The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that because of the recent 'killer clown' craze clown costumes and masks will not be allowed on any campuses for this year's Halloween.

Starting in the USA, the last few weeks have seen a surge in young people dressing up in scary clown costumes to scare passersby in numerous countries. "In light of recent social media scares involving clowns in the community, we will not allow any clown costumes on campus for Halloween this year," said the district in a statement to Fox LA.

Weapons and masks that hide the face are also banned. Local students told the news channel that there had even been extra security on some campuses.

Sightings of people in the scary costumes have skyrocketed recently – with many of those taking part uploading videos of themselves scaring strangers to YouTube and social media accounts.

Killer clowns: When does scary become criminal?

In the UK, one 18-year-old was fined £90 after he was caught scaring people outside a local school while a student at Brunel University was arrested after uploading a video of himself chasing people with a chainsaw.

It's not just the US and UK that have seen stories about killer clowns. In Sweden, an eight-year-old boy jumped from the balcony of his family's home after a man in a scary clown costume appeared at the door while he was home alone.