It is not a good time to be a professional clown.
With the creepy clown craze sweeping the nation, coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) is on the rise.
With this in mind, yoppul got in contact with one of the Isle of Wight’s professional clowns, Gina Morgan, AKA Crackers.
Gina has had to change her working name from Crackers the Clown to Crackers the Children’s Entertainer because of the recent spate of incidents in which people dress up with scary make-up and weapons to scare people.
The craze, which has been fuelled by social media posts depicting ‘sightings’ of creepy clowns, has prompted police statements and media coverage nationwide.
This is bad news for working clowns, trying to make a living doing children’s parties.
Coulrophobia is nothing new, of course, Stephen King’s It fuelled nightmares for a generation, but the recent craze certainly doesn’t help the matter.
For the Isle of Wight’s Gina/Crackers, the craze is a step in the wrong direction.
Gina said: “I want children to like clowns, and not be scared, so I feel worried that children (and adults) might become more wary.
“I would say that dressing up in scary costumes with the intention of frightening people, whatever the costume, is unacceptable.
“At first, I just thought it was a silly thing to do. Now, I feel slightly surprised and annoyed that people would be going out trying to scare others.
“I would hope that the current craze doesn’t go on for long, and that as few people as possible are affected by it.
“It would be nice to think that parents could talk to their children about the positive side of clowns, and point out that professional clowns try to make people laugh, not frighten them.”
Coulrophobia is something that has affected Gina’s work in the past and she has had to adapt to it.
“There is a very small minority of children who are frightened of clowns, but in recent years I have changed the way I work. I do not wear the full-face clown make up.”
At this stage it is hard to tell if the creepy clown craze has affected her bookings, but Gina feels that it certainly could do if the craze carries on.