Students at Florida International University got a bit of a Halloween scare Tuesday when a clown suddenly appeared on campus.
The clown, clad in a multicolored outfit, face paint and clutching a big assortment of red balloons, sat on steps. Stood on a tree stump. Basically, just stood there. But he didn’t have to do much more to get a reaction.
No word on whether the clown was Pennywise, the nefarious ghoul from Stephen King’s “It,” but it might well have been given the freak-out factor that followed on social media.
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“There’s a person dressed as a clown with balloons chasing people at FIU. Today might just be the day I go into cardiac arrest. Stay tuned,” read one Tweet from someone who posts as Grethelious.
“Good thing I’m not at FIU this morning cause if I would’ve saw the person dressed as a clown, I would’ve IMMEDIATELY started crying,” read Valerie Vignolo’s tweet.
Some students took a bold step forward. Perhaps they haven’t seen “It” or this season’s “American Horror Story: Cult.”
Or maybe they missed the recent news story about how cops in Florida are warning people not to dress like creepy clowns lest they get attacked by frightened folk. That warning was not new. Miami-Dade police and the Broward Sheriff’s Office warned people to refrain from dressing as clowns last year. But the new warning came when an 11-year-old boy claimed he was nearly attacked by someone in a clown costume in DeLand in Central Florida while he was riding his bike earlier this month.
“Some walked up to the clown. I saw one girl take a balloon,” said FIU senior Brittany Boccadifuoco who snapped a photo of the clown as he clutched his balloons on a tree stump felled by Hurricane Irma.
Still others figured this appearance would make for a good skip day. “There’s a clown at fiu so i’m not going to class today,” @Tiphphany posted.
Miami Herald digital producer Veronika Quispe contributed to this story.
Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.