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Creepy clown craze hits Canada, costume store owner warns: 'Stay away from schoolyards. That's perverted'

By Ted Rath, Postmedia Network

Courtesy of The Green Bay Clown Facebook.

Courtesy of The Green Bay Clown Facebook.

Shawn Hamilton, the owner of Amazing Party and Costume in Toronto, is getting calls daily from people looking for creepy clown costumes, and he has one message for them: “Don’t be stupid, I say. Stay away from the schoolyards. That’s just perverted.”

Creepy clown pranksters who have terrified kids and adults since the middle of summer in the southern states have moved north of the border, with reported sightings and threats from Nova Scotia to Alberta in recent days.

Unfortunately, the great majority have targeted kids. And that rankles Hamilton, who admits he’s a little wary of selling his creepy clown getups right now, knowing what they might be used for.

“Some of these guys go all out with the shoes and the makeup and everything. You have to admire that,” he said Thursday, adding he hopes his customers are in it to scare adults. “But we tell them: ‘This has become a media sensation and they will press charges.’ They have to know to stay away from the schoolyards. Stay away from the kids.”

Nova Scotia RCMP arrested a 24-year-old man wearing a clown mask who they say grabbed at the clothing of a young boy walking home with a group of other kids in Clark’s Harbour on Tuesday evening.

Earlier this week, Halifax police said a photo posted on social media appeared to show a clown standing outside a local high school.

The photo appeared on an account called Halifax Clowns, which states: “We stalking you so keep your eyes open. We ain’t killing, we just creeping.”

Similar threats were made on social media in Truro, N.S.

Teenagers who were photographed in August wearing clown masks and wielding a chain allegedly chased kids from a park in Gatineau, Que.

In Toronto, cops say a teen dressed up as a clown chased kids around a Toronto school yard Wednesday afternoon.

Sudbury, Ont.,, police are searching for a group of people dressed as clowns who reportedly chased children and jumped in front of cars on Tuesday night.

And in Edmonton this week, a “creepy clown” Instagram account purporting to be operated by a student at the school threatened “I will determine whether you are worthy of this life.”

Evil clown costumes have been big sellers at Hamilton’s store for years, but even he hopes it dies down soon.

“Really, I hope it just a one-year thing,” he said. “But expect to see a lot of clowns on Halloween.”