A charity has revealed the devastating affect the recent killer clown craze has had on children.
And as Halloween approaches it is feared the troubling craze of creepy clowns will reach its peak – with individuals dressing up in clown costumes to intentionally threaten or harm passers-by, including children.
In the last three weeks Childline has been contacted 462 times by children afraid of creepy clowns – providing 84 clown-related counselling sessions on one day alone.
Nearly a third of counselling sessions on the subject of clowns were with children under the age of 11 - reaching 139 in total - and three quarters of those who got in touch over clown fears were girls.
The deluge of contacts to Childline reflects a flurry of reported creepy clown incidents across the UK.
The NSPCC is advising children who are concerned about creepy clowns to:
Talk to a parent or a teacher or trusted adult;
Call Childline if they want to discuss their worries or get advice and support;
Block and report abusive messages from people posing as creepy clowns on social media;
Contact the police if they are threatened by a creepy clown in the street.
Call Childline on 0800 1111 or via chidline.org.uk