Author’s note: This is a continuation of encounters with an entity known as the Harlequin. The entity began visiting Dan Mitchell of Wisconsin when he was five years old (follow my three-part story about Mitchell’s encounters at http://mysteriousuniverse.org). He’s not alone.
The Harlequin came to Kevin Brown of Portland, Maine, when he was a child – it came in the night.
“Like Dan I’m also 35 years old and remember seeing the Harlequin – this figure, person, spirit or demon – at around five to six years old,” Kevin said. “It started as a very lifelike dream.”
The Harlequin came to Brown with the ringing of bells.
“I remember laying in bed and I could hear the jingle, jingle of a bell and it’s coming closer,” Brown said. “That when I see the Harlequin come into my room. The Harlequin is dancing but never says anything.”
This thin, androgynous creature, its large, wide-open eyes glaring at him like lanterns, danced in the darkness. It smelled like summer rain – all like Mitchell’s encounters.
Then the horror began.
“While it’s dancing I can hear what sounds like two knives or metal scraping together,” Brown said. “As the Harlequin dances around my room I see blades at the end of its fingers.”
Terrified, Brown pulled his blanket over his head, but the jingle remained. So did the metallic scraping.
“It’s only after hiding that I hear the jingle, jingle of the Harlequin’s bells moving off into a different part of the house and the sounds fade away,” he said. “After waiting what seemed like forever I peeked my head out from under the bed covers.”
The Harlequin was gone – but it left something for Brown to see. Red footprints dotted the floor of his bedroom and lead out his door. Brown gathered his young courage, slipped out of bed and stepped into the hallway and followed the red footprints.
“I raced to my sister’s room,” he said. “I saw what looked like someone leaning up against the wall.”
It was his sister. He called her name, but she didn’t move. Brown slowly stepped into the room and saw the blood.
“Her face was cut at the cheeks so you could see all her teeth in some grim smile and at the end of the cuts were little blood red circles,” Brown said. “As fast as my little legs could carry me I ran back to my room and under the protection of my blankets.”
The sound of the Harlequin followed him.
“The jingle-jingle danced around my bed,” he said. “I could hear the Harlequin’s bells and I remember the smell of summer rain fresh off the pavement, and I could also hear a giggling. As fast as it came it went away.”
When Brown was sure the Harlequin had left his room, he looked from a small opening in his covers. More red footprints.
“They led off to my parents room,” he said. “In a panic I jumped out of bed running to my parents room. I found them in the same condition, the same terrible smiles with the blood red circles for cheeks.”
But the scene was from an even worse nightmare.
“The Harlequin slit the arms from elbow to wrist and pulled out the veins of my parents and pinned them to wall making them look like marionette’s puppets,” he said. “Scared to holy hell I ran back to my room and under the covers of my bed, one last time and it came – the jingle-jingle.”
Shaking in stark terror, Brown lay curled under his blankets shaking as the Harlequin’s bells and giggles danced around his bed. He lie there, crying until he felt liquid soak through the sheets and sat up, throwing off the blankets only to see the darkness of blood soaking into his sheets and the Harlequin standing in the middle of the room laughing.
“That’s when I woke up,” Brown said. This wasn’t the only time. “I’ve had these dream or visions all my life.”
But Brown doesn’t think these terrifying graphic visions are just dreams. He’s sure they’re something more.
“Like Dan my family has had some strange things happen as well around the Harlequin,” he said. “Like (Dan’s) family (mine) dismissed it as a child’s wild imagination. However, after a few years of not having the dream my family and I were sitting down at dinner and we all could hear in the upstairs bedroom a jingle-jingle sounds after looking for the source of the noise we never found it. I had the same dream that night.”
The jingles occasionally haunt his family.
“My mother was alone in the house and she swears she heard what she said was the jingling of bells upstairs,” he said. “Not scared of anything my mother went upstairs to find the source of the noise. Once upstairs she heard the noise coming from downstairs in the kitchen.”
When she went back to the kitchen, something sharp poked her shoulder and someone – some thing – screamed her name into her ear.
“She ran out of the house to my aunt’s next door and told her what happened in the house,” Brown said. “In the excitement of her story my aunt noticed and stopped my mother to show her a cut on her shoulder thin like a razor blade.”
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 newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.