We've got about a week to go until the premiere of IT, the latest adaptation of Stephen King's 1984 horror novel chronicling the evildoings of Pennywise the clown, who hides out in sewers, murders little kids, and generally scares the shit out of a bunch of tweens in small-town Maine. As moviegoers and a horde of ostensibly well-meaning clowns gear up to see the movie en masse, police in Pennsylvania are worried we're destined for a repeat of the Creepy Clown Summer of 2016.
Pennsylvania State Police issued a PSA Wednesday warning residents—and folks "throughout the world"—that terrifying clowns might start cropping up again ahead of IT's release, the Philly Voice reports. Pointing to the dozens of sightings reported in 16 states last year, police urged residents to be on the lookout for round two.
"Remember the fall of 2016 when 'creepy clown' sightings were reported throughout the United States and the world fueling a clown panic throughout the country?" the police bulletin states. "With the fall of 2017 upon us, it is anticipated that similar 'creepy clown' sightings could be reported starting as soon as September, in part due to the fact that the movie IT will be released."
Though IT doesn't drop until September 8, who's to say when the next red-nosed, face-painted, big-footed author of your nightmares might surface? Clowns are known to get into some weird, evil shit even when there's no occasion to: Back in July, police arrested one traipsing around the woods with a machete strapped to his arm, just two months after a particularly terrifying clown hacked a man to death with a set of bladed gloves. And we hadn't even seen IT's first trailer yet.
The Pennsylvania police advised anyone who happens to spot a Pennywise wannabe lurking in the woods or hovering under a streetlight or whatever to call the state's terrorism tip line, which is great for Pennsylvanians. For the rest of us, there's really only one option: panic. Run as fast as you possibly can, and—if the opportunity presents itself—try spraying that clown with battery acid or pelting it in the head with a slingshot. It could be your only hope.
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