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Tis the season for a bunch of goddamn unfunny clown hoaxes, and now children are getting in on it too. Police say a group of kids in Annapolis, Maryland reported having seen “a clown or clowns” while walking to school. They later admitted the sighting was a hoax.

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Police said the four children, who range in age from 7 to 9, reported having seen the clown(s). When the police were unable to confirm the sighting from surveillance footage, they went to the kids’ elementary school to re-interview them. At that point, they admitted the clowns were imaginary.

The story told by the kids was probably sparked by the heavy media coverage of some extremely questionable clown sightings in both North and South Carolina, where it sounds like children are reporting seeing clowns to adults, who are then reporting the incidents to police. The children in Maryland are likely not being charged with making a false report, because they’re kids.

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It’s worth noting, mostly because it’s very funny, that actual clowns have a detailed code of ethics that would prohibit hiding in the hills and dales to menace townsfolk.