Seventeen-year-old Peyton Reiff tells PennLive.com the girls were trying to scare their friends in Lititz after seeing a trailer for the upcoming movie "It."
A red balloon is the calling card of Pennywise, the sewer-dwelling, child-eating clown in Stephen King's novel-turned-movie.
Reiff says the teens were surprised at how much attention the prank got after the local police made a playful post on Facebook, saying they were "completely terrified" to remove the balloons.
She posted about the stunt to her Twitter account saying, "We tried to trick our friends but ended up scaring America!"
Reiff says they will meet with the department for a "funny follow up," but says they are not being punished.