Halloween is still more than a month away, but the haunting is starting already in South Carolina, where children have reported that scary clowns have tried to lure them into a forest.
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office said that several reports had come in about the costumed characters who have been "appearing in the woods" behind an apartment building, where they try to entice youngsters by showing them large amounts of money.
ABC News reported that police wrote in a report that the children believe the "the clowns stay in a house located near a pond at the end of a man-made trail in the woods."
One youngster called police to say that someone was taking photos of kids in the neighborhood. That was followed by another caller reporting that someone in a clown costume was seen coming out of the woods.
Adults have also spotted at least one of the curious creatures. One woman told officers that she was walking to her home when she came across a "large-figured clown with a blinking nose, standing under a post light near the garbage dumpster area," according to the police report. She said he waved at her as she passed.
Another woman said her son spotted several clowns with green laser lights whispering and making noises among some trees.
Rattling chains, banging on doors and even gunshots allegedly fired by people at the clowns have also been reported, according to Greenville Online.
The most recent sighting was Monday night.
Police are investigating. So far, no signs of the creepy clowns have been found, but officers are stepping up patrols in the area.
Baker writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.