Pranksters using creepy clown images posted a slew of death threats against students throughout Northern California over Instagram on Tuesday, prompting schools to increase their police presence.
According to local Sacramento NBC News affiliate KCRA, an Instagram post from user sa.townclown was being circulated by students in Elk Grove that included a caption that read, “Schools I’m hitting up this Halloween season! we are messing with all you! SHELDON better be carful cuz we coming for ya’ll! we ain’t clowning around!!!!!!”
A hit list on Instagram, fearing “creepy clowns.”
The account appears to have been deleted.
The “school hit list” reportedly included Sheldon (High School), Inderkum (High School), Elk Grove (High School), Toby Johnson (Middle School), Smedberg (Middle School), Pleasant Grove and Franklin (high schools).
“The clown said I’m gonna cut your throat,” one male student from Elk Grove High School told KCRA. “I’m just freaking out because I’m going all over Instagram and all I see is clowns, clowns, clowns,” the male student said. “How does something like this go worldwide?” he posited.
As a result of the threats, and worried phone calls from parents, Elk Grove Unified School District reportedly sent over 75,000 emails to staff and parents informing them that that are aware of the situation and monitoring it.
Dr. Will Cushman, the principal at Fairfield High School, told KCRA that law enforcement does not see the creepy clown threats as credible.
The school districts and police departments reportedly urged parents and students on campuses to be vigilant and to report any unusual activity to law enforcement.
Meanwhile, the hashtag #creepyclown has garnered some videos of clowns appearing out of nowhere to frighten passers by. (WARNING: Vulgar language):
Some users created memes of their own:
View this post on Instagram
As if there weren't enough clowns in this town already.. Recent sightings all over #atlanticcity have led us to the ring leader of this whole phenomenon… #chinamanAC #crustkings #crustytheclown #creepyclown #leader #master #killer #creepy #clown #sighting #doac #ACNJ #spooky #clowning #aroundtheworld #crustclassics
On Twitter, the hashtag #HurricaneMatthew was also gaining traction after a satellite image of the hurricane appeared to show a creepy skull and face:
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) October 5, 2016
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz