Bizarre Epidemic: Creepy Clowns threatening schoolkids, takes away sleep of Georgia residents

“Copycats” unnecessarily alarm the public, and place an unnecessary drain on police resources, officials said

Clown. Wikimedia

Sept 15, 2016: Police in west Georgia say they’ve received several calls about clowns trying to talk to children and are investigating an online threat to abduct children from local schools.

Clown sightings, as reported by residents of Fleetwood Manor Apartments in South Carolina, have alarmed local parents and set the community on edge. Letters were distributed to residents of the community and then posted to Facebook on Friday- the property manager warned people of a “clown or a person dressed in clown clothing” who was “trying to lure children into the woods.” It is the latest in a recent string of clowns reported as real-life menaces.

Although the evidence was sparse, when the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the clown complaint. “Many of you have inquired about clowns being spotted in the woods near Fleetwood Manor Apartments,” said Drew Pinciaro, a Greenville County deputy.

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In the incident report in South Carolina, one woman said she saw “several clowns in the woods flashing green laser lights” on Aug. 19. The next night, she said her son could make out the sounds of “chains and banging” coming from outside their front door. A different person said a clown with a large, winking nose was hanging out near the dumpsters early one Saturday morning.

Fleetwood Manor resident James Arnold told BuzzFeed News that his children, ages 10 and 13, described “clowns out there in the woods and they’re trying to get us to come out there,” he said. “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.” His wife, Donna, said she filed the report and invoked the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s “It,” about a creature that takes the form of a clown to stalk children.

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Three more creepy clown sightings were reported in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina before the incident in Georgia, mentioned

The first occurred in Forsyth County around 11 p.m. on Monday. A woman reported a clown wielding a machete tried to lure her into the woods near Phelps Drive and Morrell Road near Walkertown, according to Forsyth County Chief Deputy Brad Stanley.

The woman said the male clown had red bushy hair and a red nose and was wearing black gloves, a black tie, and white shoes, Stanley said.

The second sighting happened in High Point, where a student reported seeing a man dressed as a clown on the High Point Greenway near Andrews High School Tuesday morning, High Point police Capt. Mike Kirk confirmed to the High Point Enterprise.

The third incident was reported in Greensboro at The Park at Oakridge apartments off Old Oak Ridge Road not far from Interstate 73. A man said he saw a clown near the wooded area behind the complex at about 10 a.m.

Chris Bass told WGHP he lives at the complex with his wife and two children. He was on his balcony when he spotted a man in a white mask, red curly hair, yellow dotted shirt, blue clown pants and clown shoes in the wooded area. Bass tried to chase the clown but could not catch him. He called his actions his “fatherly instinct.”

In a news release from the Greensboro Police Department, officials said it is lawful to dress as a clown, but “given the heightened tensions about these entertainers,” they are “discouraging copycat behavior by individuals who may find it humorous to mimic the suspicious behavior that has parents on edge.” “Copycats” unnecessarily alarm the public, and place an unnecessary drain on police resources, officials said.

It is unclear if the three sightings were related to two other sightings in Forsyth County. All if the reports come after multiple sightings in recent days in South Carolina.

LaGrange police in Georgia said in a statement that officers will file charges if appropriate.

LaGrange police Lt. Dale Strickland tells WXIA-TV someone started a Facebook page threatening to dress like a clown and drive a white van to five local schools and abduct children, mentioned Fox News.

The Facebook posting threatened to kidnap children from Callaway Elementary, Franklin Forrest Elementary, Callaway Middle School, Troup High School, and Callaway High School.

The department is now working to obtain warrants that will help them track down who posted the threats.

Although there were no sightings of creepy clowns, the police department was flooded with calls from concerned parents. The police department posted a message on Facebook: ‘This behavior is not cute or funny… if applicable, you may face charges.’

Cops are now working to track down the person who posted those threats. It all comes after a series of reports of clowns lurking around children in other states. Authorities have determined some of those cases are unfounded.  In August, an apartment complex in South Carolina sent letters to residents warning them about a clown trying to lure children into the woods, mentioned a news portal.

The first week of September, neighbors in Winston-Salem, North Carolina said a creepy clown was offering kids candy if they followed him into the woods. Police in the town later arrested a man they say filed a false report of a clown sighting.

In Dublin, Georgia, this week, a driver called the police to say he had to swerve a clown that was seen lurking in the middle of the road, although Dublin Police Chief Tim Chatman said there’s no evidence whether it is true.

– prepared by Shayari Dutta of NewsGram