Friday, August 17, 2007

The clown that turned.

I heard about a rotating clown a few weeks back and wandered along to take a look. I was invited. I don’t just turn up at your door and demand to see your spooky happenings. So far, I have never seen the inside of either a prison cell or a padded room and I’m happy with that. So I arrive by invitation only.

The clown was blown glass, in a glass-fronted cabinet set against, but not fixed to, a wall. I’ve opened the glass door for the photos because of reflections, but it’s normally closed.

The room is one of those little-used ‘best rooms’ to be found in most older British houses. The young don’t keep up this tradition because modern houses are too small to swing a cat in. You can tell this by the cat-shaped dents in the walls. There aren’t enough rooms in new houses to designate one as ‘best’.

Anyway, the ‘best’ room is used for guests, dinner parties, that sort of thing. It’s left alone most of the time, apart from dusting and polishing. Nobody in the house disturbed the clown overnight, yet in the morning it had turned almost ninety degrees to the right. The homeowner turned it back. Overnight, it turned itself around again.

There was no history of strange happenings in the house, and the clown had been in the family for many years. In that time it had always behaved itself, facing the direction it was set in and showing no rotatory impulse whatsoever. It has a twin, in the same cabinet, that seems content to remain in place.

Overnight, the house creaked and groaned a lot. Nothing supernatural in that, but it did give a clue. Behind the wall, behind the clown’s cabinet, was a staircase leading to a lower floor (the house is built into the side of a hill: after entering the front door, the second level is down, not up). So the cabinet is on a wooden floor with a room below.

An inspection of the clown showed that its base was uneven. It pivoted easily on a bulge in the glass of its feet. Combined with movement on the floor and the staircase, I concluded that simple vibration was sufficient to cause it to turn. I found no evidence of any spirit involvement in this case.

The one thing that puzzled me, and still does, is why the clown’s rotation has only occurred in recent months. It has been in that cabinet, in the same place on the same shelf for well over a decade.

It might be worth a second visit.

2 comments:

Southern Writer said...

Heh. That's interesting. Leave it to you to rule out anything FUN. Maybe there's something different about the structure of the house or the stairs. Something has settled or shifted.

Romulus Crowe said...

Settling is a possibility. There's been a lot of rain this year, so foundations might well be shifting all over the country.

That's going to cause a lot of stuff to wobble on shelves, and make life very difficult.

Next time I visit, I'll swap the two clowns around and see which one moves. If it's the same one, then it's most likely because of the bulge in its base. If the other one moves, well...

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