Target will stop selling clown masks both online and at brick-and-mortar locations due to the "crazy clown" craze that has spread across the US. Fueled by social media and sensational news stories of people in clown masks terrorizing residential neighborhoods, a slew of copycats have sprung up across the nation. The Minneapolis-based retailer has decided to do its small part to stop the craze by refusing to sell the popular Halloween masks, the Star Tribune reports. A Target spokesperson kept it neutral, telling CBS Minnesota simply, "Given the current environment, we have made the decision to remove a variety of clown masks from our assortment, both in stores and online."
There have been several clown-related incidents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community, where Target is headquartered, as well as at least one instance in nearby Michigan of two teenage girls using the masks to terrorize younger kids. That's far from all—Heavy is keeping a list of "threatening clown sightings" reported in the US, and so far it includes 40 states with reported incidents. The craze has even spread beyond the US, according to New York magazine. A teen in Sweden was stabbed by someone in a clown mask, and two teens in the UK say they were chased by a person wearing a clown mask and wielding a machete.