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Bizarre masked character frightening people in SC neighborhood after dark
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Bizarre masked character frightening people in SC neighborhood after dark

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Sumter County, S.C. investigators are seeking to identity the individual who has been "involved in suspicious activity in Meadowcroft Subdivision." (Sumter County Sheriff's Office/TNS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A character straight out of a horror movie is terrifying people in one South Carolina neighborhood — and now police say they are launching an official investigation into the “suspicious activity.”

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office shared a creepy surveillance photo of its suspect Tuesday, fueling social media talk of The Slender Man, a supernatural character known for having a blank white face.

Like the Slender Man, the image shows someone in a mask with no facial features — other than holes for eyes and nostrils.

The photo was taken March 24 outside a home in the Sumter’s Meadowcroft Subdivision, the sheriff’s office told McClatchy News, and it “scared the residents in the house.” The area is about 40 miles east of Columbia.

No crime has been reported, adding to the mystery of what the suspect was doing that night on Caitlynn Drive. The case is being investigating as “suspicious activity” that is frightening people.

Slender Man is an urban myth — like Bigfoot and the devil dog Chupacabra — with a backstory credited to “Photoshop pranksters” on social media, according to Techcrunch.com.

“The Slender Man is probably the most popular modern urban myth. He’s like an online boogeyman,” BuzzFeed reports. “The Slender Man is often described as a tall faceless black-and-white figure, sometimes with tentacles, who can make people who see him go crazy and lose their memory.”

The photo shared by Sumter County officials has racked up 1,200 shares and more than 450 comments since being posted March 30, some from people who admitted to being scared by what they saw.

Many suggested it was a bad practical joke, while others said the suspect’s eyes were “too big to be human.”

“It finally happened. The aliens have landed,” Cindy Merritt wrote.

“People are going crazy. They must have a death wish,” Charlene Baxley posted. “They going to go in the wrong yard. That’s scary and when people are scared they will defend (themselves).”

“Looks like an episode of the ‘Twilight Zone,’” Patricia McCutcheon said.

“If someone or something runs up on me looking like that, y’all definitely getting a call to come get this body out my yard,” Jeremy Huggins wrote.

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