Creepy clown phenomenon has some on edge

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They are supposed to make people laugh but some evil clowns have been terrorizing people instead of entertaining them.

Even friendly clowns can be scary so there's nothing amusing about what's going on now.  Tales of devious clowns are coming in from around the country.

FOX 2: "People dressed up as killer clowns - silly or scary?"

"Uh scary," said Angela Harris.

"I guess it's a little bit of both," said one man.

It may seem like something to kid about but this is no joke. Reports of creepy clown sightings have people across the country spooked.

Creepers dressed as clowns have reportedly chased kids, attacked women, even threatened schools.

"Definitely not cool, we put our hearts and souls into it," said Russ Kennedy, a professional clown.

Russ Kennedy doesn't get why people would dress up as killer clowns for kicks and scare people. He says they give guys like him a bad rap. He's been clowning for a living for 20 years working  festivals, parties and doing charity work with the American Cancer Society.

"If you want to scare somebody go work at a haunted house," he said. "Dress as a clown there but please don't do it out in public."

But they are, one was recently spotted in northern Michigan prowling a Big Rapids neighborhood. There were rumors of creepy clown sightings in Port Huron, but police say the rumors were just that.

The tripped out trend hasn't hit metro Detroit -- yet.

"Clown suits for women, men, plus sizes, small sizes, whatever sizes," said Patrick Lynch.

Lynch runs the Lynch's Inc., a costume shop in Dearborn and says he hasn't seen a surge in people buying clown suits.

"People are freaked out by clowns to begin with," Lynch said. "It doesn't help the matter when someone dresses up as something and frightens someone else. It takes it to a different level."

But what is it about clowns that people find so scary?

"It's the makeup," said Adam Sleiman.

"What's scary about them is you just never know what's going to happen," said Alphonsus Orozco.

"It's unsettling," Harris said. "When you see someone in makeup and hair walking around when you don't expect that."

And word to the wise - dressing up as a clown and scaring people can be extremely dangerous. FOX 2 spoke with a former deputy chief with the Detroit Police Department who says people frightened by clowns could fear for their safety and if they have a gun, could deem it necessary to use it in self-defense.