Sightings, Schools Slow Costume Sales

by Kirsten May
Courtesy of A-State Department of Media

JONESBORO — Halloween is just around the corner, but one scary figure has been getting a lot of attention for months: creepy clowns. ASU TV’s Kirsten May looked at how sightings reported across the nation might be impacting sales at a local costume shop.

“A few of them said, ‘No, I wouldn’t be a clown if my life depended on it, because I don’t want to get shot or arrested,'” Golden Grotto manager Anthony Eveland said.

Eveland said the increased attention to creepy clowns over the past few months has not been good for costume sales.

“Last year we sold all of them. This year we’ve sold a few. I don’t know if it’s because the ban of all the schools,” he said.

And it’s that ban on certain costumes — including clowns — that is frustrating to some parents. Amber Sales said buying costumes for her two sons who love scary movies is a little bit harder this year.

“He was kind of upset because he doesn’t get to do the clown. Because he can’t wear it to school, and there’s been messages put out all over Facebook and social media saying that if you’re dressed up like a clown, you’ll get arrested. So, we don’t know which parts are real and which ones aren’t, so we just aren’t going to test it,” she said.

Sales’ sons are in elementary and junior high in the Jonesboro School District.

She said a note sent home said masks and fake weapons were not allowed, which she understands. But Sales does not like the school restricting the type of costume a child can wear.

“It’s like a parent has to spend $100 per kid just to get them what they want for school and after school,” she said.

Sales also said she believes most of the reported clown sightings aren’t real, just something to get attention on social media.

In the end, Eveland said the store will do fine this Halloween regardless of how many clown costumes stay on the shelf.

“No, no, no. We don’t depend on just clowns,” he said.