The town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, became the setting of a real-life Stephen King tale, thanks to a mystery prankster.
Earlier this week, local police spotted something straight out of the It movie — a series of red balloons were tied to sewer grates around the area — and they were sufficiently creeped out.
“A certain movie is coming to theaters in two days, and a local prankster took it upon themselves to promote the movie,” read a playful Facebook post published to the Lititz borough department’s page. “We give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again.”
The sighting made the rounds and soon received national attention through media coverage. Now authorities are turning over the case to the Criminal Investigations Division, as mentioned in another comical follow-up on social media.
“CID wasted no time springing into action, here’s one of them checking for fingerprints with their ever so handy can of ‘duster,'” the caption read next to an image of a clown investigator. “Don’t worry everyone, we’ll have the person or ‘thing’ responsible in custody in no time, these guys really know what they’re doing!”
The clown craze is getting a resurgence from the new It movie, which sees Bill Skarsgard as the titular demonic clown Pennywise, who snatches children in a small town. A red balloon popped up at King’s home in Derry, Maine, and Pennsylvania police are prepping for more creepy clown sightings ahead of the theatrical release.
The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain is also putting on special screenings of the film for audiences dressed as clowns — to further terrorize coulrophobes.
Andy Muschietti directed a cast that includes Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott.
It hits theaters this weekend.