What started as a few clowns spotted in the woods behind an apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina. is now spreading as more sightings across the country are being reported.
In a 911 call, a Winston-Salem dispatcher tells police, “A clown, last seen wearing a red nose and all white clothing in the woods with a brown box asking for kids if they want ice cream.”
These reports have parents there on edge.
“These kids were so terrified that this man actually tried to lure them in the woods. It’s somebody in these woods trying to get these kids,” says parent Lakisha Smith.
And in Greensboro, a man says he saw spotted someone wearing a clown suit with a scary mask.
“Imagine somebody come out on their balcony and just see a clown standing in the woods. People are pretty scared,” says Chris Bass.
Here in Charlotte, CMPD says there have not been any reports of clown sightings.
But if you ask Jewel Ogle, who dresses up as a clown for birthday parties in Charlotte, the sightings have hit close to home. Ogle has run Good News Clowning for more than 20 years.
“I think it’s probably going to impact our business because kids are going to be naturally scared of anything that looks like a clown,” says Ogle.
Ogle says she’s now also wary of where she goes while she’s in costume.
“If I’m out and I’ve done two or three parties and I’m starving, I’m going to stop and get something to eat and I don’t want kids to be afraid of me if they see me in a restaurant,” says Ogle.
Police say it is not illegal to be dressed up in a clown costume, but they are reminding the public that making a false police report is illegal, saying that if you report a false clown sighting you could be charged.
Copyright 2016 WCNC