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Stephen King on Real-Life Creepy Clown Sightings: ‘I’d Be Scared, Too’

”Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh,“ the author of ”It“ says

Stephen King totally understands why people in North and South Carolina are on edge following reports of strangers dressed as clowns lurking around in the woods. 

“If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge–or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons– I’d be scared, too,” King told the Bangor Daily News.

And King knows a thing or two about terrifying clowns. His novel “It,” which was later adapted into a film that is currently getting a remake, featured the notorious Pennywise, who lured children to their deaths.

“I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them,” King said. “Clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people. Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he’s more apt to scream with fear than laugh.”

For the last few weeks, people in both North and South Carolina have reported seeing people dressed as clowns lurking around, though no injuries or altercations have taken place. Two children in a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, neighborhood reported a person dressed as a clown trying to lure them in the woods with treats. An adult also overheard the incident, but did not see the suspect police were on the lookout for.

King went on to say that he suspects this is merely a prank, someone’s attempt to prey on people’s fear of clowns. “The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying,” he said.