A clown production company has been forced to cancel an event at a children's hospital due to fears they would be confused for "killer clowns."
The Clown Doctors, who include Dr Rumtumtumich, Dr Lulu McDoo and Dr Poppy Sneezitoff, were due to celebrate 10 years of visiting sick children by putting on a special event at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle.
But due to the sinister trend that came across from the United States, security at the Royal Victoria Infirmary advised them to postpone the event.
Martin Wilson, director at TIN Arts in Durham - who run the clown programme - said they were disappointed, but hoped the hype would die down soon.
"It's our 10th anniversary so we had a special, larger event planned where we would have clowns in the wards and across the public spaces," he said.
"They wouldn't have masks on, just red noses and doctor coats, but the hospital security said they had been placed on a local hit list for the killer clown craze.
"It means we're no longer able to do the bigger event and will have to just stick to the wards."
Mr Wilson said the work they do with the youngsters is part of the therapeutic treatment they receive - and during the 10 years they have met more than 30,000 children.
In response to the craze, police forces across the UK have warned that jokers or criminals using the costumes to scare innocent members of the public will face arrest - as they deal with a wave of reports.
Fancy dress shops have been asked not to sell clown costumes to anyone they think might be a prankster amid the ongoing "killer clown" craze.
Officers in Newcastle and Gateshead have visited shops to ask them not to sell the costumes to anyone they suspect might be up to no good, as
the US-born fad continues to grip the UK.
Police have been called to a string of incidents across the North East where pranksters or criminals dress as clowns try to scare innocent bystanders, and the horrific craze has also begun hitting other parts of the country.