Stores place restrictions on clown masks, costumes


TRI-CITIES, TN/VA (WJHL) – Costume stores around the region are ramping up their inventory this week as Halloween quickly approaches.

But for those who are interested in being a clown, it may be hard to find that desired costume. At some stores, consumers may face a few extra purchase and rental requirements.

After several sightings of clowns doing mischievous things around the Tri-Cities region and the country, some stores are putting extra precautions in place when it comes to selling clown masks, costumes, and accessories.

Recently, Target announced it would no longer carry clown masks.

“I think that it’s very sad that people are using clowns for that. But we do still have clowns if that’s something you’re interested in doing we are still selling them and clown merchandise,” said Celebrate Rental’s Costume Manager Rachel Townsend.

Instead of pulling the masks and costumes off their shelves, Celebrate Rentals in Johnson City is putting a safeguard in place.

“We’re just taking the precaution of if you do that, we need to have your driver’s license, a copy of it,” said Townsend.

Townsend said rentals require a license copy anyway, but the policy will extend to clown items as well.

“We would like to help authorities in anyway if something were to happen in our area. Which I hope it does not but just in case we just want to be safe,” said Townsend.

“Our dispatch has taken a few other calls of clown sightings,” said Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kristen Quon.

Quon said despite the sightings, deputies will treat this Halloween like any other.

But adults who choose to be clowns should be aware of possible implications.

“We at the Sheriff’s Office would like to tell people to be careful if that’s the costume that you choose people are obviously going to be suspicious,” said Quon.

Most stores in the region are carrying clown costumes, but a few stores are not carrying clown masks.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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