Professional clowns say creepy clown craze is hurting business

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As reports of people wearing creepy clown masks continue across the country, one professional clown said the craze has been bad for professional clowns like him.

“There’s been movies in the past that have portrayed clowns in a negative way and there are cartoons,” Dan Carey said. “But they never had the long-term impact we’re seeing now.”

Give Carey 30 minutes, some makeup, custom shoes and a red nose, and he transforms into a clown named “Whistles.” Whistles is part of a Christian clown group that does events such as church fundraisers.

Asked why professional clowns do what they do, Carey said a clown is “somebody who wants to make other people smile, forget maybe their problems for awhile and have a good time.”

He called the creepy clown craze “discouraging.” Like many professional clowns, Carey doesn’t clown full-time. But he and his fellow clowns are losing gigs because of the hysteria.

“[It’s] to the point that some clowns are afraid to get in their vehicles and drive to a birthday party with their clown makeup on,” Carey said.

He said people in creepy masks aren’t truly clowns.

“Anybody could go out and probably find a scary clown mask, if you go to any Halloween store, or even get grease paint and put that on their face and maybe a rainbow-type wig,” Carey said.

Once Halloween is over, Carey and his fellow clowns are hoping the creepy clown craze comes to an end so the good clowns can get back to work. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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