Giving clowns a bad name

A Perth-based professional clown says the ‘creepy clown’ phenomenon is proving bad for business.

Conny Torney, who is known as Conny the Clown, said she was worried about the impact of the strange craze as it was creating a negative image of her profession.

Ms Torney, from Scarborough, has been working as a clown for more than 20 years.

Conny Torney at an event.

“My business is at risk because this is what I do for a living, and kids are fearing clowns rather than finding them fun,” she said today.

“The last time people did this, they got in trouble and got caught. For them to do this there must be something wrong with them upstairs.”

Last year the so-called clown purge started in the United States and spread to Australia. This year’s phenomenon is said to be inspired by the release of Stephen King’s horror film ‘IT’.

The Clown Purge Australia Facebook page, an online community for creepy clowns, has released locations of possible clown sightings in recent days.

The locations were mainly in the southern suburbs of Perth, and were said to be marked with a red balloon, similar to the IT story-line.

A Perth teenager was reportedly grabbed by one of three people wearing clown masks on Saturday night in Baldivis.

WA Police have issued a warning about such acts.

“Those who are dressing up and carrying out silly acts should think seriously about what they are doing. The distress caused to people is unnecessary and may lead to further harm,” a police spokesperson told

Clown Hunters Perth is a Facebook group and community that started around the time the creepy clown phenomenon came to Perth last year.

The group searches for these clowns based on public reports and sightings, and those within the online community can ‘hunt’ or pursue them if they wish.

Clown Hunters Perth member and representative Isaac Ward said he believed the clown purge craze would not be as big this year as last year.

“I feel as though it would be less this year, and it’s different compared to last year in the sense that people are doing it more for fun and for the sake of dressing up. However, if things get out of hand, it could be dangerous,” said Mr Ward.

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