This is a sketch of one of the Phantom Clowns of Greenville by artist Andy Finkle. As fate would have it, Finkle lives a mere 15 minutes from the location of the eyewitness accounts. Spooky gets spookier when it is close to home! (Art courtesy of Andy Finkle ©2016.)
The encounters began in May of 1981, in Boston, Brookline, and other Massachusetts communities. By the end of the month, the local newspapers in Kansas City were publishing warnings about "Killer Clowns," said to be after children at bus stops there.
Sightings would come and go, and Phantom Clown encounters would continue. There has been a long history of Phantom Clown sightings since then, but 2008 seems significant because it was period of presidential campaigning.
In 2008 reports coming from Chicago were tied to a Wicker Park, which has a symbolic name linked to New York City's Son of Sam killings of 1976-1977. In letters to the media, the "Son of Sam" serial killer signed himself as "The Wicked King Wicker" and allegedly shoot a Wicker Street German shepherd.
In the October 2008 Illinois incidents, a man wearing clown make-up and a wig was using balloons in an attempt to lure children into his vehicle on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. Police issued an alert about a week after a man with a similar description was spotted on the West Side. No one was every apprehended.
And now new Phantom Clown reports are in evidence.
But it wasn't a Phantom Clown (yet) that started appearing in Green Bay, Wisconsin, early in August. A mysterious clown that seemingly came out of someone’s warped sense of humor was spotted in Green Bay, according to photographs making the rounds of the social media. A Facebook page called “Gags – The Green Bay Clown” claimed the first sighting happened August 1, 2016, at 2:00 a.m. (h/t New Day).
But one woman did file a report with the sheriff’s office on Aug. 21 , explaining that two days earlier her son told her he had “seen clowns in the woods whispering and making strange noises,” read an incident report sent to BuzzFeed News with the woman’s name redacted.Donna and James Arnold, residents of Fleetwood Manor said it was their two sons, aged 10 and 13, who were involved. The kids said, "Mama, there’s clowns out there in the woods and they’re trying to get us to come out there. Some had chains, some had knives, and some were holding out money, saying, ‘Come here, we’ve got candy for you.'"
The woman then went to investigate herself and “observed several clowns in the woods flashing green laser lights [who] then ran away into the woods.”
But the parents report their sons wouldn’t go.
This story is far from over.
At 8:20 pm on August 29th, a family from Emerald Commons apartments, living about 20 minutes from the first site of the initial reports, said a child saw a man wearing a clown mask in woods near the complex. Deputies said there was a third report of someone dressed as a clown about 10:00 p.m. at Shemwood Apartments. A 12-year-old told deputies that two clowns were in the backyard area, according to the Associated Press.