Three cities in the Carolinas have reportedly been plagued by clowns lurking in the woods, where they’ve tried to lure neighborhood children with promises of candy and other treats. And yet the man who is arguably America’s premier clown expert, Stephen King, remains unfazed by the reports, the authenticity of which he doubts.
“I suspect it’s a kind of low-level hysteria, like Slender Man, or the so-called Bunny Man, who purportedly lurked in Fairfax County, Virginia, wearing a white hood with long ears and attacking people with a hatchet or an axe,” King told the Bangor Daily News. “The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”
The Daily News notes that “phantom clown scares” occurred in the 1980s and 90s, but that’s undoubtedly small consolation to the Carolina residents currently living in fear of imminent clown attack.
As you may recall, two weeks ago residents of a Greenville, S.C., apartment complex reported seeing several clowns in their neighborhood. A woman told police she saw “clowns in the woods whispering and making strange noises,” and some children in the neighborhood told police they “believe the clowns stay in a house located near a pond at the end of a man-made [trail] in the woods.”
If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge, I’d be scared, too.
A week later, residents of an apartment complex in Winston-Salem, N.C, some 175 miles north of Greenville, reported similar clown sightings. One woman told reporters that clowns offered her grandchildren “treats and candy to go into the woods.” Then, two days later, a machete-wielding man reportedly chased a clown into the woods near a Greensboro, N.C, apartment complex.
Of course it’s possible that the reports are all hoaxes or part of some Carolina-apartment-complex-specific mass hysteria. That doesn’t make the idea of regular clown sightings less terrifying. Even King admits as much.
“If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too,” he said.
Posted By: Taylor Berman