National clown phenomenon hurting local clown business

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The clown hysteria across the country is hitting close to home as local clowns are struggling to find business.

The craze started in South Carolina in late August after reports of clowns trying to lure kids into the woods. Since then, it’s ignited a national phenomenon with now more than two dozen states reporting clown sightings. Although many were hoaxes some have resulted in arrests.

“I have been making people laugh my whole life,” said Patricia Hoskins, a retiring clown.

No one however is laughing at the growing clown phenomenon, especially Hoskins whose been clowning for more than 20 years.

“I think it’s tragic,” she said. “I think that it’s something that’s going to be a passing phase but in the mean time what it’s going to do is kill a profession that’s been around for a long long time.”

Clowns have long terrified both adults and children, something that Stephen King’s book and the creation of the 1990’s movie “It” certainly fueled.

“I think it’s tragic that they’re using a clown persona to frighten someone,” said Hoskins. “Why would they do that, except for Stephen King.”

The clown chaos has since caught King’s attention but for Hoskins the clown attention is the very thing destroying her business.

“It was a livelihood for me and now we’re on a fixed income so it’s getting harder and harder for us to make ends meet,” said Hoskins.

At the height of business she was working seven to eight events a day but now…

“It’s almost non-existent,” said Hoskins. “Almost non-existent.”

For those using the creepy clown masks to frighten people, Hoskins has just one thing to say.

“It’s not funny to scare people,” she said. “We’ve got enough scary things going on in real life without something like this perpetuated.”

One local Halloween store FOX21 spoke with says they haven’t seen an influx in the number of clown costumes sold but for the first time, they’ve moved the clown costumes to the horror section in light of recent events.