By Kelsey Mitchell, Domestic News Writer
Over the past two and a half weeks, children across the U.S. have come face to face with true horror as clown sightings have become alarmingly more frequent. The clown sightings began in late August in Greenville, South Carolina at Fleetwood Manor apartments.
According to Fox New 8, residents were notified by the property managers of people dressed as clowns trying to lure children into the woods. Resident Donna Arnold says her son along with 30 other children told her of the clown lurking nearby; “I thought my child was seeing things…And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?” The children reported seeing the clowns on the edge of the property, saying that the masked clowns were “whispering and making strange noises.”
At least eight reports of the clowns exist in South Carolina. But the clown sightings don’t stop there.
According to Daily News, more clown sightings have now been reported further north in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Children reported to police that they saw several suspicious people donning the clown masks.
Local law enforcement has notified the town that it is illegal for anyone over the age of 16 to wear a mask, and are taking the sightings very seriously, saying that charges will be brought up against anyone wearing a mask.
While these sightings have been non-violent in nature, a Columbus, Ohio boy was not so fortunate.
A 14-year-old boy was reportedly chased by a clown holding a knife on his commute to school. The man was dressed in all black, and wore a clown mask. Thankfully, the boy was not injured, and was able to escape by throwing a rock at his chaser. After reaching school, he notified his teachers of the aggressor.
Denise Alex-Bouzounis of the Columbus police department spoke to the public following the disturbing incident, declaring “We don’t know whether this was a prank or not, but we are taking it seriously.” So far, no arrests have been made in relation to the incidents.
The motive for these strange sightings still remains unclear. Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller speculates that the incidents are part of a publicity stunt for upcoming Rob Zombie killer-clown movie “31”, set to release September 16th of this year. This theory however still remains unconfirmed.
Even Stephen King, author of the notorious novel “It”, in which a clown terrorizes the children of a small-town community, commented on the freaky nature of the recent sightings. In an interview with the Bangor Daily News, King called the sightings a “kind of low-level hysteria, like Slender Man, or the so-called Bunny Man.” The author also stated that “the clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”
A film remake of Stephen King’s “It” is set to release September 8th of next year.
While no motive exists for the recent clown-frenzy, one thing remains clear; the local law enforcement involved in the incidents are taking the sightings seriously.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 13th print edition.
Contact Kelsey at