OCALA, Fla. -- The owners of the Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches recently thought it would be a good idea to have someone stand outside their business in an ice cream cone costume.
"We were just trying to get people to come in," said store employee Jasmine Gonzalez.
But a lot of people driving by the store thought the person standing outside was actually wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
The owners said they had no idea about the mistaken identity.
"I'll say about a week after we hired the guy to stand outside, people stopped coming in -- like, dramatically," Gonzalez said. "We would stay here a whole day with nobody coming in."
Eventually, Gonzalez said someone told them what people were thinking, and they pulled the waffle cone costume.
"Like I said, we just wanted people to come and check us out and people took it the wrong way," she said.
Some customers 10 News spoke with said they could see how people would be confused since the person outside often held a sign covering part of the costume.
"I knew what it was, but I'd still drive by or sitting at the stop light over there and would be like, 'Hey, that's, oh, no that's an ice cream cone over there,'" Clay Parton said.
But most customers laughed at the mix up.
"They don't color themselves (with sprinkles) like that," joked Wayne Austin as he looked at the costume.
"And the KKK, they don't show their face either," he added.
Gonzalez said they found the ice cream cone costume in a back storage room after they opened up the restaurant. It's the same outfit 10 News found for sale online at several different Halloween websites for around $29.