Police Threats
10122016_clown_costume_mask_iStock PhillyVoice Illustration/Photo: Yuk Ching Lee, iStock.com

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August 30, 2017

Pennsylvania police warn of 'creepy clowns' ahead of 'It' movie release

With the release of a creepy clown movie coming next week, Pennsylvania State Police the public about, well, creepy clowns.

In a police bulletin released Wednesday, authorities said they expect "creepy clown" sightings to pop up again this fall. 

Along with Halloween approaching, police said the expected release of "It" on Sept. 8 could help trigger a round of clown sightings and false reports.

The movie, adapted from the notable Stephen King novel of the same name, follows an evil demon that takes the shape of a clown named Pennywise, who stalks children from within the sewers and kills them when they least expect it.

Reported sightings of people dressed as evil clowns in a number of states – including Pennsylvania – sparked a panic and at least a dozen arrests last fall.

Local incidents included separate threats on Instagram against schools in Philly and Bensalem, as well as another threat that targeted specific students in South Jersey.

The bulletin encouraged people to report suspicious activity to the department's terrorism tip line, 888-292-1919, or by email to tips@pa.gov.