It started out so innocently. A college student thought with the recent rash of creepy clown sightings across America that it would be funny, ***as a practical joke***, to photoshop a picture of a creepy clown on campus and share it on the college’s Facebook page for students…holy shit was that student wrong. Below we’ve got the story (and photographs) of a harmless prank that got out of hand REALLY quickly. It’s unclear exactly which college this took place at because the student that started the campus-wide clown manhunt with weapons and helicopters fears what might happen if the school finds out who started everything, but internet sleuths seem to think that it’s Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
First up, here’s the photoshopped picture that started everything. After that is the student’s story, and lastly you can see the comments from the college’s Facebook page of people totally losing their shit (via m1k3yd33t’s TIFU):
So I go to a small school, maybe 7,000 students total, the majority of them super white and well-off. The whole “creepy clown” thing has been going around, with facebook constantly lighting up with sightings. Fortunately, we had never been the subject of a sighting.
That is until tonight.
Some rumors start floating around of a clown sighting by our dorms and their parking garages. It’s probably bullshit, but hey, it’s fun to be a little scared and get caught up in the silliness. Thinking it was one big joke, I decided to Photoshop a “sighting.” In about six or seven minutes, I put together this image. It’s a shit shop, I know, but that was kinda the point, I wanted to play into the joke. I posted it on my school’s class Facebook page and thought nothing else would come of it.
Holy shit was I wrong. My roommate calls me about a half hour after I posted the image and says “Holy shit man, people are outside of the place where you posted that pic (he was in on the joke). They have golf clubs, and campus security is talking about bringing in Metro Police.
I immediately went on to my post on the Facebook page to discover that pretty much everyone thought it was a real picture. The full post is below, along with all of the comments. Security was telling everyone in the area to stay locked inside their dorms until we get the all-clear. As my roommate walked into the dorm, he said there were helicopters with searchlights looking for this clown. If they catch a clown they will either be arrested or expelled, depending on whether or not they’re a student.
Yeah, posting about it on reddit probably isn’t the best way to stay covert, but my name’s on my facebook account and it’s a pretty bad shop, so they’ll figure it out one way or another. I’m basically a fugitive now. Ladies.
Link to the screencaps of the Facebook post.
Ironically, if it was Belmont University in Nashville where this all took place there’s an FBI special agent on campus this morning to discuss Cyber Security with students. So whoever is behind this might have cause to worry about the university finding out it was her/him.
As for the prank, it’s clear that the mob mentality allowed things to get out of control really quickly. The scrambling of helicopters and students roaming the campus with weapons while searching for a creepy clown is an EXTREME overreaction, and that’s not on the prankster.