The United States has been awash with creepy clown sightings over the past few weeks, with weird clowns popping up in several spots in North and South Carolina and Wisconsin. A lot of people's fears of clowns can be traced back to the movie It, and nobody knows that better than the writer of the novel, Stephen King. In an interview with Bangor Daily News, King weighed in on the creepy clown phenomenon that's seemingly taking the U.S. by storm.

“I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people,” he said. “Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh.”

According to King, the fear of the potentially sinister nature of things otherwise associated with innocence and childhood can be remarkably effective at freaking people out. “I suspect it’s a kind of low-level hysteria, like Slender Man, or the so-called Bunny Man, who purportedly lurked in Fairfax County, Virginia, wearing a white hood with long ears and attacking people with a hatchet or an axe,” he said. “The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”

We're certainly not disagreeing with that one, Mr. King. You can check out his whole interview here.