ST. CLOUD - Reports of menacing clowns have been spreading across the country, and now they've made their way to St. Cloud. St. Cloud State University's Public Safety Department sent out an information message email to staff and students Wednesday after people dressed as clowns were spotted on campus.

Public Safety Director Kevin Whitlock says he's received calls from concerned students and parents over the past several days.

From their perspective what they were seeing was causing fear and concern for them. And by the time either our department or St. Cloud Police would have arrived on the scene there was no sign of anyone around.

Whitlock says they're taking the reports seriously.

It is seen by some people as a hoax or a joke. But it is causing concern and we want to make sure that those that are in fear or are having concern on what they're seeing that we are out there and we have increased patrols.

Whitlock says if you see something suspicious you should contact campus security or St. Cloud police right away. And, be prepared to give the best description as possible.

He says, there's nothing illegal about wearing a clown suit, but any students taking part in this activity should know their actions are inappropriate, not welcomed, and dangerous.