Around 11 p.m. on Monday night, hundreds of students congregated near the cemetery on north campus armed with bats and other forms of DIY protection in reaction to claims of clown sightings spreading over social media. Photos and information about alleged sightings circulated Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.
Clown sightings have surfaced across the U.S., beginning over the summer in North Carolina and spreading steadily to South Carolina, upstate New York, Connecticut and more. Hoaxes and copycats have also surfaced, prompting suspicion.
Packs of students crowded around North residence halls, where the alleged sighting may have taken place. Police cars were posted at the cemetery and are still present at the time of publication.
The UConn Police Department did not release an official statement regarding the alleged clown sightings and there are no records of arrest. They did not confirm any reports of sightings.
UConn is not the only university to have alleged clown sightings. The State University of New York at Cortland, Merrimack College and the University of New Hampshire all reported claims of clown sightings on Mon., October 3.
However, many of these sightings proved false. According to The Boston Globe, a dormitory at Merrimack College was evacuated Monday night after a false report about an armed clown in a residence hall surfaced on Twitter. Students were told to remain inside.
At Penn State, The Daily Collegian followed thousands of students chanting and gathering as they reacted to alleged clown sightings, though the police had no confirmation of any clowns on campus.
At least a thousand continue to gather at Pollock Halls despite police officers reporting of no clowns on campus pic.twitter.com/nGUBD8vyGo
— The Daily Collegian (@DailyCollegian) October 4, 2016
The Daily Campus will have updates and confirmation from UConn police as information becomes available.
— The Daily Campus (@the_dailycampus) October 4, 2016
Megan Krementowski is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.