BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Recent clown sightings and threatening social media posts have many people around the country on edge. So what effect does this have on Halloween costumes this year?
Canfield Schools have banned clown costumes during all Halloween activities because of the scare. The superintendent says the district is being proactive and not reacting to any threat.
Ward’s Costume Shoppe in Niles has been dressing people for Halloween since 1949.
“I had a couple people come in the other day and they were specifically looking for a clown costume. They were for haunted house and haunted hayride,” Shirley James said.
The scary clown costumes recreate popular horror movie characters.
Party Place in Boardman only has those types of clown costumes, but says there hasn’t been much demand for them this year. The store is aware of the social media-driven frenzy of people dressing up as clowns and looking to harm others.
“I mean, you see it all over Facebook, the craziness that is going on,” Dawn Kosmo said. “I’ve heard a few sightings around here, but nothing confirmed.”
Even with all that’s going on, she says Party Place isn’t pulling the costumes off the shelves.
“Probably if they saw a rash of things happening in this general area, more than likely, yes. We don’t have that many varieties of clowns, we have maybe three varieties of clowns in adults.”
Local stores haven’t made any changes related to selling clown costumes, but they all admit to looking suspiciously at anyone buying clown-related items. They say it’s not the first time a costume has become unpopular for a bad reason.
“The ‘V for Vendetta’ mask a couple years back when it first came out. A lot of kids were buying those, and they would go driving around with them on and stuff,” Kosmo said.
That phase mainly consisted of just yelling at people.
The scary clown outfit is now making news, but real clowns argue that the recent craze is hurting their reputation. They say being a clown is all about making people laugh and loving one another.
Costume shops hope that day returns soon, saying kids tend to like the basics when it comes to dressing up for Halloween.
A “Clown Lives Matter” walk is being held next week in Arizona. Organizers call it a peaceful walk to show that clowns are not psycho killers.