Citing concerns about reports of “scary clown sightings,” Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest announced Thursday it would stop selling clown masks.
“We feel this move is in the best interest of the communities we serve,” Clark Brekke, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
The nonprofit operates 12 retail stores in the greater Spokane area, North Idaho, Moses Lake and Wenatchee.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, people across the country have reported sighting of creepy clowns chasing people and trying to lure children into the woods. Several teenagers in Spokane reported similar experiences.
Local law enforcement officials said they haven’t made any arrests or seen any especially concerning activity in Spokane. They’ve reminded people that dressing up as a clown is not illegal.
Some have dismissed the reports around the country as a hoax or said that it appears to be a case of the internet overreacting to a few sightings.
The reports have professional clowns concerned for their safety, with some saying they’re being asked to perform without makeup and wigs.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter