Clown attacks worry professional clowns, but also spike costume sales

Clown hysteria spikes Halloween business

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It's the season of screams and with Halloween less than a month away, people are prepared to be scared.

But this year, it's the ones who do the scaring that are watching their backs.

“It's not fun anymore, and it's kind of scary for us,” said Joker the Clown from Field of Screams, who preferred WHAS11 News use his character name.

Joker has been a clown for 23 years. 

“Me and my dad went to clown college when I was like, gosh I was like ten years old,” he explained.

He told WHAS11 News this is the first time he's ever had to worry about violent threats being made against his profession.

“There's thousands of other clowns out there that do the same thing that we do here at the Field of Screams and we have to live in fear now doing what we do,” said Joker.   

The clown hysteria comes after reports from around the country and in Lexington about 'scary clowns' terrorizing people. They're even accused of luring children into the woods. 

“This could get somebody seriously hurt,” said O’Doyle the Clown who also works at Field of Screams. 

Professional clowns like Joker and O'Doyle say there's a right time and a right place to be scary. 

“This is something that we're having to deal with and it's not making it fun because now we have to worry about going out and doing fun things,” said Joker. 

WHAS 11 News went over to Caufield's Novelty in Downtown Louisville, the longtime family-owned business that thrives on Halloween merchandise, especially clown costumes.

“It's always one of our number one sellers,” said Tracy Caufield-Johnson. 

Tracy says the recent clown hysteria has actually helped store sales for clown characters.

“You have those people that are like, yes I'm doing that because it's really scary this year, it's even scarier than usual,” said Caufield-Johnson.   

Tracy does advise Caufield’s customers to 'Clown responsibly,’ but also asks the public not to overreact if they see a clown roaming around this month. 

“I think there has to be good common sense on both sides,” she explained.


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