The chain of scary clown incidents this year — both real and rumored — have people on extremely high alert. Especially heading into the Halloween season.
The hashtag #IfISeeAClown even became a trending topic on Twitter earlier this week.
But professional and amateur clowns are trying to reclaim their image and prove that not all clowns are creepy and threatening. The clown community on Facebook has started the #realclownsareaboutlove hashtag in an attempt to cast themselves in a more positive light.
They are now sharing photos of themselves, or of their fellow clown friends, and challenging people to re-evaluate their fears.
And showing what "real clowns" look like and do.
The hashtag was started Wednesday evening by Ron Anglin, a professional clown who works for a children's health care center in Atlanta. He wanted "to counter all the horrible images out there," he wrote.
They want to distance themselves from the "scary creeps" making headlines in the news.
And prove there is more to clowning than just wearing the costume.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Chicago.