SAN FRANCISCO — Creepy clowns may descend on your neighborhood this Halloween.
Well, not the creepy clowns nabbing spooky headlines, but people dressed in super creepy clown masks.
The costume chain Halloween Express told Eye Opener TV that sales of clown masks are up 300% since last year.
"In the top 10, eight of them are 'evil' clown masks this season, whereas last year, five of the top 10 were 'evil,'" Halloween Express spokesman Brad Butler told the news program. Other costume chains declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries from Eye Opener.
The nation has been seized by creepy clown sightings. As reports of clowns allegedly trying to lure kids into the woods have spread so has paranoia even as police say these are, by and large, hoaxes.
Still, many people aren't laughing. A New Haven, Conn. school district recently banned students from dressing up as clowns this Halloween, saying the costumes are "symbols of terror."
Fear not. Even as the Stephen King-inspired clown costumes gain in popularity, they won't knock out caped superheroes for kids, according to the National Retail Federation. More than three million children will dress as their favorite action or superhero, 2.9 million will dress as their favorite princess and 2.5 million plan to dress as a cat, dog, bunny or other animal. Batman characters are the reigning champs for ages 18 to 34 and the perennial favorite, the witch, with the 35 and over crowd, the retail group said.