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‘Scary clown sightings’ affecting real clown business in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Clown sightings continue to pop up in the Mid-South and across the country, causing fear and response from police.

But how is this affecting the people who put on those costumes to make a living?

Randy Montgomery has been clowning in Memphis for 20-odd years.

It's a profession he loves.

"It's making people laugh, it's having a good time, making people's days brighter," he said.

He's provided smiles for patients at St. Jude, nursing homes and birthday parties.

"Everybody says I'm just a natural, so I'm not sure what that means," he laughed.

But lately the chuckles have been silenced as scary clown sightings arise.

"It's just a sad thing," he said.

Multiple scary clown sightings have been reported across the country and recently in the Memphis area.

On Monday, there was a sighting reported by a mother in Frayser.

She said her son was approached by a clown at Maverick and Range Line, and then the clown took off.

The kid told police the clown ran into the woods, but officers didn't find anything.

It's another report that makes Montgomery nervous in his own career.

"It's kind of funny how you think about, you drive by and people look at you as a clown a year ago and now you're thinking, 'Am I scaring these people?'" he said.

He said he now worries about when and where to put on his clown makeup, or if his outfit will be met with flashing lights.

Montgomery also said the phone calls for his business have been quieter, as a look meant for silliness turns into scaring people.

"We're trained to make people laugh and make fun of ourselves and let people have enjoyment, and you got other people that are just hijacking the clowning movement."

Clowns, he said, weren't invited to the party.