Paranormal Cirque is Cirque Italia’s traveling show for mature audiences.
Paranormal Cirque is a circus stage show with a horror motif that has been making its way across the country. It stops in Tucson this weekend.
If you hate clowns, any circus that comes to town would probably scare the bejesus out of you.
Paranormal Cirque II, which is setting up at the Tucson Mall from Thursday, May 5, through May 15, was created to scare the rest of us.
Designed by Cirque Italia, a circus production company out of Sarasota, Florida, Paranormal Cirque brings the scariest things you can imagine, demons, vampires, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and combines them with traditional circus acts; acrobats, clowns, high-wire artists and the like.
The loose through line of each Paranormal Cirque performance is the story of two ghost hunters with a YouTube channel who run into some creatures of the night before becoming creatures themselves.
“There are some acts that are similar to what you see in a circus,” said Ryan Combs, who plays one of the ghost hunters. “Other acts are crafted specifically for this kind of show that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.”
This is Combs’ first run with Paranormal Cirque. Before joining the crew, he and his partner in entertainment, Steve Copeland, the other ghost hunter, were more of a family-friendly act, performing slapstick scenes as a duo with the Kelly Miller Circus, Circus World and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.

Combs said Paranormal Cirque allows them a little more freedom during their mostly improvised performances.
The production doesn’t allow children 12 and younger to attend, so the dialogue can be edgier, darker.
“When you are entertaining a family audience, you have to make sure you are doing things children will understand, but also that teenagers and adults won’t find boring,” Combs said. “You can never get too comfortable. With this, we are listening to what the people are telling us. We react to the shouts.”
“This is definitely more of a date night, leave the kids at home kind of show,” Copeland said.
While the performance comes with plenty of jump scares and potentially nightmare-inducing visuals, the show is just a show and the characters played on stage, just characters, Combs said.
“We’ve had people think that we are genuinely evil,” he added. “But we are just out there having fun.”
Paranormal Cirque performances start Thursday, May 5, and take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sundays, through May 15.
Tickets are $10-$50 through paranormalcirque.com or at the box office in the Tucson Mall parking lot, 4500 N. Oracle Road.
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Reporter
Gerald received his journalism degree from the University of Maryland. He has been with the Star for 16 years and has covered a variety of beats. Currently, he divides his time between the presentation desk and as a member of the digital team.

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Paranormal Cirque is Cirque Italia’s traveling show for mature audiences.
Paranormal Cirque is a circus stage show with a horror motif that has been making its way across the country. It stops in Tucson this weekend.
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