Penn State Creepy Clowns: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Reports of creepy clowns at Penn State caused supposed “riots” as mobs of students engaged in “clown hunting” on October 3.

The groups of students – reported to be, minimally, in the hundreds – roamed around the Pennsylvania campus until early in the morning of October 4 after clowns were supposedly spotted at Penn State.

It was the latest bizarre report of supposedly creepy clowns terrorizing communities and campuses. See a list of clown reports from around the country. From South Carolina to Wisconsin, reports of creepy clowns have terrorized people, resulted in arrests, and put schools on lock down.

Some people called it a clown “riot.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Hundreds of People Reportedly Chased Clowns Around Penn State

By some reports, there were 1,000 students who joined in the clown hunt. Other reports said hundreds of students were chasing clowns. The official estimate was that 500 students joined in the clown searching mob, said

Word spread that “three clowns” had been seen on campus.

There were reports that police were shutting down streets because of clown sightings on the Penn State campus. People said part of the campus was on lock down.

Some students posted that people were chasing after supposed clowns with hockey sticks.

The ‘mob’ grew as more students joined the clown frenzy.

2. Campus Police Said They Don’t Think There Really Were Clowns, Though

The Daily Collegian student newspaper reported that campus police said there were actually no clowns. After all of that. reported that Penn State police Sgt. Mike Nelson said there were no clown sightings or credible clown threat.

“Fortunately, there was no property damage, no injury and no violence,” Nelson said, according to “And there were no sightings.”

He added, according to the news site: “The cause of this specifically was social media,” Nelson said. “If there were any clowns with this many students out there and with our police responding to calls, we would have ran into it.”

Others thought people were looking in the wrong place for campus clowns.

Some people couldn’t help but get political. Such is the nature of our times.

Some people were just hiding out (and exercising a little hyperbole, probably).

People said there were so many people out “hunting clowns” that it looked like a football game.

3. The Penn State ‘Clown Hunt’ Sparked a Twitter Frenzy

The Penn State “clowns” created a Twitter storm, with many people expressing a phobia for clowns of any kind. It was not clear whether anyone at Penn State actually saw a clown, though.

Even the mention of “clowns” freaks some people out.

Hundreds of people were reportedly outside looking for clowns.

The most common posts on social media expressed fear of clowns or mocked other people for going outside to look for clowns.

4. Other ‘Creepy Clowns’ Have Caused Scares in Pennsylvania Schools

It wasn’t the first creepy clown report in Pennsylvania. Earlier reports that clown-associated threatening social media posts were targeting K-12 schools in Philadelphia caused concern among authorities.

There was nothing about potential clowns on the Penn State Twitter page the evening of October 3.

Some people noted the absurdity of college students “rioting” over clown reports.

People posted generally grainy videos of the clown panic.

The one guarantee in all of it: Some people were just having fun. Other people, really, truly, hate clowns.

5. Other College Campuses Around the Country Were Dealing With Their Own ‘Creepy Clown’ Problem

Penn State wasn’t the only college campus enduring a creepy clown episode. According to USA Today, police at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts said reports of an armed clown sighting there were a hoax.

There was this report out of UIC Illinois:

Clowns were also reported at the University of Dayton on October 2.

Read more about national clown sightings here:

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  1. There were no clowns. Hoaxes everywhere. If there were truly dozens of clown sightings across the country, there would be more than one or two photos, especially when every child has a smartphone. They are all modern day crop circles.

  2. From the videos, they were hardly taking it seriously – seems like it was a good excuse just to go wild and wreak more havoc. Also, some of the voices in the video were really concerned because they didn’t know what was going on. I can see how that would cause someone to think there was a real terror attack or something going on. not cool.