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Real clowns feeling scared amid recent clown incidents

Taffy the Klown and Bezoar (KATU News photo)

HUBBARD, Ore. -- Professional clowns say there is a "modern-day witch hunt" against them after recent incidents involving people dressed as clowns.

Taffy the Klown and Bezoar (KATU is hiding their real names and using only their clown names) are volunteering this October at Milburn's Haunted Manor. They say reports of people stalking schools or scaring someone in a parking lot while dressed as a clown are giving real clowns a bad name.

"We do it at a haunted house where people come and expect to get scared, because that's what they're there for, to get scared. We're not creeping around schools," Taffy the Klown said.

"There is a big difference between the innocuous teasing we do, and what these other people are doing," Bezoar said.

What is worse for Taffy the Klown, she says her fellow clown friends told her about threats posted on social media.

"I’ve seen posts on there, 'The first clown I see, I’m going to pull out my gun and shoot them in the head.' That’s scary, especially when you’re travelling from your home to the haunt you work out. You have to wonder, am I going to get shot at?," questioned Taffy the Klown.

During October, she drives from her home to Milburn's Haunted Manor dressed in full costume. Taffy the Klown doesn't want someone to have that reaction while driving next to her on the road.

Taffy has worked as a clown for more than 12 years. She says kids recognize her at Halloween and many people stop her to take a photo. However, she says these recent clown incidents are making her consider retirement.

"I have a grandson, a two year old grandson. I don't want to go get shot because I paint my face and put on a wig. Want to watch my grandson grow up," she said.

Police say most of the fear surrounding clown sightings spread via social media, not actual violence. Members of the public and clowns should always be aware of their surroundings.

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