3-Ring Searches: Students Go Hunting for Clowns as Reports of Creepy Sightings on the Rise
"Some people run away from clowns, Penn State runs towards them," one witness tweeted.
As unsettling reports of clowns stalking the country have left many in fear, college students in Pennsylvania have decided to turn the tables on the menaces and do something about the creepy terrors.
After rumors spread that a clown was on the loose on Pennsylvania State University’s campus early Tuesday, at least 500 students set out to find the source of so much concern, Penn State Police Sgt. Mike Nelson told the Centre Daily Times.
“Some people run away from clowns, Penn State runs towards them,” one witness tweeted.
Footage on social media shows students running together in the streets, chanting “We are Penn State!”
“What the f*** is happening?” a girl can be heard yelling in one video of the rally.
There were no clown sightings and no credible clown threats, Nelson told the Times.
“The cause of this specifically was social media,” Nelson said. “If there were any clowns with this many students out there and with our police responding to calls, we would have ran into it. Some photos we’ve seen were photo shopped or incidents from across the country.”
The students caused no damage in their quest to find clowns.
The rally was one of countless incidents across the country related to clowns.
Students at Merrimack College in Massachusetts were told to shelter in place on Monday after a person dressed as a clown was reportedly seen with a weapon on campus.
The tweet that first alerted authorities to the potential threat was determined to be a hoax.
"Students across New England apparently are being terrified right now by, really, one or two people on social media," Merrimack College spokesman Jim Chiavelli told WFXT-TV. "It's shameful."
Clown sightings have been reported Nova Scotia as well as in more than 20 states, including, Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia, South Carolina, New Jersey and New York.
Photos surfaced on social media Saturday of a man dressed as a clown holding a rifle and standing on a railroad bridge about 60 miles north of New York City.
One day earlier, school officials in Lindenhurst, Long Island, said they would be keeping students inside during recess after several clown sightings in the area were reported.
But John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, said no clown threats investigated have turned out to be credible.
“We’re tracking it, but we don’t see any real threat here,” Miller told reporters. “Our main message is, don’t believe the hype, and don’t be afraid of the clowns.”
Even Stephen King—whose novel IT brought to life one of the scariest clowns known to man — Pennywise— urged people to not be afraid, tweeting: “Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria — most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh."
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