Author’s note: This is the second of a two-part series about encounters with an entity known as the Harlequin. The entity began visiting Dan Mitchell of Wisconsin when he was five years old. He’s found he’s not alone.
Karen Davis didn’t talk about her childhood experiences much, just to a few people close to her, like her best friend.
She was surprised when her friend’s husband told her about the Harlequin.
“Her husband listens to (a paranormal radio talk show) and he called me and said I had to go check out this story,” she said. The story was Dan Mitchell’s Harlequin encounters posted at From the Shadows – and the story mirrored hers.
“I was stunned,” she said. “When I was a kid I never even associated anything with the word ‘harlequin.’ In my mind I always thought of him as a jester or joker, like from a deck of cards, but you’re right, it’s a harlequin.”
Like Mitchell’s experiences, Davis’s began when she was young.
“I was probably about five or six the first time I remember him,” she said. “I woke up to someone bouncing on the foot of my bed.”
An entity sat there, staring at her.
“It was all white, no color, abnormally long limbs, empty eyes, but not exactly expressionless,” she said. “I don’t remember being scared, I remember thinking ‘not again,’ and ‘it’s back.’”
Like Mitchell’s Harlequin, this creature communicated with her.
“I know he told me stories, or shared information with me somehow, but I don’t remember him actually talking,” she said.
Although she does not know the entity’s gender, she assumed it was male, and it visited often.
“This happened several times, that I distinctly remember, I can recall specific details,” she said. “I even have the feeling he took me somewhere, but this I don’t remember, just a feeling.”
Although Davis hasn’t seen this entity for years, the memories still follow her.
“A friend of mine suggested hypnosis, but honestly the thought of that freaked me out, although, he never scared me, I was never afraid,” she said. “Besides this incident, my life was pretty normal, still is I guess. I have not seen it again since I was a kid.”
Davis grew up in an Irish/Italian family outside Boston.
“I was raised Catholic, but I have since realized that was not for me,” she said. “I guess the closest thing I could call myself now is pagan.”
Davis enrolled in a Catholic college, however, and enrolled in an early Celtic literature course when childhood memories flooded her mind.
“These, I think are the stories he shared with me, somehow,” she said. “I started this class and was freaked out at how familiar these stories were, especially the Tuatha De Danann, or fairy race.”
Davis feels her Harlequin may be from this race.
“The word ‘harlequin’ has a lot of history and legend attached to it, not just the clown thing,” she said. “The word itself is said to be a form of Erl King, a spirit that preys on children.”
Mitchell also places the roots of his Harlequin encounters in mythology, but in Scandinavian mythology and the Norse god Loki.
“My grandmother was Scandinavian and heavily into Vikings and Norse culture so I am very familiar with Norse mythology and legend,” Mitchell said. “What a lot of people also don’t realize is that Loki is often seen as both male and sometimes female. He did come to my mind, but the thought of relating the two seemed almost unthinkable.”
As with his own Harlequin encounters, Davis’s Harlequin contacted her, she didn’t summon it.
“My only curiosity is how exactly does one talk to it?” Mitchell asked. “I am of the opinion that if I were to go out for a walk alone one night that I would be able to call it and see it, but to be very honest, the thought, at present, is incredibly terrifying.”
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.