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“This is serious:” Creepy clown sightings reported in second community in South Carolina

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GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG, South Carolina  — Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating a rash of incidents involving clown sightings at apartment complexes and other areas of Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Both the Greenville Police Department and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office have open cases and the Spartanburg Police Department confirmed Thursday, September 1st that a clown sighting had been reported at an apartment complex there.

Captain Art Littlejohn with the Spartanburg Police Department said officers were called to Canaan Pointe Apartments Wednesday night, August 31st for reports of a suspicious person. The complainant, a woman, told officers that a person dressed as a clown was standing in her backyard. She snapped a photo and the person ran off. Littlejohn said the responding officer tried to view the photo on the woman’s phone but the image was too dark to make out.

Deputies in Greenville County said the clowns were initially seen in wooded areas, where they reportedly tried to encourage children to join them, but the situation escalated to reports that clowns were also knocking on the doors of homes.

Investigators said no conclusive photo or video evidence has surfaced and no suspects have been named in any of the incidents.

Officer Gilberto Franco with the Greenville Police Department said the biggest obstacle investigators are facing is lack of detail in the descriptions they are receiving of the clowns. Franco said that of the three reports his agency is investigating, not enough information was received about the costumes, hair colors and whether or not the suspects had on masks or painted faces.

The warning letter

FOX Carolina begin looking into the clown sightings after residents at Fleetwood Manor Apartments shared a letter they found on their apartment doors that left hem them concerned for the safety of their neighborhood.

The letters, which were reportedly posted at the apartment complex on Fleetwood Drive on August 24th, stated the property management has received complaints of a person dressed as a clown trying to “lure children into the woods.”

The letter, which appears to be printed on Fleetwood Manor Apartments letterhead, reminds the public children should never be alone or walking through the woods at night.

The property management in the letter indicates Greenville County law enforcement is conducting daily patrols of the property due to the reports. Below is the full text of the letter:

8/24/2016

To The Residents of Fleetwood Manor

There has [sic] been several conversation [sic] and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods. First and foremost at Fleetwood Manor Apartments childrens [sic] safety is a top priority. At no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night. Also if a person or persons are seen you are to immediately call the police. Greenville County Police Department is aware of the situation and have been riding [sic] the property daily. Remember there is a 10pm curfew for the property so to ensure your childrens [sic] safety please keep them in the house during night hours and make sure at ALL times children are supervised. Anymore information that becomes regarding this issue will be sent out to all residents.

Thank you,

Property Manager

Donna Arnold, one of the people residing at the complex who received the letter, said she called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to come out to Fleetwood Manor after her son and others reported seeing clowns behind the basketball court.

“I thought my child was seeing things,” Arnold said. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?”

Community activist Bruce Wilson said he is getting involved at the apartments to make sure children are safe, even if the sightings turn out to be harmless.

“We have about two to three hundred children out here,” Wilson said. “I want to make sure that law enforcement is doing the right thing.”

The Greenville sightings

Deputies confirmed Monday, August 29th they were called to the apartment complex on August 21st to investigate after residents reported seeing “a suspicious character, dressed in circus clown attire and white face paint, enticing kids to follow him/her into the woods.”

Investigative reports state police met with a mother, whose name was redacted, who witnessed the clowns in the woods after her son notified her of their presence. The woman told deputies the clowns were shining green laser lights in the woods.

Another resident also reported seeing a “large-figured clown with a blinking nose” standing under a street light near the trash dumpsters.

Deputies spoke with children who told them clowns tried “to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money.” The children advised they believed the clowns lived in an old house near a pond, accessible via a trial behind the apartment complex.

The house near the pond was located, but deputies said they found no signs of suspicious activity or clowns.

According to the investigative report, deputies also received two prior calls about clowns in the area and one call about gunshots being fired at clowns.

At about 8:30 p.m. Monday, Greenville County Deputies made their way to the Emerald Commons Apartment Complex on White Horse Road after a child said he saw a man dressed in a clown costume about two hours prior.

Another clown sighting was reported at the Shemwood Apartments in Greenville shortly before 10 p.m. on Monday, according to the sheriff’s office.

A 12-year-old told deputies two clowns were sighted in the backyard area, one with red hair and another with a white mask and body suit. The juvenile also told deputies that a person was taking photographs of children.

Four deputies were sent out to patrol the area.

Both incidents at Shemwood Apartments and Fleetwood Manor are being actively investigated by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and patrols have been increased in the area to ensure the safety of the public.

Deputies have not been able to substantiate any claims through evidence or video surveillance, but they said they have don’t have any reason not to believe the claims.

“This type of call in particular where people are alleging that the clowns are being used to lure children, of course we are going to take that seriously,” Greenville County deputy Ryan Flood said.

On Tuesday night, the Greenville Police Department reportedly received two new calls about clown sightings at Shemwood Apartments, within hours of each other.

Callers said kids started chasing two clowns through the complex before the clowns ran to a wooden fence and broke through it to get away. One clown was waiting in a car and the other two clowns jumped in and they took off. Witnesses said the car appeared to be a newer-model black Honda.

The children told officers one clown had a red nose and red hair but no face paint.

On Wednesday, August 31st, police said a young girl walking home from school reported seeing a clown in the wooded area by Hughes Academy in the Pleasant Valley area. Officers are en route to investigate near Rice Street and Deoyley Avenue.

Evan said his football practice was canceled, so he got home earlier than normal. The boy said he called his mother after the clown encounter. His mother then called police.

“My mama told me that she called the cops and I knew she wasn’t playing and I’m being serious about this,” Evan said. “I’m not gonna joke around about something like this. This is serious.”

The investigation

Officer Gilberto Franco with the Greenville Police Department said Wednesday that there were still many unknown variables.

“(Investigators don’t know) if there’s any ill intent towards it, or if it’s just somebody that is out there causing a disturbance,” Franco said.

Franco admits, officers have never received reports quite like these, but if it turns out that masked men are behind it, they could face charges.

“It’s unlawful for you to wear a mask in public whether it’s a mask itself or conceal your face while you’re out in public,” Franco said.

Police are also encouraging parents to be extra cautious until the situation is resolved.

“We want to make sure parents are still remain vigilant and to make sure you keep track of your children playing, don’t leave them playing isolated.”

The community impact

Community activist Bruce Wilson, founder of Fighting Injustice Together, is calling for the clown terror to stop “before someone gets hurt.”

“We plan to publicly ask whoever is behind this senseless action of scaring child to stop before someone gets hurt,” Wilson stated. “We will also be asking law enforcement, both Greenville city police and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, to increase patrols in these neighborhoods and to ensure that officers do not simply sit in patrol cars but actually walking the perimeter of these apartment complexes.”

Clown performers weigh in

FOX Carolina also reached to Upstate party clowns for their take on the situation.

Kelly Montfort owns Over the Top Entertainment. He’s better known at birthday parties and special events as Mr. Twister.

Montfort said his clown antics are only aimed at making people happy and is concerned that the clown sightings in Greenville may be bad for business.

“”I am terrified of that actually,” Montfort said. “I truly hope it’s being made up. I truly hope there is not a psychopath that is going after kids, and if there is, I hope that someone catches them.”

Montfort suspects the clown sightings are not part of a sinister plot but rather part of a marketing strategy.

“I believe there is a chance that it could be a big publicity stunt for someone, a haunted house or some sort of production that will be coming in the next few months,” Montfort said.

90 comments

  • Jonathan Miller

    People engaging in such costumed stupidity, should not be surprised when shot or stabbed by someone else. Clowns stopped being funny, when real people thought it would be funny to act like the Insane Clown Posse…

  • Randy

    “Officer Gilberto Franco with the Greenville Police Department said the biggest obstacle investigators are facing is lack of detail in the descriptions they are receiving of the clowns.”
    LOL! Hilarious! How many freaking clowns are walking around that town! It’s the guy in the clown suit officer!!

    • jam

      I know right?! “C l o w n S u i t” ha ha ha ha I think this is fantastically entertaining…. kudos to the clown. I don’t know who they are, but I bet they are just some clown. Is it the guys still alive from Monty Python? finally lost it…. dressing up crazy…

  • jam

    I can’t believe what a stir somebody in a costume is causing. In the 80’s EVERYBODY dressed like a clown in my opinion. make up, baggy pants, neon laces in your shoes… what’s the difference? I think this is laughable how moronic and childlike the populace is that somebody in clown make up freaks them out so badly. “Grrrrr! somebody who looks different! I’m going to be freaked out and threaten to kick their !@#!. Oh by the way vegetable rights and peace!” LOL This sounds like a comedy skit.

    • Dan

      Excellent point. I can’t believe the idiotic clothes people wear nowadays, especially minorities and whiggers. I’ve always bought clothes that are understated, classic and good quality so I won’t look like the “urban” clowns I see everywhere.

      • Randy

        Good for you Dan. I think that is very important that everyone knows that you dress classically and of good quality. That should shame all these clowns into submission. A well dressed clown is preferable to a clown that is dressed like a clown. Right?

  • jam

    I love the violent comments below, we got criminal murdering scum with a rapist husband running for president, thank god you guys are here to protect us from a clown… LOL I think you all watched too many movies.

  • Glenn Stewart

    Repors say 10 to 15 clowns are being bussed in at a time in one small Volkswagon Beetle.
    Police are looking for evidence of very large footprints. Residents are urged to arm themselves with water squirting flowers.

    • Randy

      After a cooling off period of course. We just don’t want anyone wandering around with a loaded flower! I think California requires a flower that must be individually loaded per squirt. That will alleviate flowers of mass squirting. That seems reasonable to me.

  • eorann

    see, now in the state where i live, if a clown came on my property and i shot the sht out of him, there would be no screams, or wailing of liberals. Just a ruined clown outfit.

    • Randy

      What state is that? Your state actually has a provision for clowns on your property? That is awesome! I need to talk to my elected officials. We need a clown clause!

  • TrutherDarer

    They are not people, they are not human. Refer to the 80s classic, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. These are not clowns but are Klowns and they are hungry possibly.

  • tyrone

    “It’s unlawful for you to wear a mask in public whether it’s a mask itself or conceal your face while you’re out in public,” Franco said.
    That’s funny! I betcha it’s OK for the Muslim chicks wear their medieval costumes around.

    • B

      Yea, I had the same reaction: I guess motorcycle riders are damned if they do, damned if they don’t! They can’t help but commit a crime when wearing–or not wearing–their face-masking helmets. Hockey goalies are kind of screwed too–or is it ok for them if they have their names on their jersies?

      The worst part is that it’s some dumb a$$ pissant cop saying it, who should know better.

  • MaryS

    Shoot em and bury em, done.
    And here I thought the people of the Carolina’s had guts and where conservative and all I have heard for the past 6 years from these mooks is whining and crying and support of ridiculous regulations and absurd politicians. What happened to the Carolinas (the now sissy capital of the world)??

    • fishgirl311

      Easy, there. As a proud North Carolinian, I can tell you we don’t whine about much. Put up or shut up. Why don’t you reveal your home state before discrediting others?

  • doszap

    Meet them in the parking lot armed, if they come to the door, open it with a gun pointed at them, and see if they DO not move along.

    • Randy

      You are only referring to clowns, right? I hope you wouldn’t shoot everyone who knocks at your door at zero dark thirty! The authorities may frown on that!

  • Roxanne King Koller

    I do not believe it is far fetched to think these could be filthy , evil, pedophiles seeking out children. One was chasing a 14 year old boy with a knife for Gods sake, not to mention lurking around in peoples backyards as well as taking pictures of children! That is what pedophiles are known for, taking pictures to use in their disgustingly perverted fantasies. Sometime I have to wonder if people in positions of power have any common sense at all?!

    • Randy

      Whoa, someone has a serious case of Coulrophobia! It’s just a clown! You didn’t watch Bozo when you were a kid? Pedophiles usually kill their prey after the fact. Unless they are necro-pedophiles.

      • Randy

        By the way, you need a few more pictures on Facebook. You are kind of angry but kind of cute too! Just saying No clowning around here!

  • Bennjamine Eaton

    I live near this place and I sure hope for safety’s sake these clowns don’t come a-knocking on my door. For their safety that is. Some of us don’t take kindly to clowns, or anybody else, making threatening gestures in or on our property. On or in our “castle” to be exact. Let’s home these jokers understand the “castle clause”.

  • da

    Saw a story about a really creepy clown at a rodeo once. He was wearing an Obama mask. But the rodeo clown had more credibility than the actual Obama president clown.

  • RickRoma

    Where are the men of these communities? I guarantee you if there were clowns in my neighborhood threatening my children I would be out with a posse armed with baseball bats, and these clowns would be sorry they ever got the urge to bother me.

    • Randy

      Why is it always on the men? Can’t you women go and fight the clown hoard? Ever watch the Walking Dead. Women are the toughest and most ruthless ones! Go and get a clown, the ain’t Zombies!

    • Randy

      I didn’t see her read or write anything. Not sure if she is illiterate. Clown college graduate? Yes! Ebonics major for sure.

  • Sal

    Clowns going door to door in SC? The state probably has more guns per capita than any state and the people know how to use them. Play stupid games with stupid prizes.

    • Randy

      Did you see where the clowns are hanging out? It’s hard to hit a target when you are holding the pistol gansta style. Looks good in a music video but not very effective in the real world. 15 clowns in a mini cooper have a lot of firepower.

  • Jamie Taylor

    If the clowns come here it won’t be fun and games and surely no laughing will be happening they mess with my family my kid and my neighbors kids well all I can say is this ( boom) get it clowns….i hope so!💣💥 You may play but I want.

  • Jim W

    We Missouri folk have a hunting season for clowns and it’s open now. So make a trip to Southeast MO, try spooking a little child or two and get a little lit up on us.🎭🎉🎈🔫

  • xfiler93

    Any of these clowns on my property harassing my family by knocking on my door wont be leaving but by ambulance.

  • Rob Howarka

    I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the clown, the drug dealer, the street corner thug, and the liberal college professor enticing children to the dark side with offers of something good if they come along.

  • K mora

    The official said wearing a mask or concealing your face in public is a crime. Does this apply to burkas, occupy people, or protestors at Trump rallys too?

  • Matthew Dunnyveg

    It would be easy enough to stop these liberal creeps and put the fear of God into them at the same time. All we Americans would have to do would be to greet them with a twelve-gauge pointed at their overfed, pompous bellies. Then we shall see who scares whom!

  • Hammy1

    The person and/or persons is not knocking on doors. They are trying to entice children to follow them into the woods. It’s funny until it’s your kid. And even if you think “oh my kid knows better,” a lot of parents feel that way. Your kid is as vulnerable as the next kid. As adults, it is our job to look out for all kids. The person in the clown make up has crossed the line. I don’t know if they’ve been watching too much IT or if they have been stuck on American Horror Story season 4 with Twisty….but they obviously have a problem, and for the safety of children in the community, the person needs to be caught and stopped.

  • UrbanKlownHunter

    Sounds like a good time to start a game of got your nose, clown nose. A little urban clown hunting will put a quick end to this.

Comments are closed.