Are scary clowns in city and on television spurring fears?

Posted at 9:44 AM, Oct 27, 2014

A clown trade group is not happy with the portrayal of clowns in the popular TV show “American Horror Story.”

The latest season features a killer clown, and members of Clowns of America International said the group will “not support in any way, shape or form any medium that sensationalizes or adds to coulrophobia or ‘clown fear,’” according to reports in the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter.

The show’s current season began with the most-watched episode in the FX channel’s history, according to the LA Times. It attracted 10 million viewers.

Mysterious, scary clowns have been seen around a California town in the past month, and there hasn’t been a reason given for the appearances. According to KERO 23ABC television station in Bakersfield, Calif., law enforcement officials received dozens of calls after several sightings of the scary clowns. It began happening Oct. 6.

The prank is getting out of hand, police told 23ABC reporters.

"It's a drain on our resources and we run very tight resources on a good day, and that's just another call that officers are responsible to respond to, and it ends up being nothing and ends up taking time unnecessarily," Sgt. Joe Grubbs with the Bakersfield Police Department told 23ABC.

It is not illegal to dress as a clown, police said, but someone dressed as one and carrying a weapon or making a threat is against the law.

The manager of a Halloween costume shop in Bakersfield told the TV station they have had to add more staff because clown costumes are so popular right now. There is a concern for theft, however.

"Not only have they come, but it's come to the point that they are so obsessed with it, they have even tried to steal clown masks and costumes," said Palmer Moland, store manager at Spirit Halloween.

It has been more than a week since a scary clown sighting was reported to media. It is believed those dressing as them are teenagers.

PICS:23ABC's photo gallery of the mysterious clowns