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‘Killer clown craze could kill our business’ warns Dalston clown museum curator

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:58 13 October 2016

Mattie: It really hurts when these scores of stupid people dressed in clown masks are even called clowns. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mattie: It really hurts when these scores of stupid people dressed in clown masks are even called clowns. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The “killer clown” craze sweeping the country has been condemned by the curator of Dalston’s clown museum – who fears it could put him out of business.

Mattie Faint, pictured in the clown museum, fears 'killer clowns' could spark a lifelong phobia of clowns. Picture: Polly Hancock Mattie Faint, pictured in the clown museum, fears 'killer clowns' could spark a lifelong phobia of clowns. Picture: Polly Hancock

In the run-up to Halloween, pranksters have been dressing up as scary or gruesome clowns to deliberately frighten and intimidate the public. Three incidents in the capital in the past few days alone are being treated as criminal offences.

On Monday the Met issued a warning about the potential consequences of the craze, saying it can “leave people feeling scared, anxious and intimidated”. It came after a man in a clown suit and wielding a chainsaw sparked chaos after running through the grounds of Brunel University, Uxbridge.

Mattie Faint, curator of the Clowns’ Gallery in Cumberland Close, said the craze could spark a lifelong phobia of clowns.

“Anyone who’s been affected may think twice about wanting a clown at their party,” he added.

"Anyone who’s been affected may think twice about wanting a clown at their party. Already there is, shall we say, competition at children’s parties"

Mattie Faint

“Already there is, shall we say, competition at children’s parties. At one time everyone used to book a clown and then other characters came along. Girls might want a fairy or boys will want a pirate. Gone are the days when there were only clowns to choose from.”

Mattie, who spent 25 years working in hospitals as a clown doctor, said: “It is an amazing job and it is so positive. It really hurts when these scores of stupid people dressed in clown masks are even called clowns, because to us that’s just abhorrent.”

He continued: “This is something that happens every year, but this year more than ever because of social media.

“They are people wearing masks you can buy over the Halloween period and as soon as that’s over they will disappear into the ether, after they have come out and scared a lot of people all over the country.

Mattie (far right) with Spotty, Ginger Nutt and Bluebottle outside the Clowns International Gallery and Archives, Cumberland Close, Dalston. Picture: Polly Hancock Mattie (far right) with Spotty, Ginger Nutt and Bluebottle outside the Clowns International Gallery and Archives, Cumberland Close, Dalston. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I think people are getting a kick from it. Maybe alcohol is involved as well. You go down the high street and freak people out and think: ‘Isn’t that funny?’ with everyone screaming off in the distance. It’s quite public now and the police have made people aware that anyone caught is going to be arrested, so hopefully it will disappear. What damage it’s done only God knows.”

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