The sightings began last month in Greenville, when concerned parents called police about clowns luring children into the woods with laser lights and bags of cash, and skulking around laundromats and standing silently by the roadside.
Police sent a letter to residents of the Fleetwood Manor Apartments, warning them to keep their children away from the wooded area near the complex. The letter read:
"To The Residents of Fleetwood Manor.
There has been several conversations 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 wood.
First and foremost at Fleetwood Manor Apartments children’s 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 the property daily. Remember there is a 10pm curfew for the property so to ensure your children’s 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."
There were also sightings in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but that clown, named Gags, has been revealed to be a part of a viral marketing campaign to promote a short film. The actor playing Gags, C.J. Guzan, said his presence caused more of a stir than he intended.
"It’s getting a little bit scary because people are starting to believe it a little bit more, and we’re starting to see some of those unsettling pictures on Facebook," he said to a local CBS affiliate. "Not of the clown, but of people armed and preparing to defend themselves, saying ‘I can’t go outside because I’m afraid of clowns or whatever. That’s just a little too far."
King explained the strange occurrences to the Bangor News Daily, saying, "Kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to 'normal' people…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 author confessed that he, too, would find a random clown sighting unsettling. "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.
The most recent sightings were reported in North Carolina, indicating that fearsome clowns may be slowly making their way to Maine to an area near Derry, a fictional town where King’s evil-clown-spirit novel takes place.