- One resident initially didn't buy into the creepy clown stories
(CNN)It's like a scene straight out of Stephen King's "It."
Young kids. A creepy clown. And everybody's freaking out.
Children at the Fleetwood Manor Apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina, say someone dressed as a clown is hanging out behind the basketball courts there, trying to lure kids into the woods.
The apartment complex took it seriously enough to put out a letter to its residents, acknowledging the complaints from parents and their children, and telling them to call the police if they see something -- or someone -- suspicious. The person apparently is dressed in a clown costume, with a painted face and possibly using laser lights.
One resident didn't believe at first.
"I thought my child was seeing things," resident Donna Arnold told CNN affiliate WHNS. "And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, 'Did you see the clown in the woods?'"
Don't send in the clowns
But Greenville's not the only place that's had to put up with creepy clown sightings. A couple of years ago in Bakersfield, California, police got around 20 calls on clowns, including one about someone in a clown suit brandishing a weapon. And in the small California town of Wasco, there were sightings of a clown all over the place, but that turned out to be a photography project started by a husband and wife. (They wished to remain anonymous. Gee, we wonder why?)
And, just in case you were wondering, coulrophobia is the formal term for the fear of clowns.
Fleetwood Manor didn't immediately return a call for comment.