Creepy clowns pop up in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a creepy craze in California: Mysterious clowns are popping up across the state and terrorizing people in the towns.

The odd behavior has now made its way to Jacksonville. For some, it's funny, but others call it frightening.

Surveillance videos in the Springfield area show clowns caught on people's porches and sidewalks. In one video, the clown clearly knew he was being recorded.

The clown on a porch grabs a pumpkin, tears it apart, then stares at the camera before disappearing into the darkness.

Markiea Stone finds the clown funny, but the video is spooky for some women who are selling Halloween costumes not far from the home where it happened.

"I'm not with the scary stuff," Christy said. "I've got the princess costumes and cheerleaders and Pocahontas."

Clowning is already quite the craze in California. It started with a photography project, and the pictures have gone viral. Creepy comics are terrorizing some people and humoring others as they pose in front of monuments and prowl the streets. Now the mysterious behavior is spreading.

Doug Vanderlaan's security camera recorded a clown out front of his Market Street home in Springfield.

"It was very weird," Vanderlaan said. "I guess some people are afraid of clowns. I wouldn't say I am, but if you are afraid of clowns, it would be alarming."

Word on the street is the Springfield sightings are just friends pranking friends ahead of some Halloween parties. The clowns know their targets: people who can take a joke and won't freak out.

As far as the pumpkin the jester destroyed, News4Jax was told the clown brought it himself so there'd be no hard feelings.

"I think that it may be some neighbors having fun," Vanderlaan said.

Will the clowns continue? That's still to be determined.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said so far it hasn't gotten any calls or complaints.