The Clown at Midnight is a scary story about a man who hires an entertainer for his son’s birthday party. It is inspired by two famous quotes from Lon Chaney and Stephen King.
“Nobody likes a clown at midnight” – Stephen King
“A clown is funny in the circus ring. But what would be the normal reaction to opening a door at midnight, and finding the same clown standing there in the moonlight? That is the essence of true horror.” – Lon Chaney
There was a man who wanted to hire a clown for his son’s birthday party. He asked around at work and one of his colleagues, Sergio Palma, gave him the number of a clown who, he said, came highly recommended. The man called the number and arranged for the clown to come over on Saturday and entertain the kids at the party.
However, when Saturday came around, it was raining and the clown didn’t show up. The children all grew bored of waiting and went home early. His son was terribly disappointed and ran upstairs to his bedroom in tears. The birthday party was completely ruined. The father kept calling the clown’s number, but there was no answer.
“Why did you recommend such an unreliable clown, Sergio,” he thought bitterly.
That night, the man and his wife were lying in bed, exhausted. The party had been a disaster and he was still irritated that the clown had not shown up.
“What time did you tell him to come?” his wife asked.
“I said very clearly, Saturday at twelve o’clock,” he replied.
“Maybe he thought it was twelve at night,” said his wife.
“A clown at midnight?” the man laughed out loud. “Who would hire a clown to come to a birthday party at midnight?”
He turned over and drifted off to sleep.
At midnight, they were awoken by a horrible scream.
It sounded like their son.
“Something’s wrong,” whispered the mother, turning on the light.
“Stay here,” said the man, jumping out of bed. “I’ll check on him. Maybe he’s just having a bad dream.”
He stepped into the hallway and immediately stopped in his tracks.
There was a trail of muddy footprints on the floor.
They were too large to belong to a normal man. The footprints looked like clown shoes. They led from the open window in the bathroom, down the hallway to his son’s bedroom.
“A clown,” thought the horrified father. “A clown at midnight…”
And then, without knowing why, he remembered something about Sergio Palma, his friend from work who had recommended the clown. Sergio had two sons, but one of them had died not long ago, under mysterious circumstances.
He had never discussed it with Sergio himself for obvious reasons, but rumors had spread around the office that, after several days of intense searching, Sergio’s son had been found dead in the woods.
Why had he remembered that just now?
With a shaking hand, the father reached out and opened his son’s bedroom door.
The room was empty. The bed was unmade and the window was wide open. There were traces of mud on the carpet.
The man let out an anguished howl and ran out of the house. His wife followed him. He started calling his son’s name over and over. The neighbors turned on their lights and came out to see what was wrong.
“Someone has kidnapped my son!” the man cried. “It was a clown!”
One of the neighbors called the police and a few minutes later, several squad cars arrived. They immediately spread out and started searching the area for the missing boy.
Just then, the man received a phonecall. It was his colleague Sergio Palma. He was crying. Between babbles and sobs, Sergio tried to apologize for what he had done.
“What did you do?” cried the father. “What did you DO? Where is my son? Who was that clown you told me to hire?”
“I don’t even know,” Sergio whispered, his voice barely audible. “I don’t even know if he’s human… but I know he is hungry… always hungry… hungry for more victims… He took my oldest son… Then, last week, he came back for my youngest… I told him to take yours instead… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry … Tell my son I love him…”
“Where is he?” screamed the man. “Where is my son?”
“Look In the forest,” Sergio whimpered. “He always nails the heads of his victims to the trees, as a signal…”
“What the hell you mean by that?” the man screamed.
Before he could say another word, he heard the sound of a gunshot on the other end of the phone and the line went dead.
The father dropped the phone and ran out of the house. He went into the forest, which stood behind the house. When he came to a big, gnarled oak tree, he suddenly stopped, sank to his knees and began crying uncontrollably. He had found what remained of his son.