No laughing matter: N.B. village asks residents to ditch the clown costumes this Halloween
Published Friday, October 28, 2016 8:30PM ADT
There may be few clowns trick-or-treating in the village of Memramcook, New Brunswick this Halloween, after the village posted a notice on Facebook recommending people forego the costume due to what it calls ‘aggressive clown incidents.’
“We think that it might scare some people, others might think it's funny,” says Memramcook councillor Mariane Cullen. “We just believe that out of respect for our community, it might be best if we request people not to use any.”
Throughout the months of October and September, individuals dressed as creepy clowns have been spotted in several cities and even outside schools in the Maritimes and across Canada. The sightings appear to be part of a growing trend that’s already spread through the United States, where clowns have been reportedly terrorizing children and stalking pedestrians. The incidents were so common in Nova Scotia, police, teachers and the government have been working together to end the pranks.
Halloween is usually big business for costume shops where clowns have always been popular, except for this year.
“This year, we haven't rented any clowns,” says costume store owner Patricia Graham. “From what we've been hearing from people that are going to events, it's kind of not ‘don't dress as a clown,’ just at ‘your own risk’ if you want to dress as a clown.”
Canadian Tire has even removed clown costumes and decorations from their shelves across the country.
“It was more of a proactive approach. We've been seeing it on the news all over the place and we just felt it was the right thing to do,” says Canadian Tire store owner Mike Mercier.
The communities of Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe have not issued any recommendations to the public about wearing clown costumes. Officials are simply asking people to use their best judgement when it comes to dressing up this Halloween.
Meanwhile, schools in the francophone district have advised students to not wear clown costumes to school on Monday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis