A Clown-less Halloween? Gainesville Target, Other Locations Remove Masks

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Will this be a clown-less Halloween?

In lieu of recent clown sightings, Target has decided to stop selling scary or evil-looking clown masks both in stores and online.

However, Hunter Elliot, assistant manager of the store on Archer Road in Gainesville, said the store is still keeping the not-so-scary clown masks.

At the store on Tuesday, there were no masks under the areas labeled “Adult Clown Masks.”

“We don’t want to add fuel to the situation,” Elliot said about the series of clown sightings.

Even though clown masks were selling well before removing them from the store, Elliot said he thinks Target made the right decision.

The “creepy clown” craze started in August, and people have reported sightings throughout the nation. In September, people began reporting clown sightings in the Gainesville and Ocala areas.

But Target shopper Ryan Carter called the clown situation “overhyped” and “not a big deal.”

Target will lose money by taking the masks off the shelf, Carter said, and because many people are talking about it, more people will want to buy clown masks.

Two other Gainesville Halloween shops declined to comment Tuesday, but both stores had clown masks in stock.

Orlando Mendez, a shopper at one of the stores, said businesses should take down the masks to deter people from using them to scare people.

Taking the masks down “won’t prevent people dressing up,” he said, “but it might help.”

About Nina Rodriguez

Nina Rodriguez is a reporter for WUFT news and can be reached at 352-392-6397 or nina.rodriguez@ufl.edu.

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