Best of 2019: Urban Legend: The Clown Statue
Due to the graphic nature of this urban legend listener discretion is advised. This episode includes the victimization nation of a child and brief discussions of childhood sexual trauma. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. Clown's they can be a whimsical edition to any child's birthday party. They tell jokes. Do tricks make balloon animals. They make the impossible possible before your very eyes or they can be a creature that lurks in the sewers waiting to drag you down into a crushing infinite abyss. But that's pretend right there make hides their faces the costumes turn their bodies into funhouse versions of the human form. There's something about a clown that's just not quite right. Which is why when we see them? Outside of the circus we tend to want to run. Welcome to haunted places. A park has original. I'm Greg Olsen every Thursday we take you to the scariest year is most haunted real real places on earth and share their stories. This episode is part of our urban legends Halloween special every day for the month of October. They were presenting our spooky spin on an urban legend. Then diving into the history of the horror like it or not each terrifying tale. Bill contains a grain of truth. You can find episodes of haunted places and all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever wherever you listen to podcasts stream haunted places for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type haunted places in the search bar at at Park. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do it we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. And if you enjoyed today's episode the best way to help is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening today. We we examine a story that blends the tropes of home invasion stories. Such as last week's aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights with coober phobia but the fear of clowns. The clown statue gives the killer hiding in the house a new an truly disturbing disguise in some people's favourite form of Party entertainment and everyone else is nightmare People hate clowns people hate serial killers clown serial killer lurking in your house is. That's the result. The stuff of nightmares. The clown statue is a relatively modern urban legend only coming into prominence in the early two thousands dozens. It is a combination of the growing phenomenon of Phantom clown sightings map began after the nineteen seventy eight arrests of serial killer. John Wayne Lane Casey who was dubbed the killer clown by the press since being introduced to the likes of Gay C. Penny Wise and many anymore B. movie killer. Clowns Cooler Phobia has been on the rise but clown statue stokes these fears while offering an extremely vulnerable victim in an unusually confined space. Aw for fern. Friday nights were for babysitting she driver crappy car up into the Hollywood hills to a house. She could only dream of owning wing for a handful of ours. She would live a life of luxury. It was the only real perk of her internship and the only time. Our boss actually paid for her labor. The House was historic. One of those architectural marvels built for long forgotten thirties. Film Stars most most of it was off limits to her but the owners had a home theater system to die for and the LOG INS to watch newly released studio movies from the comfort of of their home she played pirates with Nelin t for a few hours the three brandishing their plastic swords like the blades were made of hard steel Nelin. T- tried to overthrow ferns. Bedtime rule holding her hostage and forcing her to walk the pillow covered clank fern tumbled over the side into the icy waters of the royal blue plush rug Nelin T- whooped with pride. They were too busy celebrating to notice that fern earn had risen from the depths to put them to bed. She scooped them up one in each arm and carried them up the stairs. T was the easier one want to get to sleep fern. TUCK during carefully pulling the covers close to the little girl's neck. She kissed his forehead and said good night. Now on the other hand wouldn't stop jumping on her own bed. fern asked her to stop and Nell just stared at her. She told fern that she always had to do this before bed for knew for a fact that Nell was lying. She'd watched the girls every Friday for the past few months. But there was something about the child's wide eyes and trembling lab. That worried her. She didn't look like she was jumping dumping because she wanted to but because she was too nervous to lie still firm told me that she didn't have to go to sleep just yet they could talk for a minute instead. nell nodded her head. plopping down onto the bed beside her and commonly asked now why she didn't WanNa go to bed. The girl shoot her lip then raised a shaky finger to point at the corner of a room. It was empty and fern studied the area but she couldn't see much. She asked what was wrong. But the corner he watches me. Nell said the monster man. I wasn't sure how to help. Worries ran through her head but the brights were nice people. Nell hadn't shown any fear around her father ever. All the house in Admin staff were women no one else had access to her room ferns and sent a quick text. Her boss nells mother a response. Came back almost immediately. Nell was having nightmares. Every night. This week she dreamt of a man with a large white face and giant red is crimson spikes of hair stood stood out at odd angles. His lips were soaked in blood and when he smiled is jaw started to come loose every night. It was the same image. nell claim that the monster man with his oversized feet and small. Hands was standing standing in the corner of her room. Staring with that unsettling smile he smells like rotten food then he never blinked linked. He just watched her all the time. nell swore she wasn't dreaming. There was a monster her in her room. Mr Mrs Bright had searched the room on their own and found nothing. It had to be a nightmare. Mrs Bright told Fern to do a quick sweep of the room for nels. Peace of mind and not to be alarmed if she screamed again nightmares mares. Were coming in young children. The world was a scary place but nell would be perfectly fine. Fern felt better about the situation. She told Mel that the monster man was on vacation tonight and if he tried to come back early Fernwood defeat him. That's just what babysitters did nels lips pursed and fern could almost watch the little cogs in her head spinning. She was trying to figure out if the babysitter was telling the truth. And if she really could take on the monster after a moment now gave the slightest nod of her head fern smiled. She made a big league show of her search crouching down to check under the bed behind the bookshelves anywhere. A monster man might be hiding. She stood dusted elster. Self off there was just one more place to check the closet. The light switch wasn't working. FERN searched for another option eventually finding a chain dangling in the darkness she gripped Tiedt and pulled it down. She expected a light to come back instead. A rectangular portion of a ceiling extended down. Tom Quickly followed by a sliding ladder. FERN barely dodged it throwing herself into a pile of dress up clothes. She recovered quickly sticking her head out of the closet and smiling to show now she was fine it was all clear. Big houses were full of weird. CRAWLSPACES hatches ashes. Especially one as old as the brights. She closed dump the Attic Hatch and was about to head out when she caught Nelson High. The little girl girl was still staring into the depths of the closet. Ho Nellie she could. She came over to sit with her trying to see what the little little girl saw. The classified did. Look frightening from where Nell sat the glow of the small paper for lanterns. That lit the room at night was too soft to make sense of the shadows. The ends of Nell shirts looked like long hands extending into the darkness. Even fern could imagine something slithering down sleeve grasping onto the child's hand and pulling them away. FERN held up a finger a weight gesture and stepped again into the darkness. Several of the boxes were tilting precariously. The forwards burnt tried to push them back but there was something blocking the way she pushed harder. It just wouldn't give. She pulled some of the boxes away and found a life size statue. It looked like a long forgotten prop from what Mrs Bright's films homes. They did striped jumpsuit. Obnoxious red shoes and a painted face frozen. In the most unsettling smile Burnett ever seen the lips were stretched wide great teeth sharpened to points glinted and the darkness it smelled smelled like someone had left it in the sun for too long and that rubber had melted fern shivered. She didn't want to be here anymore. So so close to this thing it didn't seem kind the bright distort prop like this in their kids closet but the house was also packed to the Gills with silver screen memorabilia. They'd probably intended to take it up to the attic and forgotten. She would mention it to Mrs Bright when they got back doc. She closed the closet door. And turn back towards nells bedroom. The little girl was still watching closely. She pasted on a smile and told her that everything was alright. She checked the whole broom and told the monster man to leave her alone. Nel said thank you and crawled under the covers. FERN went to her side talking her in the rest of the way. She kissed your head and told you to sleep tight Fernan taking care of the monsters so she should be safe. She stayed with Nell for about twenty minutes Rubbing her back humming slow versions of pop songs until a little girls is closed. fern raised herself from the bed and and headed for the bedroom door but the closet door was cracked again. She tiptoed over to close it. She could have sworn that clown statue had been in the back. I remembered shuffling the boxes around but the boxes were closer than they had been omitted ago and so was the clown she told yourself to be brave and examined it again this time from the more comforting and more well lit side of the threshold. It was all the same horrifying smile terrifying terrifying paint job but still nonetheless. She silently closed the closet door not wanting to wake now. She told herself she was. Just revved up from nells Oh nightmares. The clown hadn't moved. It couldn't have could it. It's coming up fern at her new visitor. Have a few laughs podcast listeners. We have a special treat just for you. Our entire back catalogue of haunted places. Episodes are available for you to listen to right. Now that's sixty classic episodes of haunted places ready for you to unwrapped it's holiday season whether you're reliving some of your favorite episodes or hearing them for the first time you can access all sixty spellbinding stories whenever you want. And here's the best part. You don't even need to do anything these episodes are already in your feed and of of course you can hear new episodes of haunted places every Thursday. Check out more parkas shows on spotify by searching for podcast in the spotify search bar. Or you're going to spotify dot com slash podcast now back to the story. FERN earn padded down the hallway towards the Home Theater. Trying to push the image of the horrible clown. Statue in nells closet from her mind. She was surprised he's a by how much it had a nerve her Nelin her sister t were little kids with little kids imaginations. They saw monsters everywhere she he was the adult. She was the baby sitter if she couldn't deal with a movie prop in the bright storage closet. Did she really have any right to be here. She was just tired. That was all it had been a long week at her internship and she needed to relax. FERNS settled down into into a recliner and turned on the massive TV. She navigated through the APPS and selected a new release to watch knell was crying. FERN wanted to check on her. She looked at text from nells mother again. She was perfectly Gli fine. Sometimes kids just need to cry it out. FERN didn't like it but she wasn't the girls parent she couldn't lose her internship turn shipped so she waited gritting her teeth. Against the sounds of nells distress after a minute or two. The sound stopped. It was as her mother had said Nell was fine. Fern pressed play on the movie. It didn't take long for her to start regretting her choice It was an action flick with fight scenes that droned on and on and a plot that I could barely follow as her attention started to wave her. There is slid to the popcorn machine and movie posters. There was another statue in the corner it was is nearly identical to the one in Nelson Room. She hadn't noticed it before but now was the only thing she could see the a spiky hair the faded white clown makeup the strange teeth. It was a well done replica. But it gave her the creeps And for the life of her she couldn't figure out why the family thought they needed two of them. There was a padding footsteps behind her and she turned her head defined t- hovering behind the couch. Dancing nervously hunter tiptoes. She said he'd heard something a needed. Help this is bright. Hadn't said anything about T- having nightmares so fern took her hand and they walked upstairs together. She checked tease bedroom. As the the little girl watched under the bed was clear. The closet had a working overhead light which may checking it much easier just close and and a few boxes no clowns fern asked about the noise. She said she heard someone scream her name. They sat down on the bed together S.. fern explained that Nell had nightmares. Sometimes that didn't mean they weren't safe. Just that our brains could would trickle. Sometimes T- said these screams were different. They were about the man coming for her to fern. Didn't get paid enough for this. She gently explained. That t was probably just picking up on nells fears. They were okay. Everything would be okay. The noises were scary but they would stop. T looked like she didn't entirely believe her but she settled back into her bed again. Fern went through the process of tucking her backhand and headed back to the home theater but clown statue statue was gone. FERN walked to where it had been a single piece of fire engine. Red Hair had fallen onto the wooden floor for and try to slow her breathing as she texted Nelin tease mother one more time time she asked her. The clown statue wasn't a statue but an animatronic. The girl's father worked in specialty products. It was possible OSPEL. She hoped it was possible. Mrs Bryant just texted back a series of question marks then a six word reply that made ferns blood run cold. We don't have a clown statue. fern looked at the phone buzzing in her hand ear. Shatteringly loud in the silent house. FERN silence justed immediately texting Mrs Bright to call the police she pulled Mr Bright's L. A. Dodgers baseball bat out of its display case and raised. It get ready to swing then. She went in search of tea and now tease room was the closer of the two bedrooms. The door one open the bedsheets were torn off the bed. T was gone. FERN sprinted hallway hallway. The door to nells room was closed. She whispered Nelson Name. No answer fern opened the door the rest of the way away. The first thing she noticed was the blood nells. Purple bedspread was soaked in it but dark. Red Substance is already starting to turn Brown. How long had fern letter cry without coming upstairs for in covered her mouth with her hand afraid she was going to be sick? She swallowed her own fear and look around the room. Nell was gone and she told herself. That was a good thing. If nell wasn't here she wasn't dead yet. She still had time to reach her. Her eyes landed on the closet. She opened the door. No clown inside the court for the ladder. Swung overhead burned hated attics. She didn't want to be trapped in the top of a house with a stranger but those kids needed her so she pulled the Cordao stepping back so the latter matter would touchdown without hitting her in the head she grabbed onto the wooden slats at the ladder and started to pull herself up rung by wrong. The Bat awkwardly wavering. Her left hand the boards were slick with blood. Her hands slipped but she carter self. Her body slammed into the ladder and she barely caught the bat before tumbled towards the floor. fern pulled yourself higher and higher where her head poked into the top of the attic. A large pool of blood trail to cross the floor. And she put her hands on the baseboards of the attic. And pull yourself up the rest of the way. Moonlight spilled through a large window at the apex PECs a house illuminating a small campsite a sleeping bag. A gas stove nells nightmares. It had been real. She raised the bat determined and called into the cavernous darkness. T answered her back. Relief rushed through fern. At least one of them a safe. She followed the sound of teas voice. The little girl was is kneeling next to her. Sister's body nells face had lost all sight of color. Her lips were cracked and dry her eyes glassy but there was a faint in and out of breath she was still alive fern. Drop the Bat to pick her up but something tackled from behind slamming her into one of the support beams. It was the statue now. The person the person the cloud was pummeling her again again. She desperately reached for the bat screaming to t- to grab her sister and run. The clown picked her up and slammed her into the attic floor. She felt something both below and inside her begin to crack then break and then she was falling through the air outside the house the clowns staring at her from the attic window. It's smile finally turned to puzzlement backs smacked into a police car sitting in the brights driveway. It's lights flashed in its engine blared even in her hazy vision. She could see see men with guns heading into the grand entryway the medic strapped to a Gurney and Berber rolling her into an ambulance. When the armored men reemerged T. came out first holding officers hand then came now? She looked so small wrapped up in the officers arms but she was still breathing however slightly fern waited for the clown to make it through the doorway handcuffs or a body bag. She didn't care but he never came. The police couldn't find any trace of him. The clown statue falls into a group of home invasion urban legends with several common tropes. A woman victim usually a baby sitter or woman living on her own for the first time and misdirect. Were the killer chooses to hide in the house for an extended period of time rather than carrying out their crime at escaping. It's also extremely common for the killer in these stories to strike in the bedroom suggesting the possibility of sexual violence against the female victim or her young charges the clown statue frequently ends with the police apprehending the clown who was revealed to be a wanted. Sexual Predator and many diversions of the story. Include one of the babysitters charges describing a monster. That comes to her at night for several days while the themes of the clown statue are familiar. Were left with a puzzling question. Why a clown? While clowning has been around for centuries it didn't really enter the horror lexicon until the apprehension and trial of John Lane. Casey A part-time birthday party and parade clown. WHO murdered at least least thirty? Three teenagers. Young men between one thousand nine hundred seventy two and nineteen seventy eight the staggering number of victims combined with gaseous profession. Fashion earned him the moniker but killer clown shortly. After gaseous case broke folklorist began to observe a strange phenomenon claims of sightings of sinister clowns using candy to lure minors into their vans. In many cases the rumors themselves came from children who reported seeing the medicine figures around their schools and playgrounds brandishing knives or guns. When adults investigated they found no trace this? This doesn't mean that all clowns are harmless on May Twenty Sixth Nineteen Ninety forty year old. Wellington Florida resident. Marlene Warren. Warren was shot and killed by person dressed as a clown who came to her doorstep bearing a bouquet of red and white carnations and bloom reading. You're the greatest clown. Makeup makes a good disguise because it subverts the actual contouring of the face enlarging some features and minimizing others making it difficult to recall the identifying features beneath the acceleration. This exaggeration Shen also places clowns in the so called uncanny valley an element of cognition where the brain recognizes that a person or object resembles as a human just enough to make the visual gap between it an actual humanity deeply unsettling the uncanny valley often comes up in conversations conversations about androids special effects and video games but any kind of near but slightly off human features or movement can elicit the response. The brain expects one thing. Pink that's another creating a feedback loop. It can't reconcile you. This uncanny valley can make us avoid clowns entirely and it's given us some of the most iconic villains in film history. It's hard to believe. Leave that a killer would choose to act as a living statue in order to carry out. Its work but the clown statue speaks to a much deeper fear. We're about clowns ability to subvert expectations and a nerve the public as John Wayne Gay see himself told. Investigators clown's can get away with murder. Thanks again for tuning into haunted places will be back tomorrow with the newer been legend and and on Thursday with the new haunted place. You can find more episodes of haunted places and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only only to spotify already. Have all your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all your favorite podcast originals like haunted places for free from your phone. Desktop or smart speaker to stream haunted places on spotify. Just open the APP and type haunted places in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at Park has network until tomorrow. Don't believe some of the things issue here. Believe all of them haunted places was created by Max. Cutler alert is a production of cutler media. And it's part of the podcast network. It is produced by Max in Ron Cutler. With sound design by Kenny Hobbs. Production Assistance Spy Ron Shapiro and Paul. Molitor additional production assistance by Maggie admire and Freddie Beckley. This episode potted places was written by Lil de Ridder and Jennifer Berisha. I'm Greg Olsen.