SAN ANTONIO -- "Open season on clowns." That's just one of the threats posted on social media from people fed up with recent creepy clown sightings.
It began after police say a clown in South Carolina tried to lure children into the woods last month.
The clown scare has had a dramatic impact on those who make a legitimate living as clown performers.
"We do this for a reason. We are passionate about giving back to others, bringing joy to people. And to now have to be afraid of going out to do your job is really sad," said Diana McCurtain-Talbert, a local clown performer. "They are not clowns. They are impersonating something that is really good and really pure and they are really making it ugly."
She has friends in Dallas who are clowns too, and says that after these so-called "creepy clown sightings," they've received disturbing messages.
"They did get some threats on their voicemail saying, 'We are going to come find you. We are going to get you,'" she said.
Diana's 21-year-old son Seth also does clowning.
"He can do one birthday party for a month and he's good. He's not going to have to make any more money," she said.
But the latest threats have him worried too, every time his mom gets ready to go to work as Buttons.
"He sent me a message. He said, 'Mom, be careful, at least for the next month because there was a creepy clown sighting in San Antonio and you just need to be careful because you do a lot of work,'" she recalled.
After airing our story Sunday about clown sightings we received hundreds of negative and violent Facebook comments about clowns including, "I say shoot the crazy clown. That will definitely end the stupid clown threat!"
Another one said, "It's open season on clowns. Happy hunting!"
Diana says that the clown sightings need to stop.
"This is a part-time thing for me," she noted. "There are people who make a living doing this and it makes it harder for them to be able to do their jobs because of how clowns are being portrayed."
(© 2016 KENS)