A group of children in suburban West Mifflin were playing in the woods by their homes in the early evening Saturday when they reported that two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons approached and chased them.
“My kid came running in the house screaming that there were two guys chasing him,” Michael Milkowski told KDKA-TV.
Milkowski said he was skeptical, but walked out of his house to see two men running away. One man appeared to be carrying a shotgun, the other a pipe.
Police searched the area for hours after receiving Milkowski’s 911 call, but found no one. Extra officers have continued to patrol the area.
The report follows a respite from rash of creepy clown reports across the country and overseas — some of them real and some imagined, which began last summer. Clown sightings were reported in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and California.
Police have arrested several people for trespassing and causing mischief in clown masks. Officers arrested a Wisconsin couple on suspicion of child neglect after allegedly leaving their 4-year-old daughter home alone so they could go out on the streets and scare strangers. Some people were arrested for making false creepy clown reports. A teenager was fatally stabbed in Pennsylvania, apparently in a fight over the clown mask he was wearing.
In October, horror writer Stephen King issued a plea on Twitter for people to “cool the clown hysteria.”
King’s 1986 novel It features a monster named Pennywise who appears in human form as a murderous clown to terrorize young children. Tim Curry played the character in a popular 1990 TV miniseries. Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård portrays the clown in the new movie of the same name, due to hit theaters in the fall of 2017.