Did you spot a red balloon tied to a storm drain on your way to work today?
Don’t be alarmed. Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the movie “It” is not going to lure you into the sewer and kill you.
Pictures circulated on social media Tuesday morning of red balloons attached to storm drains in Charlotte, catching the attention of fans of the movie based on Stephen King’s novel about the murderous Pennywise the clown.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
The most meme-worthy scene in the film features a boy who loses his paper boat in a storm drain, only to have it wind up in the hands of Pennywise who, from the sewer, attempts to talk the boy into reaching in to retrieve his boat.
For people who’ve read the book, seen the ’90s TV miniseries or the new movie adaptation, the balloons caused quite a stir.
“So many red balloons tied to sewer grates today. Well done #Charlotte,” one Twitter user commented.
It turns out the balloons were tied to the drains by the Maney, Roy & LauRen morning show from Charlotte’s radio station Kiss 95.1.
“From Huntersville to Rock Hill we’re getting reports of red balloons tied to storm drains!” the show posted on Facebook, noting it as an apparent Halloween prank.
They’re not the first to attach Pennywise’s signature balloons to storm drains. The craze has been happening across cities in the weeks leading up to and after the movie’s September release in theaters. No one claimed responsibility for balloons left in a storm drain in Nashville, Tenn., in September, the Tennessean reported. Police in Lititz, Pa., joked that they were “terrified” while removing balloons attached to drains a few days before the movie released.
“It” has been a huge success, becoming the highest grossing R-rated horror movie in American history, according to Forbes. Anxious fans will have to wait until 2019 for the sequel, according to multiple media reports. Maybe the balloons will return as well.