SOUTHINGTON - The creepy clown craze impacts more than just schools. Real clowns say they are a bit honked off by a proliferation of clown related school threats.
A Southington woman, who's been clowning for 35 years, said she received a call yesterday that demonstrated the power of social media.
"I was going to do a job this coming Friday that someone canceled because they were worried for my safety," said Diana Sheard, aka Valentine the Clown.
Who did they hire instead?
"A gorilla," Sheard said.
Another clown, Sparkles, told Sheard she is going to back away from clowning and play the role of Suzy Scarecrow until this nationwide panic settles down.
"I'm not saying anything against those people, but they are not clowns," Sheard said. "They're just spooky costume characters."
With a name like Valentine, she enjoys wrapping her heart around individuals who are uneasy around clowns.
"More times than not, people that tell me they don't like clowns or are afraid of clowns, will talk with me enough to get over it ," she said.
Disarming anxious individuals is something she enjoys. Last weekend, during Southington's Apple Harvest Festival parade, she encountered a timid, bald man.
"He said 'oh my gosh, don't. I'm creeped out by clowns.' And I said 'well I happen to love bald men.' And then he stood up and we took a great picture together," Sheard said.