Rumors of creepy clown sightings and a flood of related social media posts have several Connecticut communities on edge.
North Haven schools are adding police presence at all six schools and Supt. Robert Cronin said he called parents last night to let him know.
School officials in Newington said there is extra police presence at Martin Kellogg Middle School after a student forwarded an Instagram post about clowns. They said it's a hoax and they do not want to cause alarm, but the extra police presence in a precaution.
In New Haven, the school district is prohibiting clown costumes during Halloween in response to several menacing social media posts.
“Unfortunately, clown-themed posturing has been a growing trend throughout the country, particularly on social media. At this time there is no indication this incident poses any real or substantial threat to New Haven Public Schools or Students. We do however take these incidents very seriously,” the district said in a statement.
Cronin said he is considering banning clown costumes in North Haven as well, but has not made the decision yet.
In Naugatuck, authorities are also investigating social media posts that referenced the town’s school district and extra security was on hand at schools Tuesday as a precaution.
Rumors of sightings swirled around social media Monday night. Some claimed that the UConn campus was on lockdown Monday night after someone spotted an armed clown on campus but school officials stressed that campus was never on lockdown and there were no confirmed clown sightings.
Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury took to Twitter to assure residents that there have been no clown sightings in the city.
Quinnipiac University also took to twitter to assuage fears when social media began buzzing with reports of clowns on campus. The reports were false and QU was never on lockdown.
Sightings of clowns creeping in the woods were first reported in South Carolina back in August. Children reported that the clowns showed them money and tried to lure them in to the woods.
The reports spread to North Carolina and began to make rounds in other states. At least a dozen people have been arrested in various states for either participating in the menacing stunt or falsely reporting clown sightings.
Cronin said this has consumed his whole day and it's an example of how social media can be disruptive.