With Halloween right around the corner, authorities in different parts of the US, where the holiday is widely celebrated, have yet another problem to solve. Although some are taking a hands-off approach, to wait for an army of spooky clowns to invade, others seek to control the fraught situation ahead of the game.
Dressing as a clown on Halloween has already been prohibited in some US schools. In Florida, Pasco County law enforcement asked local residents to refrain from wearing clown costumes for the holiday, due to a string of clown scares across the state.
And now an entire Mississippi county has issued an outright ban against wearing clown costumes, masks or makeup in public during All Saint's Eve.
Those who miss the news and get caught impersonating Ronald McDonald, will receive a $150 fine.
According to Kemper County Board attorney Bo Bailey, without money at stake, the ban will simply not work.
"In order for it to be effective you have to put teeth into it," he explained, cited by IBTimes.
Human rights advocates have criticized the county's drastic measures. Dictating what kind of Halloween costume people can wear is a breach of the First Amendment, as it protects against a "ridiculous use of government authority," said Lee Rowland, a US Civil Liberties Union attorney.