People sometimes wonder why I am so focused on safety and security. To some my desire to know where the exits are in a restaurant seems out of the norm to them. I’ve had friends tell me I’m paranoid because I lock my car doors in my driveway. (That’s not paranoid, that is common sense.) But then there are some events that are so eerie and vulgar that my doubting friends are reminded that the world is a creepy place at times. In Greenville, South Carolina there are reports of clowns trying to lure children into the woods. See for yourself here.
This conjures up all sorts of feelings and emotions. First, why are their people in the word who are trying to take children? What were they going to do with them? Then you imagine the scene in the strangest way your mind can conjure and it scares you for your kids. Perhaps you see Tim Curry’s performance in Stephen King’s “It” or something worse.
In the past few weeks, there have been several reports about creepy clown behavior near apartment complexes. There have been multiple reports by witnesses of clowns all around the country now. One report as recent as September 5th in Lexington, South Carolina. (Read Official Police News Release)
Most people learned about the issue when the apartment manager of Fleetwood Apartments in Greenville, SC sent a letter to residents advising them of the reports and to stay away from the area. As of this post there are no official police reports on the issue, but authorities have received calls about the sightings. Residents are understandably worried.
A Twitter user has supposedly captured a questionable clown in the woods behind Fleetwood Apartments. You can see his account here. He also tweets that he has seen the clown a second time and tweeted a second photo.
This is a great time to remind your kids about stranger danger. And let them know if they see something odd (like a clown not at a circus or community event) that they should feel suspicious and tell an adult. Do not discount your child’s feelings of suspicion. Even if what they tell you is not 100% accurate, there still may be some truth to what they say.
Remember, don’t let your children play in a public area alone. A fenced in backyard is one thing, but an open, public area can leave children vulnerable to unwanted attention. Do not send an older child to be a supervisor. As mature as a teenager might seem, there immature mindset may not react fast enough to stop a danger. If you as an adult cannot be with them, send an adult you trust to watch them.
No matter what a potential threat may look like, make sure you and your family know how to react to a suspicious person. Move away from that person and report it to the authorities. Do not take action unless you have no other choice.
Some news agencies are suggesting that these events may be more fiction than fact. Remember South Carolinians do joke about the Lizard Man, but this creepy clown thing is no laughing matter. (Please pardon that terrible pun.) This still is a good opportunity to speak with your kids about being safe and knowing what to do if they feel scared while in public.
For more tips on family protection and home security delivered to your inbox, consider The Secure Dad Newsletter.