Pranksters donning scary clown costumes are going rampant in Ironton, Ohio, much to the frustration of the law enforcement officials in the town, who are being bombarded with calls about them, days ahead of Halloween 2017. People across the nation are getting into the Halloween spirit, and one of the popular costumes this year in Ironton seems to be that of a scary clown. Teenagers are dressing up in creepy, blood-curling clown costumes and strolling down the sidewalks.

While dressing up in horrifying costumes has always been regarded as one of the oldest traditions of Halloween, threatening children on the streets is illegal, with or without a costume, according to the police. And when such mischievous instances start occurring on a daily basis, it becomes quite a big problem, especially for the police department whose resources wear thin during the holidays.

"It's crazy," said Police Chief Pam Wagner, WSAZ3 reported. "This year it's turned into a major problem." When police officers are answering every 911 call regarding scary clowns, it means that they were forced to ignore calls about more serious crimes.

While most of the sightings were innocent, one particular case led to the arrest of a teenager who was dressed as a clown and threatening children by waving a club at them. However, most teenagers as well as adults dressing up as scary clowns are doing so not to incite violence, but to draw attention to themselves, according to Wagner.

A longtime resident of the area, Rita Blair, echoed Wagner’s belief when she said that she was not afraid of seeing random people in scary clown costumes walk down the streets every day. “He (a man dressed as a clown) was walking down the street," she said. "He looked good I thought."

While scary clown costumes have always been a classic among Halloween lovers, the sudden surge in people dressing up as killer clowns this year, according to Maxim, can be attributed to the success of “It” — based on Stephen King's novel of the same name —which became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. Following the movie, people wanted to dress up like Pennywise, the lead character in the story, which happens to be a scary clown who preys on little children.

Ahead of Halloween, people took to Instagram to share their versions of Pennywise costumes, each one more terrifying than the other.

Nevertheless, the Ironton police department has requested residents to put away the scary clown costumes for at least another week. Even as her department struggles to meet every emergency this holiday, with only 15 officers to work with, Wagner has urged people not to refrain from reaching out if they require the help of the police.

"After 33 years in law enforcement, it's hard to be surprised," Wagner said.