Local clown scares spur Halloween costume concerns

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EASTLAKE - A recent string of clown scares has sparked fear across the nation and is now spreading in northeast Ohio.

"Some things were posted over the weekend that some deranged clown was going to show up at Eastlake Middle School," said Eastlake Police Chief Larry Reik.

Reik says three sixth grade girls at Eastlake Middle School are responsible for the clown threats and charges will be filed by the end of the week.

But in addition to Eastlake, there have been recent clown threats in Portsmouth, Reading, and Columbus.

And now, Chief Reik is advising people to avoid dressing up as a clown this year.

"My own kids, I will definitely discourage them against that. I think that's probably a good thing to stay out of the categories that will spark extra interest. Also, adults should stay away from clown costumes, too. I would be concerned for their own safety if they got misidentified or someone took it to the wrong way," said Reik.

At Illusions Magic and Costumes in Willowick, creepy clown costumes are usually a Halloween staple.

"People make up their minds, spur of the moment; they saw something on tv last night and think, that would be cool to be," said Buck Bresler.

Bresler opened the store 24 years ago.

"We have all kinds of wonderful costumes for sale or for rental," said Bresler.

Bresler said, so far, the clown craze hasn't boosted business.

"We've just had one call for a clown. Mostly it's superheroes, action figures," said Bresler.

Buck said Halloween is all about having fun but after hearing about what is going on in Eastlake, he too, is considering warning customers.

Illusions carries almost two thousand other costume options.

Buck says he is getting the most calls for Harley Quinn from the movie, "Suicide Squad" and "Captain America."