A new documentary about Wrinkles the Clown is releasing in select theaters and on Demand on October 4, with a trailer already getting a lot of attention. But was this mysterious Wrinkles the Clown actually real? Who was Wrinkles the Clown? This is what we know so far.
SPOILER WARNING: This story was originally published before the documentary aired, but has been updated since the movie was released. The last section of this story was updated with spoilers from the movie, and the rest remains the same. The final section will have a spoiler warning if you haven’t seen the documentary yet.
Wrinkles the Clown’s Phone Number Is Still Active & His Voicemails Get Overwhelming Sometimes
Wrinkles the Clown is real, but who is he? One of the first times many people heard about Wrinkles the Clown was in 2014 when a set of parents in Florida paid him to hide under their misbehaving daughter’s bed and scare her. The video went viral. You can still watch it on the HvUSeen Wrinkles YouTube channel or in the embed below.
Wrinkles the Clown had photos and flyers all over southwest Florida (mostly Naples and Ft. Myers), with a phone number that people could call if they wanted to hire him to scare their misbehaving children. The phone number actually still works today, Tampa Bay Times reported in September 2019. The phone number is 407-734-0254.
Michael Beach Nichols, the filmmaker for the new documentary, said the number’s active and Wrinkles listens to it. He told Tampa Bay Times: “It’s still active. And Wrinkles still listens to as many voicemails as he can get through, but it’s overwhelming.”
Wrinkles the Clown (or someone claiming to be Wrinkles) had an interview with The Washington Post in November 2015 and claimed that he would make an appearance at a party or a gathering or prank a friend for a “few hundred bucks cash.”
Wrinkles told The Washington Post that he was also hired to scare someone’s 12-year-old son by just standing across the street while he was at a bus stop. The mom said that whenever her son misbehaves she now asks him: “Do you want Wrinkles to come back?”
Wrinkles still makes appearances from time to time too. Here’s a video of Wrinkles the Clown from June 2018.
An Anonymous Wrinkles the Clown Claimed in 2015 that He Was a 65-Year-Old Veteran
Wrinkles said in anonymous interviews in 2015 that he was 65, a military veteran, and originally from Rhode Island. He said he had retired a few years earlier after having a lot of different jobs. He added that he was divorced and has no family in Florida. He wasn’t interested in the boring life of retirees, he said, so he ordered a clown mask, made business cards, and started his gig.
Here’s an interview he had with NBC 2 back in 2015:
In 2015, he was getting hundreds of calls a day. That November he was already booked through January. He said he also gets weird offers which he always declines. “I’ve got women calling me all the time. Young ones, too, like weird goths with chains and stuff. I’ve had enough psycho women in my life already. That’s why I’m divorced.”
He told NBC 2: “I just want to have fun… Have a good time, make a little extra money on the side. … Have a little fun before I die.”
In August 2016, Wrinkles spoke to GQ while all those creepy clown sightings were happening nationwide. He said: ‘As long as nobody is getting hurt, what’s wrong with some kids dressing up and scaring their friends? And how much of it is really true? … Everyone needs to relax, for Christ’s sake.”
He told GQ that he had been working the scary clown circuit for four years by 2016 and his business really took off thanks to fliers starting to appear on Instagram.
He said he charges $150 an hour for parties, and only people aged 21 or older can hire him. If it’s for a children’s behavioral stunt, the price might be more. “I’m cash only and mostly do gigs within a couple hours of where I stay in Florida,” he told GQ. “I’ve been thinking about taking the show on the road…”
Some People Think Wrinkles Was a Publicity Stunt
Despite Wrinkles the Clown’s interviews and stories about his past, some still think he was a publicity stunt. In 2016, Anomalous Films began a Kickstarter to try to raise $45,000 to make a documentary about Wrinkles. They said he agreed to let them follow him on and off the clock and see who he was “out of the mask.” Wrinkles confirmed with The Washington Post in a text message that he was working with Anomalous Films.
The documentary kickstarter only raised $3,853 of a $45,000 goal, so the project was dropped.
The idea was later picked up again by Magnolia Pictures, who has produced the documentary releasing in October.
But some people wondered about the original documentary maker’s involvement with the whole story. Naples Daily News reported in 2016 that Wrinkles became more popular thanks to marketing efforts by Cary Longchamps, the Naples filmmaker who wanted to make the original documentary. Daily News reported that one of the Wrinkles video clips was filmed in front of Longchamps’ duplex. Daily News also said they photographed Longchamps wearing a red-and-white polka dot clown suit at an Artis-Naples event days before he started posting videos of Wrinkles online in October 2015.
Cary Longchamps was dressed as a clown for community day. He’s a volunteer at the Baker Museum, Naples Daily News reported. Longchamps told the Daily News that the clown costume was just coincidence.
We Know A Lot More About Wrinkles After the Documentary Was Released
Now that the documentary has been released, we know a lot more about Wrinkles the Clown, although we still don’t know his identity.
This post has major spoilers for the documentary and a big plot twist.
Only read on if you’ve already seen the documentary or if you’re OK being spoiled.
As it turns out, a plot twist halfway through the documentary revealed that Wrinkles is not a 65-year-old divorced veteran. In fact, he made that story up for the local news and then it snowballed from there.
Wrinkles did not want to reveal his identity because of all the death threats he’s gotten through voicemail. But we could deduce from the movie that he’s pretty tech-savvy.
Here are some photos of Wrinkles that we saw in the movie. He kept his identity well hidden.
And his voice was modified.
We also learned that Wrinkles was never hired to scare children. That was a story he also made up.
In fact, the viral Wrinkles sightings videos were made by Wrinkles and his friends. He ran the YouTube channel dedicated to posting sightings of Wrinkles.
But his identity is still ultimately a mystery.