In some of the creepiest news of the month, clowns in the woods of South Carolina are reportedly trying to lure small children into the trees. The story, which is being investigated by local law enforcement, has gotten a lot of traction on social media and other sites. Ironically and disturbingly, the stories of clown in the South Carolina woods are taking the internet by storm just as Stephen Kings’ horror classic It is being remade.
In case you’re not familiar, It is a tale of a shape-shifting monster that most often resembles Pennywise, the dancing clown. In the book (and TV movie and upcoming big screen film adaptation), Pennywise lures children to their death.
The remake is slated for release in September of 2017.
Not a very comforting thought for parents with little ones in Greenville, South Carolina, where the repeated stories of clowns sighted in the woods have been centered.
As Buzzworthy reports, the problem of the clowns in the woods has gotten so severe that at least one apartment complex has warned residents to keep a close eye on their kids. According to multiple reports, the clowns in the woods attempted to lure the small children into the trees with offers of candy and other goodies.
The property manager of the Fleetwood Manor apartments in Greenville sent out a letter to residents, warning them of the potential danger for their children because of the clowns reportedly lurking in the nearby woods.
“There [have] been several [conversations] and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing talking to children or trying to lure children into the woods. At no times should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded area at night.”
Fam I don't know about y'all but if I see a clown in the woods and he says "I got cotton candy", can't pass that up. pic.twitter.com/wAnw0ZsIW5— #PokemonGo (@Pokefax) August 30, 2016
Despite the horrifying thought of painted-faced clowns lurking and teeming through the woods, trying to lure children into the dark depths with promises of candy, authorities are telling people not to worry too much. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says they are treating the case in the same manner as they would any report of a suspicious person or activity.
They are warning parents to keep an eye on their children, but have tried to placate the public by reminding them that the reports of clowns in the woods haven’t resulted in injuries or anyone actually disappearing. Yet.
@bethanyshondark Got a kick out of the line "clown or a person dressed in clown clothing," which suggests there are natural clowns.— Jonathan Friedman (@FriedmanSlew) August 29, 2016
There's a clown in South Carolina trying to lure kids into the woods & that's definitely what my nightmares are made of.— Ciara ♡ (@ciaraxmb) August 30, 2016
Reportedly, one recent call regarding the clowns in the woods came in to the sheriff’s department on August 20. In that case, the caller wanted to remain anonymous, but alerted police to clowns in the woods behind the apartments in question. The next day, another woman who did leave her name with local law enforcement filed an official report. She told police that she’d seen the clowns in the woods with her own eyes and that they were “making strange noises.”
Some residents have even reported the sound of chains banging on their doors in the dead of night.
People reports that despite the pervasive nature of the stories of the clowns in the woods, and despite multiple reports from local residents, local police aren’t sure that the clowns in the woods are anything more than the collective overactive imagination of some local residents. As People reports, most of the accounts of clowns being seen in the woods have come from children.
According to police, when they respond to the reports of clowns in the woods, there simply isn’t any physical evidence to back up people’s claims. For example, one night recently residents claimed that the clowns in the woods were shooting guns. When police investigated the scene, they found no bullets or casings. In another instance, children claimed that the clowns in the woods offered them money to follow them into the forested area. They then told law enforcement that they knew where the clowns lived in the woods, and directed law enforcement to a house near a pond.
However, when police checked out the property, there were no indications that it was being lived in or frequented by clowns – or anyone or anything else.
“There were allegations that they had seen these clowns with guns, but our investigators responded and didn’t find any shell casings or anything like that. At this point we have not found any information or evidence to corroborate anything. I am not saying it is not true, but we haven’t found any evidence yet.”
Despite the doubts of local law enforcement, residents claim that the reports of clowns in the woods are true. Some adults claim to simply believe their children. Others claim they have seen the clowns in the woods for themselves. At least one resident says she saw the clowns in the woods playing with laser lights.
“[She] observed several clowns in the woods flashing green laser lights [who] then ran away into the woods.”
According to Donna Arnold, a resident at the apartment complex, there are more than just clowns in the woods. There are clowns with weapons, rattling chains, and lures, such as cash and sweets, apparently being used to try to get children to follow them into the woods. Her husband James gave an account of their children’s story.
“‘Mama, there’s clowns out there in the woods and they’re trying to get us to come out there.’ Some had chains, some had knives, and some were holding out money, saying, ‘Come here, we’ve got candy for you,’ but they wouldn’t go.”
According to locals, the clowns in the woods have disappeared. At least for now. But police are still investigating the reports and parents are sill being urged to keep their children close.
What do you think? Are the clowns in the South Carolina woods real? Are they the product of kids’ overactive imaginations? Are they trying to cause harm or maybe abduct little children? Or is it possible that there are no signs of the clowns in the woods because they have some kind of supernatural origin?
[Image via Shutterstock]