A fancy dress shop in Sheffield is trying to stop people from buying scary clown costumes in a bid to cull the killer clown craze that has taken hold across South Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.
Kath Jewitt, who has worked in fancy dress shops across Sheffield for 17 years and now works in Party On in Broomhill, said it is mainly young teens who are buying clown masks.
“I tell them I hope that this isn’t for any purpose other than dressing up on Halloween," she said.
"You could cause a serious problem by scaring people - people could have a heart attack, or run away and be hit by a car, or you could give young children a phobia for life.”
Kath said she loves working in the Broomhill area because she can help homesick university students to feel welcome.
But she added that students have been shocked at the clown craze and that it seems to mainly be teenage customers who want to buy clown masks.
“It is a little power trip for people but it is very cruel.”
She said the anonymity given by a scary mask allows people to do things they wouldn’t do if people knew who they were.
“They think ‘It’s not me, it’s the clown’. That is a way of moving away from your responsibility.”
Kath’s words come after a picture was published of one boy who had to have stitches after being attacked by a clown in Rotherham.
Kath said that the clown masks sold by Party On are so scary that one of the shop assistants wouldn’t even open a box of clown masks because the faces are too terrifying.
Other fancy dress shops in Sheffield have mysteriously not seen an increase in sales of clown costumes.
Awal Yusoff works at Party On on Division Street- the sister shop of the Broomhill store.
He said the clown craze is actually bad for business.
“People are put off by how scary they are.”
It’s Party Time on London Road hasn't had a surge in clown costume sales either.
One worker there thought the pranksters might be buying the costumes online rather than showing their faces in shops.
Party Time on Ecclesall Road has also not had any clown craze customers .
Lenka Krurakova works at the shop and said people are asking about clown costumes but not buying them.
“We are selling them but no one has bought one recently.”
There have been dozens of sightings of clowns across South Yorkshire.
Police forces across the country have asked people not to waste resources by dressing up as clowns and frightening people.
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