PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Students Rally After Alleged Penn State Clown Sighting

What started as a rumor quickly turned into a rally of sorts. Once Penn Staters heard even the faintest mumblings of the word “clown” earlier this evening, students took to the streets and sidewalks of both campus and downtown to hunt the alleged clowns themselves.

Much like anything viral these days, no one is 100 percent sure how the clown chatter started, but Onward State received early reports that there was a clown sighting near Nittany Apartments, which then moved to Pollock and later East Halls. We cannot confirm whether or not there was actually a clown sighting at these or any other campus location on Monday night.

It turns out the rumor (or maybe not) was all Penn Staters needed to take action.

Thousands of students gathered in East, South, and Pollock Halls, at Old Main, and even ran down College Avenue as the talk of clowns disseminated. Word spread quickly thanks to social media and GroupMe chatter and students rushed outside to get a look for themselves.

The gathering started in East Halls where, in minutes, students flooded the quad. Initially only a few students and a couple of Penn State Police Officers on bike, the area soon crowded with hundreds of students and officers both on foot and in their cars. From there, students began migrating down Bigler toward Pollock and South Halls. Traffic on campus was backed up because of the sudden influx.

Some students reported that as they ran from place to place they heard “eerie” clown music and laughter. As the mob grew, some came equipped with baseball bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, and golf clubs as weapons while others just took to the pavement to see what all the commotion was about.

Students further disseminated from there, running downtown, hanging off trees, and eventually making their way to Old Main Lawn. You know, the backdrop of some phase of practically every Penn State rally.

The clown craze wasn’t only confined to campus. As you can see above, people ran right down the middle of the street on College Ave (at least they were going the correct way). There was also a timely yet creepy image of a clown projected on the side of Beaver Hill.

clown wall beaver hill
Photo: Mitch Stewart | OS

The first report of a Penn State clown sighting came in at about 11:20 p.m., and by 11:50 students had gathered outside their buildings. There have been various ideas regarding the origin of the clown rumors, but according to university police, there weren’t actually any clowns.

“There was a report that someone saw a clown, but nobody has actually seen a clown,” a Penn State Police officer said when reached by phone. “The crowd was just running in the street — there hasn’t been any vandalism, hasn’t been any loitering. There hasn’t been any criminal activity at all.”

Despite that, police on the scanner said that they have received multiple reports that the reported clown sightings were fraternity pledges put up to the task in line with the national trend of creepy reported clown sightings. Police on the scanner also said around 1:30 a.m. that they were looking for a white Honda Odyssey potentially related to the reported sightings. Police also received alleged reports of people driving around downtown wearing clown masks.

By 1:15 a.m., most students found their way back to the rooms, but the clown commotion continued on social media and even picked up national attention. We don’t know if there were actually clowns in Happy Valley tonight, but we do know that Penn Staters will keep track down any clown that does show up.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

Comments

More by Lexi

A Special, Precious, & Eventful Experience: Lexi Shimkonis’ Senior Column

“And here in this lovely, intriguing spot called Penn State, each of us staked our own special, precious, and eventful life.” — Ross Lehman

Homecoming To Replace King And Queen With Gender-Neutral Court

[Video] An Interview With Line Dance Leader Gina DeFrancesco

Athletics

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Road And Utility Work Impacting Penn State This Summer

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Carr underwhelmed in the agility tests and the scrimmage, but impressed scouts with his sharp-shooting skills.

We Are Royalty: Meghan Markle Is A Penn State Fan

Penn State fans are everywhere, even in the British royal family.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Send this to a friend