Pennsylvania police in the small city of Lititz responded to a pretty unusual and vaguely disturbing call on Tuesday. Under cover of darkness, someone in the small town had apparently inflated and tied several dozen red balloons to sewer grates, either as a joke or guerrilla marketing for the new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel IT, which hits theaters on Friday. Suffice to say though, the police officers were pretty damn creeped out by the whole thing.
According to CBS News, the official police statement says officers “want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons.” Are they joking? Playing into the fun of the film? Who knows? But the officers do go on to give more details.
“I don’t think we have an accurate balloon count, but it’s definitely above 20,” said police to CBS News. “They pretty much hit the entire town and the area around the town. Somebody eventually has to clean it up, obviously. We’ve removed several, but there are still a lot more out there.”
Just how much work is it to pop a balloon and take it away, officer? We can’t imagine that’s much of a mess. Still, the police seem at least vaguely amused by the whole thing as well—they shared images of the balloons on social media, which immediately went viral. Residents of Lititz seemed torn between pride and fear, as a result. One local ably summed things up thusly:
“Lititz is now officially the creepiest little town in America.”