ROSELLE PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The creepy clown epidemic plaguing the nation is now affecting Halloween for one New Jersey town.

The Roselle Park Police Department are requesting parents to not let their children dress up as clowns for Halloween.

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“Residents may be extra sensitive to ‘evil or creepy’ clown attacks leading up to Halloween. We are issuing this warning of possible exposure to criminal prosecution and civil liability for any suspicious or threatening clown behavior on social networks or in public, into any business or a school after a spike of incidents across the country,” police said.

The statement continued, “We are warning all residents and visitors to our community, regardless of age, from dressing up as clowns leading up to Halloween to avoid spreading panic and inconvenience to those wishing to enjoy Halloween celebrations throughout the borough.”

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Clown-related social media posts making threats against schools and students have led to arrests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At least one school district in Connecticut has also banned clown costumes during the Halloween season.

A top NYPD police official urged New Yorkers not to believe the creepy-clown hype.

“Don’t be afraid of the clowns,” the NYPD’s John Miller said Monday.

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Unusual creepy clown reports started popping up in South Carolina back in August, but since then the stories have spread to nearly a dozen states.