Dr. Hamsterfuzz of Room Circus. Photo by Linda Severt, Program Director, Room Circus Medical Clowning

Dr. Hamsterfuzz of Room Circus. Photo by Linda Severt, Program Director, Room Circus Medical Clowning

The Scary Clown Fad Is Killing Fundraising Efforts For Seattle Clown Nonprofit

It’s “like raising funds for axe murderers.”

The national creepy clown scare reached Washington state just in time for Halloween. Early in October, Seattle Public schools warned parents about the phenomenon. Pretty much at the same time, officials at Rogers High School in Puyallup called the sheriff deputy in response to sightings of clowns in the woods. Law enforcement downplayed the threat, with the local sheriff telling the Tacoma News Tribune, “There are more important things for young people and for law enforcement to focus on.”

But ignoring it might not be an option for Seattle Children’s Hospital. This is because the hospital makes use of a team of good clowns, who might be negatively affected by the hysteria.

Room Circus Medical Clowning — yes, medical clowning is a thing — worries that the clown scare might have an adverse impact on its fall fundraiser, which comes six days after Halloween. The nonprofit organization sends clowns to Seattle Children’s every Friday to help the kids recover.

“Right now, it’s a little like raising funds for axe murderers or black mold,” Linda Severt, Room Circus Program Director said in a press release from Room Circus.

According to the press release, “Using a playful, interactive approach, our medical clowns use music, physical comedy, improvisation and circus arts to help transform the health care environment.” The press release also says having the clowns around can distract patients, make them feel less stressed out, anxious or in pain. The therapeutic benefits of clowns seems to be backed up by some recent research in the European Journal of Pediatrics, the press release notes.

Room Circus isn’t just worried about a possible loss of funding — the press release notes that the clowns make a big difference for the kids in the hospital, and the clown scare might make them afraid of clowns.

Even Stephen King, author of the infamous creepy clown novel It (and perhaps partly responsible for the nation’s fear of clowns), seems to agree.

If this situation bums you out, You can donate to Room Circus or buy tickets to its November 6 benefit concert on the Room Circus website.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Photo of promotional recruitment banner used by Auburn Police Department at Petpalooza. The banner features Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson, who is awaiting trial for the 2019 murder and assault of Jesse Sarey. Photo courtesy of Jeff Trimble
Auburn police use photo of embattled officer on recruitment banner

Families of people killed by Jeffrey Nelson, who’s awaiting trial for murder, speak out over use of his photo at Petpalooza.

T
Use your King County library card to explore the outdoors

KCLS cardholders can check out a Discover Pass for two weeks to explore public lands.

Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
King County identifies first presumptive monkeypox case

The illness is not as easily transmitted compared to COVID-19, according to health officer.

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

t
Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.