It is the kind of thing that nightmares are made of: A person wearing a clown costume has been spotted lurking around an apartment complex in South Carolina, trying to convince children to come into the woods.

That’s according to a note distributed to residents at the Fleetwood Manor Apartments in Greenville County last week, urging them to be careful with their kids.  People had been complaining to officials about the clown — or, perhaps, multiple clowns — after their children started telling them about the sightings. Police there are reportedly conducting regular, nightly patrols of the area.

Donna Arnold, one of the people who received the letter, told local Fox affiliate WGHP that she called the cops after her son came home and said a group of clowns had been lurking behind a basketball court.

“I thought my child was seeing things,” Arnold said. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘did you see the clown in the woods?'”

Residents were encouraged to avoid letting their children walk in the woods alone at night.

A child is abducted or goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States, a rate that results in hundreds of thousands of missing or abducte children, according to Parents.com.

The notice posted on the doors included the following note, which appeared on the letterhead of the Fleetwood Manor Apartments complex, according to WGHP:

There has [sic] been several conversation [sic] and a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods. First and foremost at Fleetwood Manor Apartments childrens [sic] safety is a top priority. At no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night. Also if a person or persons are seen you are to immediately call the police. Greenville County Police Department is aware of the situation and have been riding [sic] the property daily. Remember there is a 10pm curfew for the property so to ensure your childrens [sic] safety please keep them in the house during night hours and make sure at ALL times children are supervised. Anymore information that becomes regarding this issue will be sent out to all residents.