Greenville readies for potential clown costume craze this Halloween

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(GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As clowns scares have popped up across the country, clown costumes are selling out at local Halloween shops.

“Clown sales are up,” said Lisa Cartwright, owner of Halloween Express. “We had…lots and lots of clown props, and they are all gone.”

East Carolina Jordan Winston is not looking forward to an increase in clown costumes.

“Especially with things going on in the news, I don’t feel really safe around clowns,” said Winston. “I don’t like clowns, personally.”

He said his fear goes all the way back to childhood.

“Well I never got over the movie “It,” so they’re just creepy,” Winston said.

ECU professor and folklore expert Andrea Kitta said this isn’t the first time people have freaked out about clowns.

“If you look at the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, this really links very strongly with satanic panic that happened,” said Kitta. “Definitely Pennywise from “It,” I’d say Twisty from “American Horror Story,” those are some of the big ones.”

Kitta said it’s not the clown that’s the scary part, it’s the mystery of who might be behind it.

“We are dealing with an election cycle that has been very stressful for a lot of people, so I think that’s why this is sort of amped up,” said Kitta. “We are already pretty anxious, so the clowns have kind of amped up our anxiety even more.”

Greenville police will be keep a sharp eye out this for anyone looking to prank.

“We are going to be having a measured response,” said David Bowen, Greenville Police Department. “We’re not going to over respond so to speak, but we’ll be diligent in what type of events that might come up.”

Just in case, Winston has another suggestion.

“They should choose another outfit,” Winston said.

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