Subject: Paranormal Childhood
From: (J. Northwood)
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 1997 19:49:50 GMT

I'm not insane (and no, I've never seen a Kang ;)), but I had enough experiences during childhood and adolescence to make me believe in paranormal activies, and both my belief, and the activities responsible, have continued to the present day.

Begin at the the beginning, I suppose . . .

I don't remember experiencing anything "otherwordly" until I was about nine or ten years old (1976/77). At that time, I still had a number of mementos from childhood (including an old "Winnie the Pooh" doll on my bed and apapier-mache/tissue paper clown hanging on my wall) scattered about my room while I began the transition into "young manhood," replete with models and science-fiction books.

The clown had played merry hell with my fears since a month after I made it (fifth grade art class), and I decided one night to get rid of it. I thought I'd "accidentally" spill something on it (trip while holding a soda, perhaps?) and *force* my mother to let me throw it out. She thought it was cute. Gak. I didn't.

Well, three sodas later (and I thought it was just bad aim), the wall was soaked and the clown was dry. (BTW - yes, I've seen bits of the movie "Poltergeist," but not until I was eighteen and out of the house.) I'd had enough, so I wiped down the wall (thank heavens the paint wasn't ruined), took down the clown and threw it away, then went to bed.

I remember dreaming (?) that it walked back in and said "naughty boy," but it wasn't there in the morning, so I went to school; however, when I returned home, it was there. At first I thought my mother had retrieved it and put it back up, but she'd gone on to work after dropping me off at school. I shrugged, took it down (again) and threw it out, making sure to push it to the bottom of the garbage can, and putting a sack of trash on top of it. I really didn't like that clown.

I did homework, then read a bit, and when my mom got home, she took me and my younger over to my grandmother's for dinner.

It was back on my wall when we got back.

Needless to say, I was . . . somewhat more than nonplussed. I remember crying and telling my mother that "I keep throwing the clown away and it keeps coming back!" She told me I had an overactive imagination, and to keep the noise down. <sigh Parents.

That night I had a difficult time sleeping. It felt like the clown was watching me. Finally, I got out of bed, walked over to it and whispered "what do you want? Why won't you just go away?"

Nothing answered me. Just a clown.

I shrugged, went down the hall to use the restroom, then went back to bed.

The clown was in my bed.

I screamed, waking my mother (my stepfather was . . . well, probably only one to two sheets to the wind, and wasn't about to wake up). She chastised me for "forgetting" that I wanted to sleep with it. She swore that I had told her (through her bedroom door, as she undressed) that I was going to sleep with it, so I wouldn't be scared of it any more. Unfortunately (for my peace of mind), I did *not* say anything of the sort.

I put the clown back on the wall (using tongs -- I wasn't going to touch it!) and lay down to go to sleep. Just before I drifted off, I swear the thing rotated it's (flat) head and began chuckling -- a dry, dusty sound, like dead leaves scraping across an old tombstone. <shiver

I don't remember quite how I got rid of it, but the next day, it was gone, and stayed gone. (No, I didn't pray to Jesus to save me, nor did I entreat Hecate to ward my home -- I was too busy trying not to widdle myself over it.)

Well, that was the beginning of what would become a lifelong association with the (unseen/unheard/barely perceived) paranormal. Some experiences were better, some worse . . . but this . . . I never forgot it, and I still hate clowns to this day.

Sorry the post was so long. I didn't quite know how to cut it down. If anyone's interested, I'll follow up with some more.

J. Northwood