People dressed as creepy clowns continue to frighten and threaten the public in the Ohio Valley and across the nation.
Clown fears are even prompting people to arm themselves as Halloween approaches.
One Wheeling business deals with professional clowns, and clown costumes, on a daily basis.
Fear of clowns is surprisingly common.
“So there are people when they see clown stuff, they say oh I’m out of here. And I feel really sad for those people who fear clowns. And this doesn’t help,” said Gael Fincham, owner of Stages in downtown Wheeling.
Stages provides costumes and makeup for many professional clowns.
Now their clown clients are suddenly losing money with people telling them.
“We’re canceling, we don’t want a clown here. Or please don’t wear your clown outfit traveling to and from this venue. You can change here at the house, but don’t show up here like a clown,” said Fincham.
Gael and Dan Fincham say they get a feeling if the customer wants a costume for good–or evil.
Dan says he has no problem telling some customers that he just doesn’t have what they’re looking for.
“I don’t want to be responsible for some young person getting hurt just over a dumb little joke,” said Dan.
People say they won’t give out candy to clowns at Halloween, or even that they’ll shoot a clown on their property.
One Stages customer says the “scary clowns” may end up being victims rather than perpetrators.
“I think that the real danger is probably gonna come from the people on the other side that see those clowns. It does bring a fear in people and their reactions to that could be disastrous,” said Bill Blon.
“It seems really funny at the time. Let’s go scare people in a clown suit. And I don’t think they realize the implications and how far that goes,” said Gael.