Clowns in Md. back out of parade amid rash of creepy clown reports

Clowns in Maryland are sitting out a parade after so many reported creepy clown sightings around the country. (File photo, MGN Online)

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) -- A group of clowns in Cumberland have decided not to take part in a parade amid a recent rash of creepy clown sightings across several states.

Tom Holland, a member of the Ali Ghan Shrine Club's clown unit, tells the Cumberland Times-News that the group won't be participating in a scheduled parade in Hagerstown.

Holland says the group is also considering whether to take part in an upcoming Cumberland parade.

Since August, people in states including South Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, among others, have reported scary or suspicious encounters with people dressed like clowns, spreading fear through several communities.

Some of the reported sightings have been hoaxes.

Law enforcement agencies warn that people making false reports as well as those dressing up and trying to scare others will be charged.