Halloween came early for some people.
Residents in Gresham, Ore., received a scare Thursday after spotting a person impersonating the fictional horror character “Slender Man” walking around town.
Fox 12 Oregon reported residents witnessed a man walking around town in daylight wearing a suit with gloves on his/her hands and a white mask over their face. Some residents called the police out of fright.
“You see heads just turning; people freaked out. He just kept looking at us,” Randi Wicht, a Gresham resident, told Fox 12 Oregon.
“At that time I called the non-emergency number for Gresham, just with everything going on...it’s really creepy,” said Wicht.
Slender Man started with an online post in 2009, as a mysterious specter whose image people edit into everyday scenes of children at play. He is typically depicted as a spidery figure in a black suit with a featureless white face. He was regarded by his devotees as alternately a sinister force and an avenging angel.
Rosa Higdon, another resident, said the sighting made her feel tense.
“I kinda froze, I wasn’t sure if I was really seeing what I was seeing,” Higdon said. “You couldn’t tell if it was a joke or serious, you didn’t know whether to laugh or to be worried, it was kind of confusing."
“I went to get in my car and he was like right here. He didn’t say anything he just stared at me. And I get Halloween, it’s funny and all, but I’m kind of tense right now,” said Higdon.
Gresham Police confirmed that they received a few calls regarding the sighting of Slender Man and told the man to cut it out.
However, the media outlet discovered that the spooky character would be back as a promotion for a haunted house.
“We don’t mean any harm we just have our characters out there having fun, that’s what they are, they’re actors. We wanted to create an uproar, people to go 'hey, there’s a guy on the street, what’s he doing,'” said Nate Fultz, who works for the House of Shadows, which has used the actor to promote the attraction.
“We can’t stop what we’re doing, we understand people are upset about it, but we can’t stop doing what we do, it’s Halloween season,” Fultz said.
Police confirmed the man did not harm anybody but said the actor should confirm that he worked for a haunted house.
The House of Shadows said they were considering putting a sign with the name of attraction on the costume.
“Slender Man” has made headlines including a case where two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls stabbed a classmate to impress the fictional character in 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.