Every October, Kathy Shook and Anand Sharma get a little nervous.
“I had people honking at me coming from home,” Sharma said.
Shook and Sharma are clowns, named Marmalade and Huggy Bear, who volunteer at the Longmont United Hospital cheering up patients, visitors, and even nurses.
But Sharma has stopped driving to the hospital with his clown makeup on.
“It’s too risky,” the 45-year-old said. “Especially this time of the year, I would not risk it.”
This year, they are being honked at and heckled even more than usual, and believe it’s because of the release of “IT.” The movie, based on a Stephen King novel, features a villainous clown that pulls children into sewers.
“You know there are some people that are truly afraid of clowns, we know that is a fact,” said 72-year-old Shook. “But then there are people that are clown haters, I don’t quite know why they just are.”
The World Clown Association has a statement on Scary Clowns. They “disavow any relationship with these horror characters,” and say these horror clown portrayals work against their goal of “providing fun, G-rated, child-friendly entertainment.”