EDISON - Retail giant Target has pulled all scary clown costumes from their stores and website in response to nationwide reports of creepy clown encounters.

Only the evil clown costumes have been pulled from the stores. Customers may still buy friendly clown costumes this Halloween.

Some customers say that they understand why the Target would ban the costumes with the Halloween holiday just around the corner.

"I could see why though because I feel that if the clown attacks somebody, or…approaches somebody [it could be] the wrong person who's going to have a bad reaction,” says one shopper.

Any trick-or-treater who still wishes to be an evil clown has plenty of other stores to choose from. The owner of Ann's Costume and Magic Shop in Boonton says she has seen a rise in the demand for clown costumes this year.

"They don't want to be a sweet clown. They want to be a scary clown. Just because of the hype, whatever is in the news, people want to be,” Ann says.

Costume retailer Halloween Express reports sales of clown costumes have spiked more than 200 percent compared to this time last year.

Several school districts have banned scary clown costumes in classroom celebrations. A number of New Jersey police departments have also urged parents to keep their children from wearing clown costumes.