Town goes into panic mode after red clown balloons are placed floating throughout neighborhood

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LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA — As the movie, “It,” is set for release in theaters this Friday, the police department and residents of the small town of Lititz Borough were feeling “completely terrified” by the sight of red balloons tied to grates throughout the town.

Police are now asking the local “prankster” to discontinue placing the balloons on the grates, resembling scenes from the horror movie which is a remake of a TV mini-series from decades ago that was based on a Stephen King novel.

The Lititz Borough Police Department posted to its Facebook page, saying it realized the movie is due in theaters in a couple of days and admitting that the prank was “effective.”

The post reads: “We want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons and respectfully request they do not do that again.”

It remains unclear as to whether an investigation will be opened to determine who carried out the stunt, but there have been no further reports of red balloons being sighted in the town.

The movie “It” is expected to break box office records when it arrives in theaters on Friday. It is also expected to cause problems.

The fear nationwide is that the movie will reignite a prank that was making its rounds throughout America last year. People dressed in clown costumes were spooking, and in some cases attacking, people on college campuses and heavily wooded areas.

By the end of September 2016, at least 28 states had reported clown sightings, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Some school districts banned clown costumes from their Halloween parties, and in Arizona, schools in Mesa were on high alert after threatening messages from a clown appeared on a social media account named “Ain’t Clowning Around.”

The account threatened to go to high schools on Friday, Sep. 30 and kidnap students or kill teachers, ABC 15 reported. This was almost identical to an “Ain’t No Clowning Around” social media page that threatened the same thing at Missouri schools, which you can read about in the Missouri section below.

To make the whole thing in Arizona even creepier, some students got threatening text messages that asked if they were ready to play and threatened to kill them, ABC 15 reported.

Police in Phoenix arrested three teenagers for making similar threats, AZCentral reported. Two teens were also arrested in Phoenix after robbing a Taco Bell and Domino’s while wearing clown masks, NBC4i reported.

In Colorado, Fort Collins police reported on Sep. 28 that a threatening Facebook message included a clown’s photo and threatened local high school students.

Meanwhile, more clown sightings were being reported all over Denver. One woman said a clown started following her after she parked her car at around 9:30 p.m. one evening “Every time I would stop and turn around, it would just stare at me,” she said. When she got inside her house, it stood outside the window waving at her.

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