Brave Krystle confronts her fear of clowns at Lowestoft convention

Lowestoft 2016 clown conventionPHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft 2016 clown conventionPHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

If you have a phobia of clowns, an international clown convention might be the last place in the world you'd want to be.

However that is exactly where Krystle Graver, who has been terrified of the colourful characters since she was a child, is spending her week – in a bid to confront her life-long fear once and for all.

The 30-year-old burlesque performer from Ipswich, also known as Vixen Von Doom, has been terrified of clowns after a few surprise encounters as a child.

'To be honest if I see anything dressed up I tend to walk in the opposite direction,' she explained.

But there was nowhere to hide when she arrived at Lowestoft's Hatfield Hotel for the 2016 Clown Gathering UK convention – although she did make a note of the venue's exits just in case.

She said it was a 'bit terrifying' to be in a room with about a dozen clowns all fully made-up, admitting: 'I probably should've started meeting them one-on-one.' But within a few minutes she always posing for photos with the likes of Lovely Buttons and Bobbo Roberts and even tried some of the make-up later in the day.

'It was quite nice to have a normal chit-chat and it was making me a lot more relaxed,' she explained. 'They're quite witty and so funny. It was hard to be scared of them.'

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She added that it had helped to meet Andrew Davis – aka Andy the Clown – before he put on the famous costume, so she could understand the person behind the mask. Ms Graver will spend the rest of the week at the event listening to lectures, saying: 'It will be really good to get inside their mindset and understand them.'

She is doing it to raise money for animal shelters in Romania. Visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/krystle-graver to donate.

What do you think about the clown convention? Write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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