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Primitive Evil Clown Doll!

 

"Helliquin"

 

This is the first clown I've ever made, and no other clown will look like this one.

To the best of my memory, it started back when I was only five years old. I developed an intense fear of clowns.
I had spent the weekend with my favorite grandmother. While sleeping one night, I dreamt I walked from the kitchen door and into the back yard. I kept walking until I was at the creek. My grandmother would never allow me to play anywhere near the creek, so this was a really big deal to me.
As I sat there watching the water, I dreamt I heard maniacal laughter. I looked up and saw a huge ugly clown sitting on the stump of a felled tree. He was holding a big yellow mixing bowl and he was stirring French toast mixture, while laughing and winking at me.

This horrible scene was dreamt back in 1961 and I STILL haven't forgotten it.

A few years went by and in the winter of 1964, on New Year's Day, I was with my parents on the streets of Philadelphia to watch the Mummer's Parade. It was so unbelievably cold, and I was actually coming down with the flue, though I didn't know it at the time. I just knew I didn't feel well at all.

And if anyone knows anything about the Mummer's Parades back then, only men participated in them....no women. So, it was fascinating to see all the men dressed up in the costumes, even as women.
I stood in the cold and watched the glorious colors and delightful floats and listened to the ear-piercing music from the bands as they gallantly marched passed me.


However, as fascinating as it all was, I kept a watchful eye on the dozens of clowns that combed the edge of the many spectators. From afar I could give a half-smile as the clowns gave large glossy balloons to children and posed for pictures for parents and went about their routine for making the crowds laugh.

And then it happened. A clown approached me. I was unaware of his presence, until he was looking right into my face.
I heard myself gasp as I tried to shrink away from him as far as I could. I stepped back until I was pressed against the coats of the people who were standing behind me.
I was trapped.

I did NOT want to look at this hideous clown, yet I couldn't tear myself away. I wanted desperately to hide myself in someone's coat. I wanted to disappear. But he kept getting closer, reaching for my hand. He wanted to give me a brightly colored tissue-paper flower.
I wanted nothing from this monster.

He began to laugh at me and make strange faces. Memories of my nightmare from a few years before was flooding my mind.

I was paralyzed with fear. He was too big, too much, too soon, too scary.
His make-up was cracking and caked upon his face. The white grease paint gave his teeth a yellowed appearance. I could see the flaws on his costume....holes, rips, mended areas, stains, and raveled edges.
I could see his eyebrows, caked with white make-up, and they looked like little squiggly white worms trying to escape his face. The red mouth area had begun to smear and 'bleed' past the black mouth-line that had been drawn on his face.

His eyes were buried deep, as they were the only human feature left intact on his fantasy-face.
They glared out, like he was wearing a mask. They were bloodshot and looked unnatural in color, next to all of the white that surrounded them.
They were the only things that were 'real' on him, and they frightened me.
Looking into his eyes was like looking down into his soul, and I felt he could look down into my own soul, as well.

The wrinkles on his forehead betrayed his make-up. His feeble attempts to mask himself under the white grease paint was failing miserably. His clown-hair was matted and uneven and showed it's years of wear and tear.

For a few minutes the clown-beast tried in vain to make me laugh. When he saw that it wasn't going to happen, he appeared to back off.

But then there was a very strange moment between us. He seemed to stop and give me a long look. It's as though the rest of the world around us had melted away and lost interest. He leaned towards me just a little, and he grimaced, and then he winked...... a slow smile slid across his face. He began to laugh loudly.
He then disappeared into the crowd and I never saw where he went. I shuddered and backed away from the trampled tissue-paper flower that lay lifelessly on the sidewalk.

I have never liked clowns. It was moments like those that cemented my feelings and fears of them even more.

More years ticked by and whenever I was anywhere near where clowns gathered, I stood back from them.
I avoided the clowns at zoos, parties, the circus, and especially the Carnivals.
They just seemed to be scarier at Carnivals. Perhaps it's because Carnivals operate on less money, so they have to try harder at their craft...making things last, spending less money on newer props and make-up and costumes...making every dollar stretch.
But I noticed that whenever I was a few feet away from a clown, no matter where I saw him, there was that same awkward, frightening moment between us....that pause....that grimace, and slow 'knowing' wink, and then the maniacal laughter.

I also noticed that the particular clowns that had those 'uncomfortable moments' with me were more and more evil looking each time it happened. They grew just a little more 'demonic' in appearance.

Flash forward to the glorious summer of 1975. I was a newlywed, having just married my high school sweetheart. I had also just graduated from high school and that summer marked the year of my ultimate freedom from parents and high school and all the other authority figures of my age at the time.
The biggest problem of the day in those days was in deciding which album to put on the stereo. You could hear sounds from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Foghat, or even ABBA coming from my apartment.

It was before I had children and a mortgage, credit card payments, and the stresses of life in general.
I was a free spirit, too, as these were my carefree 'partying' years.
I also attended many, many concerts, as did many people my age in that area. I lived in-between Baltimore, Washington, Philly, and New York City. It was the perfect place to be when my favorite bands made their concert tours. A person could actually go to see them a few times within several days, within the general area.
Tickets back then were cheap, too. I can remember getting in to see Fleetwood Mac for $8.99 a ticket, and those were really good seats. You could see just about anyone at that price. (shaking my head)

But that particular summer of 1975 landed me at a Kiss concert. I had heard that their concerts were the most awesome of them all. They were also the loudest and most theatrical.
I wasn't as fond of their music as I was their theatrics. They were said to use fire and flashing lights, explosions, and an elevating drum section that would rise at precisely the right time during a show.
I HAD to see Kiss in concert.

So there I was, it was in July of 1975 and I had front row seats. It helped that my ex-husband's uncle worked for Kiss in the sound department, so me and several of my friends had awesome seats, right in front of Gene Simmons, my favorite Kiss member, for obvious reasons.
;-)

Concerts were much different back in those days. We had freedoms and liberties that are unheard of today. Even though I still attend concerts occasionally, they pale in comparison to the concerts of the 1970's.
Of course, the bands I saw back then were new, at that point, and tried really hard to win their audiences over. It was a more relaxed atmosphere.
Concerts today are nothing like they were back then.
*sigh*

When Kiss finally took the stage, it was every bit as awesome as we had heard. They delivered on every promise made about them.
It was extremely high energy and things were exploding left and right...blinding us for a few moments. Gene Simmons 'ate' fire and spit 'blood' and we couldn't take our eyes off of him. His boots were like two giant laughing Gargoyles.

But then, when the moment came for Gene Simmons to pause and take a small break during the drummer's solo, I saw something that startled me. He looked right at me and his face took on a more grimacing look....his eyes dimmed and he winked at me.... and I SWEAR he had an 'out of clown' experience and became that demonic clown from long ago on the streets of Philadelphia.
I was frozen in my seat....disbelieving my own eyes.
This just couldn't be happening to me. This has GOT to be a bad dream.

The moment passed and Gene Simmons never looked my way again. My friends seemed oblivious as to what had just happened, so I didn't say a word about what I thought I saw.
But it was to be forever etched into my mind as yet another demonic clown experience.
And I thought it was my LAST demonic clown experience, until late last night.

Julie, one of my customers, asked if I ever thought of making a primitive clown doll. I welcome great ideas and thought I'd give it a try. I had never made one before, considering my fears and experiences with clowns....but I saw no harm in making a simple primitive clown.

I had been working on him all week and finished him late last night. I took out a name tag and decided to name my clown doll Harliquin.
My husband was called into work for the evening and before I went to bed, I sat the finished clown in the living room for him to see when he got home.

This morning Les asked me why I decided to make the clown look so demonic. I didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't make a demonic clown.

I went into the living room and I was stunned at what I saw.
There was a demonic clown in the living room, indeed!

He was hideous! And I saw that his name tag had been changed to HELLiquin.


He stood a tall 32 inches and he was dressed in black and white. The white satin section of his two piece suit was aged, and his black pom-poms had little white skulls embedded into them.

I looked a little further up his shirt section and saw a scary pendant of a Pentagram and Baphomet hanging from a chain. And just a little further up, in the middle of his black netting and black lace collar ruffle, he had a black bow tie and in the middle of the tie was a small skull with horns.

Even his feet had taken on the appearance of scary clown feet.

 

 

And in his black fingers, Helliquin held my little 7 1/2 inch tall wooden moose toy.


But the scariest thing on this clown was his demonic face. It was the same evil grimace I had seen on clowns in the past...and now my doll was wearing that same expression.

His hat was made of black velvet and his hair had been made from thick black string. It framed his face in uneven strings. And his eyes....they were absolutely evil looking. They were yellow and halfway hidden beneath heavy eyelids that had been painted black. His eye brows had been pinch-stitched into place and shaded light brown.
Also, his face had been painted white and sanded and shaded in black.

Helliquin's nose was made from a vintage red button and was securely stitched into place.

But nothing could have prepared me for his hideous, evil mouth as it grimaced at me. It was made of black Polymer clay and had been baked in an oven.
His black lips were frozen into an evil grin, exposing his black gums and scary teeth.
And his teeth were made of small nails!

It goes without saying that I HAVE to get this horrible clown out of my house.
But no matter where he goes, or how long he remains gone, I'll never get the image of that face out of my mind for as long as I live!

I just KNEW clowns were evil...I KNEW it!

 

Copyright November 16, 2003 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander

 

 

Special thanks to eBay seller imosh for the pentagram / Baphoment pendant and devil skull charm.

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Disclaimer:

My dolls are not for everyone, they are my art. If you are offended, I suggest you hit the back button. It will not do you any good to write me 'hate mail'. 

In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.. I out-grew a lot of things a long time ago.