An increasing number of calls to ChildLine have been made in connection to the ‘killer clown’ phenomenon that has left young people in Nottingham distressed.
The cities getting most of the calls are believed to be Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham. The centre in Nottingham was contacted 14 times by children from October 5th to 11th.
A trend of dressing up as scary clowns has left children ranging from ages 11 to 15 to call ChildLine in fear of their well-being.
‘The centre in Nottingham was contacted 14 times by scared children’
According to NSPCC, ‘In just one week ChildLine has been contacted 120 times’ by children who were frightened by people dressing up as clowns who were intentionally scaring on-goers.
Children seem to be a major target for these clowns as they have been specifically seen around schools, with children even being targeting online, where ‘a 13-year-old girl was messaged on Instagram from someone posing as a clown who threatened to cut her throat and rape her.’
Jon Cameron, NSPCC Head of Helplines, urged people to “stay well away from them” and to “immediately tell their parents or the nearest responsible adult and report it to the police where necessary” if they see a clown lurking around.
“If I saw a clown, my first instinct would be to run the other way”
Professor Mark Griffiths, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, emphasises that clowns have been represented as something evil due to movies, which has now “become part of a scare culture”.
“Even if you have not come into contact with clowns, you’re influenced by what you see in television and films”.
With Halloween this weekend, students at the University of Nottingham have become aware of the clown presence, with Jimi Harrold, first year Physics student telling Impact: “If I saw a clown, my first instinct would be to run the other way”.
Image: davocano via Flickr