Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Night of the Harlequin

The thing in five-year-old Dan Mitchell’s bedroom in southeastern Wisconsin only came at night. As Mitchell lie in bed, his parents far down the hall, a thin, androgynous creature would appear and tell him stories.

It looked almost frightened.

“I would tell my mom about this and she always thought it was just my imagination getting the best of me,” Mitchell, now 33, said.

But he knew it was real, and it looked “like a harlequin.”

“Its clothes were absolutely motley and strange,” Mitchell said. “Its face looked like it was in a perpetual state of shock.”

Large, wide-open eyes – too large to be human eyes – stared at Mitchell through the gray of night as words spilled through its always open, round mouth.

“This being referred to itself as the ‘tooth fairy’ when I had asked,” Mitchell said. “For whatever reason I was never afraid of it, and I can not remember anything it may have told me.”

It did, however, appear to try and comfort the boy if he began to look afraid.

“It always attempted to be funny and almost clown-like so that I wouldn’t shudder in terror,” Mitchell said. “Was this some sort of imaginary friend I had created? I wasn’t that kind of kid.”

Mitchell’s family never saw this “Harlequin,” nor did they believe him.

“I know this sounds crazy, but I assure you that I remember this high strangeness almost as well as I remember the normal events of my childhood,” he said.

Like one night in the spring of 1981 when the Mitchell family sat down for dinner.

“I remember that my dad was very agitated,” Mitchell said. “He kept saying that he was hearing somebody walking around upstairs. I was terrified by this because my Dad was so agitated and I had never seen him scared like that. He was a very tough guy.”

Then Mitchell’s father shot up from the dinner table, terror splashed across his face.

“Immediately there was a voice that he heard coming from upstairs,” Mitchell said. “While I want to say that it sounded like a sinister and terrifying laugh, I believe it was just a howl of some sort that caused a tingling feeling up my spine.”

The next thing Mitchell remembered was his father laughing, the look of terror still gripping him.

“He was frozen with this awful look on his face,” he said. “Everybody at the table was just frozen. The next thing I remember is waking up at the dinner table with spilled milk all over myself and the table.”

His family simply resumed eating dinner, the laugh seemingly forgotten.

“This situation was so traumatic to my young mind that I honestly believe that I have blotted a large portion of this event out,” Mitchell said. “I have always thought that whatever was visiting me in my room at night was this ‘person’ walking around in the upstairs of our house, possibly looking for me or wondering where I had went.”

Mitchell recently mentioned the dinner event to his father.

“My dad turned white like he thought it was a bad dream he had,” he said. “He really was adamant about not talking about the subject any further when I kept pursuing it.”

As Mitchell grew older, the Harlequin’s nighttime visits stopped – until he was 18.

“I ran into this same being many years later,” he said. “I was driving with a few friends late at night on our way home from a party.”

The young men saw a teenage girl walking in the street in front of the car, her movements strange and jerky.

“We thought that maybe she was drunk,” Mitchell said. “Someone in the car thought it was a friend of theirs so we were going to pick her up and give her a ride home.”

As they pulled closer, the girl began to walk toward the car. As she closed to near 30 feet, Mitchell realized the person was wearing “a really bad wig.”

“My first impression was that it was a man dressed like a woman,” he said. “She looked incredibly angry and was making even jerkier movements that were almost threatening.”

One of Mitchell’s buddies whispered in fear.

“Oh, my God,” the boy said. “Look at her eyes.”

They were the eyes of the Harlequin.

Somebody in the car said, “floor it,” and Mitchell did.

“There was panic in that car,” he said. “I can tell you that every guy I dropped off that night made a mad dash to their front doors. I, unfortunately, had to drive back that way, but luckily didn’t see her again.”

He’s convinced the thing he and his friends saw that night was the Harlequin.

“I got a pretty good look at her and I can tell you that it was obvious that she was trying to disguise herself,” he said. “It was the same face of perpetual shock, but this time it terrified me completely. I had the feeling that she was yelling at me for some reason. My honest impression that night was that this person was dead or simply not human.”

Mitchell hasn’t seen this entity since that night in 1994, but he has started hearing terrifying screams in the night from a small patch of woods near his apartment building.

The Harlequin may not be finished with him.

Copyright 2009 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or jasonoffutt@hotmail.com. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s books on the paranormal, “Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,” and “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.

35 comments:

Jeff said...

That's a very odd story. I wonder if the 'tooth fairy' ever left him any money.

Christopher Darrin Horn said...

Really good story. Loved it! Thanks for sharing it.

Susan B. said...

That was one truly creepy story!

hall442 said...

Hrm. He was not harmed. In any encounter with this "Harlequin." Obviously, it could have done SOMEthing to him, had it chosen to. It sounds to me VERY much like a curious Earth Spirit. There are entities on this earth that were never human; spirits that never had physical flesh. They are curious about the state of being "human." They are very definitely amoral; they have no concept of good and bad. They do whatever amuses them. It sounds to me like one of these being took an interest in this individual and has been monitoring him his entire life. Can't say if this is good or bad. As I said, these things don't really have a good handle on the whole good/bad thing. It's pretty meaningless to them. There's obviously SOME reason it has an interest in him. Were it ME, I'd be trying to find out what that is.

Styxx374 said...

Ok, I'll be having nightmares tonight..... :)

chirish said...

wow what a story.

DJ said...

Wow
good story
if they made a movie of it
I would be too scared to watch it :)

DJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJ said...

makes me think of a few MIB (men in black) and abduction/missing time cases

Michael said...

Sounds like either an interesting work of fiction or a person with some serious mental health issues.

vulcan10 said...

That's a good story but at five years of age I don't know anyone who knew what a Harlequin was. I only had a vague idea now, I googled it. Even now, after looking at the multitudes of pictures of Harlequins I would find it hard to use that as a visual aid unless I was writing a fictional story and counting on an avid readers knowledge of the era.

~~ Sabre ~~ said...

I haven't had anything spook me like that since I read about the "Black Eyed Kids".
Pretty weird!

lethaljesus said...

great story, gave me chills

Anonymous said...

Strange. If true, he should have been scared out of his wits his whole life. Who looks into the face of a demon or non-natural entity anyway? Kids cover their heads with the blanket and wait till daylight to come out from under the covers. I was lucky as a kid, my only unearthly encounter in my bedroom occured during daylight hours and was just a shadow.

Andrew D. Gable said...

How unusual... the return of the phantom clowns? The Harlequin, though, has an interesting and rich folkloric history... from leader of the Wild Hunt in some places to an actual wild man in others.

Anonymous said...

It’s easy to be deceived by Satan and fallen angels and demons; they are shape shifters and can be whatever and whom ever they choose to be. What do you think the words; God sends them strong delusion because they did not believe the truth, mean? How about, men fainting from fear from what is coming on the earth? Or, even the elect would be deceived if that were possible.
We are warned very specifically that, Satan when he shows up, will come with all signs and lying wonders. The supernatural is manifesting as never before and unless we have an understanding of it we can easily be misled. The buffer that has kept the two dimensions apart seems to be receding. We must test the spirits and we must use our weapons of warfare, which are not carnal.
We are dealing with inter-dimensional entities, not extraterrestrial ones. They’re end-game is one of deception. Jacque Vallee’s book, Messengers of Deception is aptly named, as it jibes with what I am saying here. When the revealing happens what is your pastor going to say? What will you say to your children, your wife, and your parents?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

People who are wondering how a small child would know to call it a Harlequin, recall that there was a motif in the late sixties/early seventies of those hideous wall hangings. You'll probably recall that either your parents or at least one aunt had those two long thin prints of harlequins in their Brady Bunch Paneled rec room.

Anonymous said...

I implore everyone go watch the movie "Death Note" then read this story once more.

Obviously a work of fiction gained from watching the movie or anime version.

Proof is in the content of the article, you'll see it once you watch the movie.

Jason Offutt said...

Interesting. I'll have to check out the movie. Never heard of it.

Jason Offutt said...

About the question of how a small child would know the word "harlequin," this is an adult looking back at his childhood using an adult's vocabulary. I agree, a five-year-old wouldn't know that word, but that's my explanation.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"""""I implore everyone go watch the movie "Death Note" then read this story once more.

Obviously a work of fiction gained from watching the movie or anime version.

Proof is in the content of the article, you'll see it once you watch the movie."""""

I am the source of Jason's story here, Dan Mitchell. While I appreciate peoples skepticism, I can assure you that I have never seen a movie called "Death Note", nor is that the source of this phenomenon. Also I would just like to add that there is a lot more to this story than what Jason has posted in this entry (which I felt was well-done).

The being that I have told Jason about is not a literal "Harlequin", however a Harlequin would be the closest cultural match I could find. I didn't know what a harlequin even was until I was much older. If anyone would like further information I can be reached at eternalsynthesis@hotmail.com. Thank you and I hope this clarifies.

Anonymous said...

Jason, that was a terrific piece. And for what it is worth, Dan, I can believe your story. There are some very interesting points concerning your story that make it believable to me. The act of your father laughing while still frightened for one. If you don't mind my surmising here, my guess is that this creature took over your father's consciousness for brief time. Tho this creature may not have been an actual fairy, it is well know that fairies and other spirits can influence and even control our thoughts.

Watch this video for the 2nd interview to get an idea of what I mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxHyk1EtF8c&feature=player_embedded

And the fact that this creature had an ungainly gait when you saw it on the street also rings very true to me. I don't know why, but from my own research and experiences, this type of awkward gait is not unheard of for a creature such as this.

Nevertheless, IMHO this creature is not one to mess around with. If you're hearing terrifying screams near your home, I'd seek out a bona fide Shaman and also consider using smudge around your home, etc. for protection.

Anonymous said...

p.s. the part in the video to seek is at minute marker 3:38

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxHyk1EtF8c&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

Thank you, anonymous. I have often wondered the same thing in regard to my dad's reaction, which was so oddly out of the ordinary considering what was occuring. Thank you also for the link, there was definately some similarity in regard to the "clown-like" theatrics this being has used.

Dan Mitchell

alientool said...

The same happened to me when i was about that age too , but i thought it looked like a clown,still looks to me like it was yesterday.
Thanks

BirdmanDodd said...

Seriously creeped out by this story and there is such a familiar element that I can't quite place.

I'm curious to know if any similar accounts of a creature exist. I take this story with a grain of salt but there is something about this that rings true with me.

Great post

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Anonymous said...

I'm picturing the Harlequin as like a greyed-out Ulquiorra. Creepy.

Linzi said...

Damn that was so creepy and yet some part of me kind of wants to meet the Harlequin. Something about this story seems familiar and rings true. It scared me quite a bit XD.

"I implore everyone go watch the movie "Death Note" then read this story once more."

I'm personally a big fan of Death Note. I've seen all the films, watched the anime and read the manga. Anon means that the Harlequin looks like the character Ryuk, whose a God of Death.

Here: http://cornontherobb.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/ryuk.jpg

Personally Ryuk never sprung to mind when I read this.

Jesse said...

Very interesting. Sounds like a Fae entity to me from it's mannerisms and appearance and in how it seems to be treating Dan. If it seems to be bothering you start keeping iron around the house for personal protection. Sleep with a piece under your pillow for example.