Wrinkles the first started appearing around Florida in 2013 and quickly became an urban legend – and there’s even a new documentary exploring his myth
Everyone knows clowns can be scary – but what about one hired out by parents to spook their own kids?
Wrinkles the Clown is a US urban legend, and there’s even a documentary about it with the same name, which was sparked by series of viral videos of an apparently real life Pennywise.
In 2014 a YouTube page titled “HvUseen Wrinkles” posted security camera footage of a child sleeping in their room before a clown silently emerges from under their bed and destroys the footage.
According to the description the video was supposedly shot in Sarasota, Florida in June 2013, one of the earliest ‘sightings’ of Wrinkles the Clown.
The clip has been viewed more than 1.1million times and as Wrinkles’ popularity as an urban legend grew more sightings were shared on social media.
He can typically be seen wearing a red and white polka dot suit with black gloves and a white mask with black eye holes and receding white hair.
His horrifying appearance is not what you would expect from a children’s party clown.
But the legends claims some parents have invited them into their lives for a different reason.
For a few hundred dollars Wrinkles will apparently make an appearance at a social event, prank your friends or even stand menacingly outside someone’s house, clutching a handful of balloons to complete the look.
Wrinkles has not revealed his true identity in interviews, choosing to stay in character.
The only information that he has revealed is that he is a divorcee former veteran from Rhode Island who moved to Florida after he retired.
Instead of taking up golf like most retirees, he decided to buy a creepy clown mask, some business cards and stickers advertising a number for his services.
Shortly thereafter he received hundreds of calls from teenagers, pranksters and even parents looking to enlist his clowning services for their own twisted use.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Wrinkles recalled the time he was hired to terrify a mother’s 12-year-old son.
“He was scared of clowns and I showed up across the street from him at the bus stop and he just started crying in front of his friends and ran home.
“His mother called back a few days later and said ‘Thank you!’ Now when he acts bad, she just has to ask him: ‘Do you want Wrinkles to come back?’”
But Wrinkles doesn’t see his work as a way to scare people as he’s just looking for a way to enjoy his retirement.
He told a local news channel: “I just want to have fun and have a good time, make a little extra money on the side, you know? Have a little fun before I die.”