CHILDREN were chased by clowns in Musselburgh yesterday, police have been told.

Officers said they received two separate reports of children being chased by clowns near the town's racecourse and offered the scared youngsters "reassurance".

Talk of 'crazed' clown sightings has been sweeping through the county - and the rest of the UK - in the past week.

They have been linked to a creepy clown craze which has been rife in the United States.

It started as a college prank with students dressing up as clowns and jumping out at people in the streets and has spread across America.

The sightings in Musselburgh are the first in the county to have been reported to police.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in East Lothian have received two calls where clowns were said to have chased children in Musselburgh.

“On each occasion reassurance advice was given to the children.

“The public can be assured that any reports of individuals attempting to intimidate members of the public will be appropriately investigated.”

Parents from around the county have been hearing from youngsters how supposed "killer clowns" have been roaming play parks.

One parent from Tranent told the Courier: "My son came home from his primary school yesterday convinced that three 'killer' clowns with knives have been seen around the town and at Meadowmill and he was actually scared to go out. It's just all nonsense.

"Friends of mine in Port Seton and Prestonpans and also Dunbar have been hearing similar stories from their children – it's the talk of the playgrounds, and at the high schools too."

A teenage boy was recently arrested in Northumbria for being in possession of a knife in what has been described as a clown-related incident.