05:50 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Clown Marion Duggan taken in pop-up camp in Norther Greece in May 2016

    Rising Coulrophobia Not Cool for Real Clowns as Global Hysteria Continues

    © Photo : Sarah Hickson
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    The hype around crazed "killer" clowns terrorizing neighborhoods in the US and Europe seems to be reaching peak levels, but the effect it is having on professional clowns is also worrying.

    There's nothing funny about crazy clowns at all for those on the receiving end of being terrorized — or even worse, attacked — by a masked individual. And for those involved in the business of clowning, the recent global hysteria is having a drastic and negative effect on their livelihoods.

    Clowns Without Borders is a charity that is known for taking clowning into conflict zones and refugee camps as a means of providing psychological support and entertainment to those who have suffered trauma.

    Clowns Marion Duggan and Inda Pereda taken in pop-up camp in Norther Greece in May 2016
    © Photo : Sarah Hickson
    Clowns Marion Duggan and Inda Pereda taken in pop-up camp in Norther Greece in May 2016

    Following the recent clown incidents that taking place around the world, the US-based team has openly condemned all those who have been frightening others and distorting the clown image.

    "It's totally understandable why people can become frightened of clowns when people dress up in scary masks and take part in menacing behavior. My fear is this craze will increase coulrophobia — the fear of clowns — which is such a shame as clowns are meant to be a force for joy and good in the world!," Samantha Holdsworth, director and founder of Clowns Without Borders in the UK, told Sputnik.

    On behalf of its many global projects, the charity has also called for people to disassociate the recent incidents of harassment from the positive work and mission of their organization.

    "Our clowns are highly skilled, physical performers. As a result, Clowns Without Borders is very successful at creating laughter and lightness for children living in crisis zones, like refugee camps. The complexity of the places we work, means our approach to working with children is gentle and involves lots of lightness and silliness. It's why big NGO's always like working with us and we achieve moments of playfulness with children who need it the most in a way that only a clown could," Ms. Holdsworth added.

    The reasons as to why the spate of clown attack incidents has escalated over the last few months are still unclear, although even author Stephen King openly joined the debate addressing the issue on Twitter:

    Stephen King's cult horror "It" is revered as one of the scariest films, depicting a psychotic clown, and is cited as a likely key influence behind the recent "killer" clown craze.

    Clowns Marion Duggan and Inda Pereda taken in pop-up camp in Norther Greece in May 2016
    © Photo : Sarah Hickson,
    Clowns Marion Duggan and Inda Pereda taken in pop-up camp in Norther Greece in May 2016

    But rather than disassociating from the hysteria, the creator of UK-based performance group, The Circus of Horrors, believes one of their shows entitled "Killer Klowns" may have influenced the spread of the scary phenomenon.

    "A year ago we introduced 'Killer Klowns' into our show, and at the times we were simply playing on people's general fear of clowns. Until our show, psycho clowns weren't seen like this in a live-on-stage spectacle and were seen more on TV or in the movies with characters such as 'The Joker' in Batman, or Stephen King's 'It'. The Circus of Horrors brought these clowns to life and may have unsuspectedly inspired the current craze!" Circus of Horrors group owner, Dr. Haze (stage name), told Sputnik.

    Circus of Horrors
    © Photo : Circus of Horrors
    Circus of Horrors

    But even though accepting some blame for having possibly caused "killer" clown craze, Dr. Haze also acknowledges the importance of people not encouraging such negative behaviors in real life:

    "As much as our show is meant to frighten people, it is a fictional theater-style performance. The last thing we want is for people to be copying our clowns and scaring people in the streets or hiding behind a mask to commit crimes. The current trend is frightening people so the impostors need to live up to their responsibilities as decent human beings. If they are bored and wish to dress up in a scary way, they should go to a Halloween party and chill out!" he said.   


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