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Target Pulls Clown Masks From Shelves Ahead of Halloween

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 15:08:07-04
Target is suspending the sale of clown masks at stores and online in response to the spate of creepy clown-related sightings across the country. 
 
The decision — just two weeks ahead of Halloween — is due to the "current environment," Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said in an email Monday. 
 
The move by one of the nation's largest retailers comes after McDonald's last week announced it would be limiting public appearances by Ronald McDonald until the clown craze is under control. Several Goodwill stores in Florida also decided to stop selling clown costumes. 
 
This summer's clown hysteria across at least 20 states has given rise to an extreme case of coulrophobia — or the fear of clowns. Aside from people dressing up as clowns to scare passersby on the street, there have been people claiming to be clowns on social media and threatening harassment and violence, particularly at schools.