Author’s note: This is the first part of a two-part follow-up to October 2009’s “Night of the Harlequin.” Dan Mitchell’s childhood waking nightmare still haunts him.
When Dan Mitchell and his wife moved from their southern Wisconsin three-bedroom townhouse, they kept in touch with their neighbors. When Mitchell’s wife called to announce they were moving back into the townhouse in early March, she found someone had been looking for them.
“The woman who lives there with her husband she says that her and her husband were up watching a movie (Feb. 5),” Mitchell said. “She had a pizza in the oven and when the timer went off she goes into the kitchen to take it out.”
Someone was waiting for her.
“Once she gets to the kitchen she is horrified to see a strange woman standing in her kitchen,” Mitchell said. “She says that she knew she heard something, but thought it was the cats. It didn’t sound like the door even opened.”
Mitchell’s neighbor said the woman in the kitchen looked like she was wearing a disguise. Blonde hair, big sunglasses, “and overall she was just weird looking.” She also held a key.
“She says something like, ‘I have this key for the house next door (Mitchell’s townhouse). I tried it but it didn’t work. I have the wrong key because it opens (Mitchell’s neighbor’s) door,’” Mitchell said.
The couple demanded the woman leave, and she did.
“They lock the door behind her and start to run around to the windows to see if she is getting into a car,” Mitchell said. “They wanted a license plate so they can tell the police.”
But there was no car and the woman seemed to have disappeared.
“They called the landlord and he came out to change the locks the next day,” Mitchell said. “The landlord says he never gave anybody the keys to the houses and has no idea how it could have happened.”
The encounter has rattled Mitchell’s neighbor.
“She tells me that she can’t sleep at night and wants to buy a big dog to have in the house after what happened,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is convinced this woman trying to get into his townhouse is the entity that’s plagued his life; a sexless, moon-eyed entity that often spoke with him in his bedroom as a child – an entity he calls the Harlequin. This creature has randomly appeared to him for almost 30 years.
“I am starting to suspect that perhaps I am being tracked down,” he said. “I can’t say that there is anything malevolent going on around here, but there is something odd and disturbing.”
Mitchell doesn’t know if this entity is angel, demon or extraterrestrial – he just knows it’s not human.
“I’m convinced at this point, not a doubt in my mind, that we are dealing with something that is as real as you and me,” he said. “And for whatever reason it has taken an interest in either myself or my family.”
Mitchell and his family want to know that reason.
“We just want to get the story out in the hope that maybe someone can tell us they have been seeing similar things or have more information than we do,” he said. “It doesn’t seem that many people are seeing this type of being.”
One person who has seen a similar entity is Adrian Hicks, a councilman from Winchester, Hampshire, England. Walking down High Street at 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday in February 2004, Hicks saw a blonde girl in a white ballet dress, but what set the girl off from the crowd was her walk.
Hicks described the woman as a “humanoid” that walked “with a penguin-like gait,” and was taking keen interest in everyday objects, like a bank clock.
“Most definitely an alien,” Hicks said. “I watched her for a very good eight minutes plus.”
Although the street was busy that winter day and Hicks reported someone taking pictures of her, no one else has come forth to say they saw the girl in the ballet costume, Andrew Napier, chief reporter of the Hampshire Chronicle, said. Napier was the first person to interview Hicks about his encounter.
“Despite lots of publicity in the local papers and Web sites, no one has come forward to corroborate what Mr. Hicks said he saw,” Napier said.
However, the drawing made of the entity Hicks saw made an impression on Mitchell.
“The likeness in his drawing was the spitting image of what we have here, the collar was identical,” Mitchell said. “I recall he said that someone got pictures of this thing. I’d pay to see those, I really would. Hopefully someone might know something or have a similar story in all of this. Time will tell. I’ve been taking my camera with me everywhere I go.”
Copyright 2010 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.