The creepy clown epidemic may be set to climax this Halloween, the NSPCC has warned.
ChildLine, the NSPCC's confidential helpline, has received nearly 500 calls in just three weeks from youngsters terrified of clowns.
In one day alone it had to provide 84 clown-related counselling sessions.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Wearing spooky fancy dress for Halloween is a time-honoured tradition, but we fear the recent creepy clown craze could see Halloween used as an opportunity to molest, intimidate or harm children. Creepy clowns are all trick and no treat; those dressing up with the intention of threatening children need to be aware that they could be breaking the law - particularly if they are carrying weapons."
Out of the calls, 139 - nearly a third - were from children under the age of 11 and three quarters of those who got in touch were girls.