This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

Some of Those Killer Clown Sightings Were Fake, Cops Say

A man in North Carolina admitted to lying to police when he said he saw a clown tapping at his bedroom window, and security footage debunked the first report that kids saw a clown near the forest.
Photo via Flickr user Gaudencio Garcinuño

Last week, at least eight different towns in North Carolina reported seeing creepy clowns near wooded areas, suggesting that an evil-clown syndicate had begun terrorizing both Carolinas. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares or terrible B-movies, but it was real. Or actually, wait, maybe not.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, police in North Carolina have found that at least two of the original claims were falsely reported. After checking out surveillance footage of the area where a few neighborhood kids first reported seeing some clowns trying to lure them into the woods with candy, police say they saw no one who fit that description and determined the kids must have made it up.

After that initial report, more followed—including one made by a man in the same area, 24-year-old David Armstrong, who said he witnessed someone dressed as a clown tapping on his bedroom window. After police questioned Armstrong, he admitted to making the whole thing up, and local police charged him with filing a false police report.

Police in both South Carolina and North Carolina have yet to find any evidence that the clown sightings were real and are trying to figure out if the clowns are just some weird prank or the result of mild hysteria. Until then, they've made it clear they're not going to tolerate any funny business.

"If we can prove someone gave false information, especially in this situation where these reports are causing alarm to the public, we will charge them," Chief Deputy Brad Stanley of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, told the Journal. "It taxes our limited resources at the sheriff's office if we're investigating something that isn't real."

Read: Clowns Are Going Extinct