You know what I’m talking about. Sure you do. Maybe you’ve read about them in books, or seen the movies. In the story there’s a demonically possessed Something (ventriloquist doll, creepy puppet, etc.) that ruins people’s lives, scares them out of their homes, maybe even kills their pets.
And you’ve probably watched those movies and thought, “Wow those dolls look like they’re having a blast! Sign me up!”
It ain’t all fun and games, let me tell you.
My name is Baggy Jester Chuckles the Third, and I’m a clown doll. Actually, I’m a demonically possessed clown doll. Well, that’s not exactly right either. I’m the demon stuck inside this stupid clown doll.
I’m not happy about being stuck in Baggy Jester Chuckles the Third (a name given to the doll by its owner, four-year-old Devany Phelps). If I’d had my choice, I’d have possessed something a bit more . . . frightening, like a pair of scissors. Or a Halloween mask that lets me control whoever wears it. Or even an elevator (I still daydream about that one. Imagine taking people to the wrong floor all day long. Fun times!)
But I digress. I’m really here to tell you my story. It’s a cautionary tale for all you demons out there. Perhaps I could have stopped things before they went to far if only I’d recognized the signs. I was destined to fail with the Phelps family.
Here’s how things went down:
Like football coaches, we demon-dolls typically script our first few plays. We like to get the lay of the household. Start slow, let the terror build, that sort of thing. I don’t know a single demon-doll that doesn’t start off with a bit of “Moving Around So They Find You Someplace Where They Didn’t Leave You.” That’s basically your Possessed Doll Haunting 101.
Well, I did this for four months, and they never even noticed.
My first day there, little Devany put me in her toy box. As soon as she left, I climbed out and perched myself on her shelf. On the outside, I'm a friendly, happy, stuffed doll, but inside I’m cackling like a maniac as I pictured her innocent face looking at me, wondering how I got up there.
Imagine my frustration when she’d skip into the room, open her toy box, pick out any random toy, and skip back out. I moved all around her room and not once did she seem to notice. Ok, she’s a kid, I told myself. Probably thinks mom is doing it. Time to up my game. But when I moved myself to other parts of the house, still nobody noticed. I let myself dangle from the chandelier and NOBODY THOUGHT THAT WAS ODD.
I don’t like to be judgmental (oh, who am I kidding? Of course I do! I’m a demon), but the members of the Phelps family are a bunch of slobs. Little Devany, the teenage twins, Daphne and Darren, even Mom and Dad – all slobs. How were they going to notice a doll in the living room, when there were toys and sweatshirts and shoes, shoes, and more shoes everywhere?
Time for Step 2: Threatening Notes
“Save yourselves while you can!”
“You’re all going to DIE!!”
I left cards on their beds, I wrote on the mirrors, so the words would become visible in the steam of the shower. Red paint on the walls!
“Very funny, Darren,” Mom would say.
I was frustrated. I decided to jump a few moves and go for a real shocker. That’s right, I went after the pet. Oh, I love this one. The beloved pet disappears, and there I am, sitting right next to pet’s bowl, clumps of fur stuck to my hands. The horror! It’s fantastic. And it’s usually the point where they begin to realize that I’m not the sweet little stuffed clown they thought I was.
The added bonus here was that I hated, hated, HATED their pet cat Mr. Fluffy Whiskerton-Pancake (Also named by Devany). Cats, as many of you know, are sensitive to demonic spirits and usually warn their owners right off the bat that there’s something wrong. We demons love this. LOVE IT. It’s a nice little added effect that helps us with our haunting. But did Fluffers growl at me? Did he arch his back, spike his fur and hiss at me? He did not. Not once. So, yeah, that cat had to go.
Here’s the thing though. No one in the house liked Fluffers. When he disappeared, Devany’s father looked for him outside for about two seconds. Then he just clapped his hands together and said, “Raccoons probably got him. Oh, well.”
Did I give up? No. Baggy Jester Chuckles the Third is not a quitter. (That’s me. I’m talking in the 3rd person. I’m evil. I can do that.)
I turned my attention to Devany’s older sister, Daphne. I’d bypassed her earlier, because scaring a teenage girl is like making cereal for breakfast. Too easy, and I like a challenge. I’m more of a crunchy vanilla-almond French toast with fruit topping kind of demon. But desperate times call for easy solutions.
I snuck into her room at night and perched myself on her pillow, right next to her head. Again, inside I’m twitching with anticipation. I can’t wait for her to wake up and scream. I’ll finally get the reaction I’ve been dying for. But is that what happened? What do you think? No, it’s not what happened. Instead, she punched me off bed the when she woke up, saying something like, “Not funny, Darren!”
(Note to readers – demonic haunting is SO much more difficult when there are boys in the house. They get the credit for everything you do. Not just the cryptic notes and painting on the wall, but anything that's broken, the scissors poking out of stuff. Everything.)
It was desperation that made me do what I did next. I’m not proud of it. Again, I’m only sharing this so that other demons can learn from my mistake.
I went rogue.
The house was already filled with chaos, shouting, and general mayhem before I got there, that was the problem. Adding mayhem to mayhem is like salting something salty. To stand out, to really get noticed, I’d have to do something . . . (I’m choking here, this is so hard) . . . nice.
Don’t judge me. You don’t know what it’s like. We demonically possessed dolls crave attention above all else and I was starving for it. I know it’s not a mature response, but I just wanted someone to notice me.
I started with the boy. The house was pretty much mine from eight in the morning until the mom got off her part-time job at two. That gave me plenty of time to . . . (again, this is killing me to admit) . . . clean his room.
That’s right, I put every piece of dirty clothing that covered his floor into his hamper. I threw out every wrapper, every half-eaten piece of food, every broken toy. I put on some rubber gloves and scoured his walls so clean they were practically glowing. I straightened papers on his desk, and filled out his calendar for all his assignment due dates. The kid was completely unorganized.
It was exhausting. I collapsed in the corner after doing the windows, a squirt bottle nestled between my legs.
And then, finally, finally, I got the reaction I’d been hoping for. Mom came home, passed by Darren’s room, did a double take, rubber her eyes, and then she screamed.
The best sound I’d heard in months.
At dinner, the finger pointing began. Mom accused Darren of skipping school to clean his room. As soon as the words left her mouth she realized how stupid they sounded. She looked to her husband for help, but he shook his head, he hadn’t cleaned the room. He asked if she had done it and forgotten. Then, icing on the cake, little Devany said, “I bet Baggy Jester Chuckles the Third did it.” The rest of the family laughed at her. Oh, it was fantastic.
Buoyed by this success, I went after the garage next. Then I did the yard work. I had healthy snacks waiting for the kids when Mom came home. Each time I positioned myself to be right next to the evil deed.
The family got nervous. They installed a security camera. I had a good time with that, let me tell you. Making the playback fuzzy and crackling. Making it cut in and out, so they’d never actually see me move, but I’m never in the same place. Ending the feed with my face filling the camera.
“It is Mr. Baggypants,” Dad said. “I can’t believe it.”
“He’s possessed,” Darren said. “That’s so awesome.”
They were all so happy. It didn’t occur to me until the Darkness came that I’d done something terribly, terribly wrong. The Darkness doesn’t like happiness. Happiness ruins all his plans. It hurt horribly to have my demonic presence ripped out of Mr. Baggypants, but I deserved it. I was a demon turned, and I hadn’t even noticed the change.
So that’s my warning. I have to write this 2,999,999 more times as a penance. Better get myself a cup of coffee. I think there’s some in the break room, but the guys down here are slobs. I’ll probably do a little cleaning first.