'Terrified' police issue wry response after red balloons appear in Pennsylvania town

While some community members may have missed the inspiration behind the prank, the police are canny and know that the balloons were inspired by It, the Stephen King book-turned-movie about a killer clown who lures children into sewers with red balloons. Almost 4,000 people shared the message.

They also gave those who haven't seen the trailers for the upcoming film advice to watch the previews "with a friend or coworker with all the lights on and the sound down low", warning viewers by using the movie's tagline "You'll float too".

For some locals, the department's post solved something of a mystery. "I had no idea", one woman wrote.

If pranksters have their way this will be the creepiest town in America.

The incident happened after Pennsylvania State Police issued a release saying there could be more clown sightings because of the movie, KDKA reports.

The stunt follows weeks of creepy clown sightings last fall, which spread like a contagion after making national news. "Simply wearing a clown mask or dressing up as a clown isn't a crime - that's when they begin harassing or assaulting people or things like that", Detz said. Not only are they leaving the balloons for others to find, but they're leaving small messages to help build up the fear. "If they are showing support for a movie that's not a problem".

  • Joey Payne