people who want to make people smile. Really, that's what it comes down to."
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