A MAN named The Scary Guy visited a school in the Ribble Valley and showed that appearances can be deceptive.

At 6ft 5in, completely covered in tattoos, sporting many piercings and with a bright red mohawk, he looks intimidating.

But the American is really a ‘nice guy’ and his look aims to challenge people’s prejudices. He has delivered his educational programme across the world as part of a mission to help bring peace. And yesterday he visited Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe.

Scary is a former tattoo artist from Minnesota who changed his name in 1998 after a rival ran a full page advert asking: “Are you tired of dealing with scary guys with war paint facial tattoos?”

He decided to ‘do something about the name calling, put downs and negative words’ he himself used. And for the past decade he has used his striking appearance to challenge stereotyping.

He spent the whole day at the school in Queen’s Road, giving talks and demonstrations with more than 1,300 pupils, hoping it would help to stop intimidation in the classroom and playground.

The deep-voiced former tattoo artist said: “I have been on a mission for 10 years to create world peace. For 43 years I covered my whole life in sarcasm and humour and I decided enough was enough and it was time to get people to see the world differently.”

The Scary Guy – his legal name – is known for his work to improve behaviour.

The anti-bullying campaigner teaches an oath of seven pledges, which includes always helping others, resolving conflicts without violence and never smoking or taking drugs.

He said: “There are kids killing each other out there and I will do whatever I can to tell these children that they can be different and do not have to resort to violence.”

Scary has delivered shows and educational programmes worldwide, working with police forces and a host of communities to help more than seven million people to achieve personal peace.

Fifteen-year-old, Travis Holland, admitted he was a little scared at first.

He said: “I thought he was a bit weird and that he was just going to shout but he was funny and got his message across.

“I have learnt that bullying is very serious and we should all try and stop it together.”

Ian Hemingway, assistant headteacher said: “Scary delivers the serious message of anti-bullying with humour and compassion.

“Bullying happens at every school but we are determined to tackle it head on. ”

Click here to view and buy pictures from Scary Guy's visit to Ribblesdale School.