The creepy clown craze has hit the University of Auckland campus.

A clown with what appears to be a painted face, complete with a menacing smile and red nose, was caught peering out from behind a shelf at the university's library.

The terrifying scene was caught on camera by a student and posted to the "Overheard @ University of Auckland" Facebook group.

The video has more than 500 likes and 200 comments, with commenters advising other students to stay away from the library and expressing their fear of the clown.

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Clowns at Gen Library...

Posted by Charlotte Muru-Lanning on Tuesday, 11 October 2016
A creepy clown was spotted peering out from behind a shelf at the University of Auckland. Photo / File
A creepy clown was spotted peering out from behind a shelf at the University of Auckland. Photo / File

The creepy clown phenomenon has spread across the world.

Sociologist Robert Bartholemew, a world renowned expert in mass hysteria, told NZ Herald Focus that while the craze is nothing new, it is yet to peak here in New Zealand.

"There have been, in a waxing waning fashion, these flaps of clown sightings but they've never found the clown ... But this year they've found the clowns ..."

"This is nothing new, what is new is the scale and breadth of the phenomenon, it's really remarkable."

The craze began with reports of clowns trying to lure children into woods in the US state of South Carolina, which led to clown groups sprouting across America and mass clown hunts in other areas.

The spooky fad spread to New Zealand recently, as a report of a clown scaring children at a Porirua school emerged last week. Hamilton police are currently hunting two clowns believed responsible for an attack on a woman as she walked home from the pub over the weekend.