Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I dislike clowns…

Someone asked me on Tumblr what was the weirdest thing that happened to me… but I really couldn’t think of anything so I decided to write about the scariest thing that happened to me instead!

I spent my childhood and my teenage years at a summer camp with my childhood friend, Marianne. We had been going to this camp, JA, for years. This happened when I was around 13 years old. I was in a section of the camp called the Kamikaze: we would spend our time doing canoe and camping, away from civilization. It was awesome.

Rare picture of 13 years old Me!!

Since I had been going to the camp for quite some time now, it was a well known fact that clowns were a major taboo at the camp. Counsellors were not allowed to dress up as clowns or tell stories that involved clowns (this is actually true: I became a counsellor a few years later and it was a very severe policy… anyone who would make clown jokes could face termination on the spot!) No campers really knew why but some who had been there for a very long time knew that it was related to a very scary story that no counsellor was allowed to tell. We had asked our counsellors, Meko and Daffy, and every time, they would turn us down. Obviously, the more we were told not to ask, the more we wanted to know. We were a group of 12 girls who were extremely curious!


We had bugged Meko and Daffy the whole time we were in canoe camping; every occasion was good to ask them to tell us the Clown Story. One day, they finally gave in. We all sat around a fire after a long day of canoeing and they told us the story of the clown.

Apparently, in the 80s, there was a counsellor who got along great with everyone and he was very good looking. We’ll call him N. Both female counsellors and campers were all over him. However, it got too far and he got involved with a camper and the direction found out about it when the mother of the girl complained; he was terminated on the spot and reported to the police. Weeks passed by and no one had heard from him and it was already time of the end of the season counsellors party. Kids had left the camp and only counsellors were left. This year’s theme was the circus; counsellors were invited to dress us and party it up in the camp’s cafeteria. When the party started, N showed up dressed as a clown and tried to get in but the camp’s strongest and scariest counsellor, Bear, was at the door and refused to let him in. Angry, N ran in the woods, cussing at him and at the other counsellors who had gathered at the door, seeing the commotion.

Later that night, when the party was over, people left in small groups to go back to their dormitories. In order to go back to the dormitories, counsellors had to walk through a path in the woods. There was no lights in the path but you could see the light coming from the dormitories so it has never really bothered anyone that the path was quite dark. Plus, there is a very large rock that is painted like a whale that was visible even in the dark.

The next morning, 3 bodies of female counsellors were found at the bottom of the rock. Clown costume parts were scattered in the forest as well as a butcher knife.

I’ve never been really good at telling this story but I remember wishing that I had never heard that story after our counsellors told us. To calm us down, they reassured us that N was later arrested and tried. It was discovered during his trial was he was mentally ill and was not held accountable for his crime. He was interned and that was the end of it. We all had a little bit of a hard time to sleep but everything made sense now and we felt safe knowing that he was away. Besides, that was 25 years ago.

We continued with our expedition the next day and we came back to the camp before heading to a camping site called the Site à Lune. After eating lunch in the cafeteria at the camp, we were picking up our bags when a counsellor who worked in the office came running at our group and told our counsellors to come in the office right away. Daffy and Meko left for a bit while we entertained ourselves…doing something like… braiding our hair maybe? They finally came back and we headed to our camp site for the night.

The Cite à Lune (roughly translates to Moon’s site). We were sleeping in the left tempo.

When we arrived at the camp, we had to go in the forest in order to gather wood for the fire, as we usually do when we camp However this time, Meko and Daffy told us to not go too deep in the forest which obviously, didn’t make any sense when you are trying to find good wood for a fire. After eating diner, we all had to clean our cooksets (if you never camped before, this is how you clean a cookset; you put send in your plate and rub it in order to remove most of the grease then you rinse it with water). Some of us were about to leave through the forest to go clean our sets in the lake but Daffy yelled at us and ordered us to stay in a group. So we gathered and decided to go to the lake… but halfway there, a girl realized that she had to go to the bathroom so we decided to walk back to the camp, yelling and screaming for fun. The fun ended really quickly as we were yelled at by Daffy for making her nervous for no reason.

The evening went by as we kept noticing our counsellors acting weird: Daffy was walking around with her huge canoe knife and Meko was simply not talking. It was clear by then that something was wrong; the night had come and we were all sitting around the fire. We were all too nervous to say anything: our counsellors who were so chill and relax were now extremely nervous people. One of the girls, cracked and said: “ Seriously, what is going on. You guys are freaking me out. Talk to us!”

“ We can’t tell you guys. Let’s all go to bed” replied Daffy, coldly.

“That’s not fair!” some of us replied “ You’re all being weird and shit, that’s not cool!”

“Daff, I think we can tell them…” said Meko.

“What is it going to change anyway?”

“They deserve to know…”

“ Both of you, stop it, you really are scaring me!!” said one of the girls who started to tear up.

Daffy and Meko looked at each other. I can’t remember which one started talking but what came out of their mouth shocked us all: while we were at the camp, they were advised by the direction that extreme security measures had to be put in place. When asked why, they told us that N had escaped his institution and that the police had warned the camp to enforce security measures. We all started to panic; a crazy murderer with  was at large at large yet we were still at the camp… that didn’t make any sense.

We all had been pranked before so one of us told them to stop pranking… but Daffy serious expression quickly convinced us that this was not a joke.We were reassured that we were safe at our camping site; after all, we were away from the camp and if N really wanted to come to the camp, then the threat was there and not here. We talked about this for a while then decided it was time to go sleep.

One of the girl was very anxious about the situation and started crying. Meko, being a sweetheart, decided to check the forest and walk around the tempo in order to reassure us. We all went in and started to get ready for the night, pulling out our mattresses and sleeping bags. Daffy was outside, putting the fire away. She started calling Meko, telling him he had walked around enough but he was not responding. She started to laugh and walked in the forest, telling him that it wasn’t funny…

Daffy stopped laughing quickly. We heard her footsteps and she quickly came in running in the tempo. Her expression was frightening; she was pale and she was holding to her huge canoe knife. We asked her what’s going on; she couldn’t find Meko and she had heard something in the forest. We all became quiet and listened: we could hear branches cracking nearby. I had my frontal flashlight on but I was too scared to point it at the door: I kept closing it then opening it. Everything became quiet: we couldn’t hear footsteps or branches cracking anymore. Daffy said, her voice shacking: “ Meko, if you think this is funny, it’s not. Stop it, you’ve done enough!” One of the girls told us to form a circle and to hold hands as she said a prayer, praying for our safety… but mostly adding to the tension.

Suddenly, we heard a big thump: someone or someone was on the roof and was climbing in way up. We all  moved to the back of the tempo, away from the door. We all started screaming and at this point, I pulled out the Opinel knife that my brother had given me, trying to open it as my hands were shacking uncontrollably. Prayers were becoming louder, others were crying all while we could here someone climbinb on the roof.

We heard a second thump: it wasn’t on the roof anymore. Everything became quiet except for a few girls who were sobbing. I thought: “This is it, it’s done terrifying us, not it’s coming after us”. Adrenaline was rushing through my veins and something in me was telling me to use that knife but I couldn’t move: I was petrified. I close my flashlight… I had decided that I didn’t want to see what would be happening next, I had seen enough. Marianne was sitting next to me and I remember hugging her at that point. The moon was the only thing that shone from that point: I remember looking at it until a dark, tall silhouette stood in the doorway while we all screamed.

I was holding on tightly to my knife when someone pointed their flashlight at the silhouette and in shock, we realised that it was Meko. It was a prank orchestrated by Daffy and Meko. We all gathered around the fire camp and they explained how they had planned this prank from the day they told us the clown story. The Clown Story is actually only a legend and N doesn’t exist.

You might think, duh… I saw it coming from the beginning… but I had never  felt this scared in my life… and even today, I have never experienced something this frightening and felt this relieved either!

So that’s it… I hope you are not too disappointed in my scary story… my story telling skills are quite lame but I tried to give it a shot as this is something that reallllly marked me: this is the first time that I write this story down with so many details and my heart was racing as I was reliving these moments! Did it scare you a bit??

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