Social media is making it harder for people scared of clowns to ignore the issue.
Pictures of “creepy clowns” are popping up everywhere online.
Local psychologists say people fear clowns since they typically represent happiness, so turning them into something scary can cause even more anxiety.
"These people are so afraid they don't know who is behind the clown, especially these clowns are not happy. They have angry faces. Saying they are going to do horrible, violent and terrible things so it's creating such a horrible stir right now in the community,” says Dr. Stacy Scheckner.
The fear of clowns is so prevalent it even has a scientific name: coulrophobia.
Like other fears and phobias, coulrophobia can result in feelings of anxiety, sweating, nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, crying, a pins and needles feeling and overwhelming feelings of dread.
Scheckner believes all these "creepy clowns" want is power.
They're simply feeding off your fear.
So if you encounter one of these clowns, especially with Halloween around the corner, Scheckner suggest to take a deep breath, drink water, find a safe place and alert police if you feel threatened.