Maybe they should have had him painting on an easel instead? (Vin Innocente/Instagram)

Yesterday the Staten Island Tourism Board took another hit as word spread that a mysterious clown has taken to lurking around the borough at night. But can you believe the whole dang thing may have just been one of those viral marketing hoaxes? The clown probably isn't a real clown at all, just a regular man with some makeup and a cheap costume! Who could have seen that coming?

The NY Post took the trouble to connect the dots, tying the men who originally posted about the sightings on social media to a production company that seems to specialize in horror films. SI Live notes that three of the men, "Vincent Innocente, Robert Privitera and Michael Leavy, are friends with each other on Facebook; the trio, along with comedian Vic Dibitetto, is linked with Fuzz on the Lens Productions."

However, over the past month Staten Island locals not involved in the prank have spotted the clown as well, which sort of looks like John Wayne Gacy's "Pogo" or It's Pennywise. He's been spotted on the side of the road, and even hiding behind trees at night, and one witness to the horror said, "He was just waving and holding balloons." *Shudders* So even if the clown wasn't real, wasn't it?