Would you risk coming face to face with a creepy killer clown just to get a coupon?

It sounds like a pleasant enough promotion – a party store is hiding coupons around town and inviting customers to find them. But collecting these coupons might just creep you out.

“Do you want to play a game?” the Horner Novelty party store in Jeffersonville, Indiana asked its fans on Facebook, as the calendar page turned to October. “All month long we will be placing coupons around Jeffersonville. Each coupon will be attached to red balloons on sewer drains. We will post a picture of each balloon we place around the city, can you find them?”

And sure enough, the store has been hiding coupons near sewers all over the city, their locations marked with red balloons. A photo of each location is posted on the store’s Facebook page, inviting fans to figure out exactly where the photo was taken in order to find the coupon for themselves – if they dare.

Horror movie fans will get the reference. The movie “It,” based on the Stephen King novel, features the creepy, sewer-dwelling clown Pennywise, whose calling card is a red balloon. So spotting a balloon and grabbing the coupon might have people worried they themselves are about to be grabbed by whatever is lurking inside the sewer.


“I just really like spooky stuff,” store employee Madi Shipman told Louisville, Kentucky’s LEO Weekly. So ahead of Halloween, one of the biggest holidays of the year for the party and costume store, “I started thinking up some marketing strategies that we could do.”

“I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I’m quite impressed with the thought process that went into it,” her boss Chuck Mattingly said. “And the response on Facebook has been incredible already.”

Shipman’s quest has turned her into something of a sewer aficionado. Twice a week, she needs to find a sewer, hide a coupon and mark the spot with balloons. She first posts a teaser photo hinting at her location, followed by a closeup of the spot where the coupon can be found. And then the hunt is on.

So far, the coupons she’s hidden have been discovered within about 20 minutes, so treasure hunters have to act fast. It seems to be the thrill of the hunt more than the coupons themselves that are the big draw – after all, the coupons only offer a modest 10% off a store purchase. But Shipman says the week before Halloween, she’ll up the ante and hide two 20% off coupons in more challenging locations.

So hope Jeffersonville residents are good at recognizing all of their city’s many scenic sewers. And hopefully their scavenger hunt turns up plenty of coupons – without any clowns.

Image source: Horner Novelty/Facebook


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