NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- After graduating from clown school in 2007, Bonkers the Clown went on to start his own business.

The New Albany man runs Balloons by Bonkers.

“I did not plan on it being a business. It was just a hobby,” Bonkers said. “I am actually going into my busy season with a bunch of fall festivals."

Within the last month, a new trend has threatened Bonkers’ business and others like it.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have been littered with bizarre sightings of sinister clowns stirring up trouble in several states including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

At the start of the month, it began in North Carolina and South Carolina with reports of people dressed as clowns trying to lure children into the woods.

A man in full clown costume was even arrested last week in southern Kentucky. Investigators say the 20-year-old man was found crouched near a wooded area in Middlesboro.

On Monday morning, Louisville Metro Police say some students and staff at Lassiter Middle School reported seeing two men dressed in clown outfits outside of the school. When the school resource officer went to check it out, there were no clowns in sight.

By nightfall Monday, MetroSafe received a call of six men riding around Louisville in a white van. All of the men were dressed as clowns.

Also Monday night, a Snapchat surfaced showing what appears to be a creepy clown spotted in Scottsburg, Ind.

“A clown’s job is to bring laughter and not tears,” Bonkers said. “If I put on a lab coat, does that make me a doctor? Just because they put on a clown costume doesn’t make them a clown.”

Bonkers says the men and women pictured in the viral photos are not clowns. He says they are just attention hogs looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

“It’s funny until somebody loses a job, and that’s gonna be a clown if it keeps up the way it’s going,” Bonkers said. “It’s a serious issue, and it needs to stop.”

While there is nothing illegal about dressing up like a clown, several cities including Louisville have adopted an ordinance that prevents people from hiding their faces.

A mask or hood that conceals someone’s identity cannot be worn in any public place per the Louisville ordinance.

Some of the exceptions include people under the age of 16 and anyone wearing holiday costumes “in season.”

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ARRESTED: Police say man in clown outfit taken into custody in Middlesboro, Ky.

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