Reports of creepy-ass clowns trying to lure children into the woods, first in South Carolina and now in North Carolina, have sent the two states into complete clown pandemonium. People are so terrified that one North Carolina man reportedly chased after the clown he spotted with a machete.
But back a few months ago, before the American South was embroiled in a freaky circus nightmare, professional party clowns worked to bring joy to the small population of people who didn't already suffer from coulrophobia. Now, business has gotten so bad for these regular clowns in the area that some have been forced to hang up their red noses for good.
"The phone's not ringing, and we have talked about seriously, between the two of us, well why don't we just give it up," Joseph—one half of Greensboro, North Carolina's professional clown couple Jazz and Jojo—told local CBS station WNCN.
Joseph and his wife, Lisa, say that after over a dozen years of professional clowning, they're now afraid to go out in public in their makeup and oversize shoes.
"I'm angry because what we've worked so hard for, they're ruining... I don't understand why they would have to do it," Lisa said of the terrifying forest clowns.
Others blame the media for drumming up the creepy-clown hysteria. Mike Becvar, a professional clown who goes by the name of Sir Toony Van Dukes, doesn't think this would be a problem for any other profession.
"What if they were wearing hospital scrubs, lab coats, and a stethoscope around their neck? Would the news report that doctors were hiding in the woods trying to lure kids with candy?" Becvar asked the New York Times. Well, yeah, probably.
Police are currently investigating the evil-clown epidemic. Until they get to the bottom of things, the verdict's still out on where these freaky clowns came from, or what they want. Are they just really inept kidnappers, or is this whole thing some sort of conspiracy by the anti-clown movement to bring on the clown extinction once and for all?
Read: Clowns Are Going Extinct