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New Jersey woman watches Pennywise doll float into her yard, promptly burns it with fire

Screenshot: It: Chapter 2 (YouTube)

In what’s either a clever bit of viral marketing for It: Chapter 2 or a genuinely unnerving bit of happenstance, a plush Pennywise doll covered in odd scribblings floated into a woman’s yard and scared the ever-loving piss out of her. Renee Jensen, a resident of New Jersey’s Harrington Park borough, spoke to NJ.com and USA Today about the incident, saying that she and her boyfriend were soaking in some rays outside when they saw the airborne nightmare drift into their yard.

Jensen, who lives off a country road in a relatively secluded area, is baffled as to how the doll made its way to their stead, especially considering they have only one neighbor who wasn’t home at the time of the incident. “If you saw how many trees we have and where this thing came from, it made no sense at all,” she told NJ.com. “It didn’t even hit any of our trees until it was just about to land at our gate.”

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Scribblings Jensen describes as “culty” and “satanic” covered its head, though a subsequent Google search by Jensen yielded no results. Recalling the “evil” clown plague of 2016 (simpler times!), she called the cops, who, by her telling, were also creeped out. Still, their only course of action was to tell her to get rid of the thing, which she took as an opportunity to set it ablaze. It took three tries—damn you, flame retardants!—but it now smolders in a pile of ash. Goodness, so much trouble when the Ritual Of Chüd was right there.

Photo: Renee Jensen (Facebook)

That wasn’t enough to shake Jensen’s uneasiness, despite her acknowledging the humor in the situation. “I didn’t want this thing on my property,” she told USA Today. “I know people think it’s crazy but...it’s creepy.” A reiki healer who admits she’s a touch “woo,” she lit some sage and walked the entire property, then curled up at night with a dang knife by her side. May we also suggest the innocence, imagination, and ingenuity of a child as a possible defense?

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Andy Muschietti’s imminent sequel to the 2017 horror hit. Stephen King himself tweeted out the story with the clown’s catchphrase, which one could very well read as a confession. Was it King himself strapping this thing to a drone in the New Jersey sticks? We’d certainly like to think so.

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It: Chapter 2 opens on September 6. Watch the latest trailer here.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.