When I was five years old, my grandmother got me a stuffed clown for Christmas. This was the last thing my grandmother got me before she died the next year. It was a rather sudden passing and the cause was determined to be an overdose. Now, from the time I remember pulling the clown out of the box, the toy scared the life out of me. My mother told me I wasn't to be rude and to enjoy the gift my grandma had gotten. My grandmother told my mom that she got it from a friend whose grandkids were scared of it.

The toy, itself, was a little begrimed, two buttons had fallen off the clown’s shirt and a button where the eye should have been was missing. The only reason my grandmother had gotten it for me is because she remembered how much I enjoyed the circus when we had gone. Thinking back though, the clowns at the circus had disturbed me just as much as the doll. Examining the doll more closely, I found that a crudely scribbled name on the tag of the clown said “Blinky”, I figured that was the name given to him. The rest of the day was uneventful, I opened the rest of my presents, we had Christmas dinner, and then my relatives left for the hotel they were staying at. 

That night I had put Blinky in the closet with the rest of the toys I had gotten, and although I was extremely exhausted, I was not able to get to sleep. I kept tossing and turning, a restless feeling I could not get to pass tormented me for about two hours before I finally got out of bed. Turning on my desk lamp and rubbing my eyes, I thought I heard something, it was very faint and almost sounded like laughter. However, this laughter was deep and slow. My blood ran cold when I realized the noise was coming from the closet. Thoughts are rushing back to Blinky. I could only contemplate the horrid thought that this crazed laughter was coming from the doll.

Knowing I’d never get to sleep, with thoughts of what might be in the closet, racing through my head as I approached it. The soft laughter stopped when I reached the door. Slowly opening it, I was both startled and relieved when I saw Blinky sitting there staring at me, I didn't remember putting him on top of other gifts, but at this point I was so tired I couldn't really remember for certain. I picked Blinky up to see a small pull string hidden under the flaps of his clothes, pulling it made the doll emit a low laugh, the way it faded out at the end made it seem like the batteries were close to dead.

Deciding I’d deal with the batteries to that terrible thing in the morning, I closed the closet door and made my way back to bed. Sleep embraced me until around four in the morning when I was awoken by the laughing again. Cursing the malfunctioning toy, I made my way to the closet, but upon opening the door...

I felt more confused than anything when Blinky was nowhere to be found. Hearing the laugh behind me, I whirled around to see a chuckling Blinky sitting at the foot of my bed facing me. In a panic, I picked up the doll and hastily tossed him out of the room into the hallway before hiding under my blankets. I must have passed out while waiting because I woke to my mother scolding me for playing so late. I asked her what she was talking about and she pulled me out of bed to the kitchen. In the middle of the kitchen was Blinky with chairs all around him.

Confused, I told my mother I didn't do any of that, of course she didn't believe me. That was the last Blinky ever bothered me, my mother, annoyed because she thought I was lying, took Blinky away and kept him in her closet and after about a month, I completely forgot all about the toy (a child's mind doesn't view things like that as strangely as an adult would).

That was all 14 years ago, now I’m 19, I have a good job, I just got an apartment, and I start school again in a few months. When I was unpacking my things at my new place, I found Blinky at the bottom of an old box of clothes. Seeing him brought back memories of that Christmas night, all those years ago, and the memory sent chills up my spine. I put the doll on the couch and phoned my mother to see if she was who packed him. When I told her what I had found she said that she did no such thing, she was going to pack the doll for me for nostalgia, but when she went to her closet to get Blinky down she couldn't find him anywhere.

Turning around, while on the phone with my mother trying to figure out how the toy had gotten packed, I nearly dropped the receiver, Blinky was gone. One second he was on the couch as I was talking to my mom and the next minute he is gone. I didn't mention this to my mother; I simply told her goodnight and hung up the phone. I spent the next three hours searching the whole apartment for any sign of Blinky or even if anything just looked out of place. After the search turned up nothing, I gave up and headed for bed feeling a little uneasy. The next morning I had completely forgotten that I had even seen Blinky again, given that I had so much to do.

After about 3 months of living there is when things started to get strange. This one area in the hallway had begun to smell of curdled milk and rot but no matter how much I cleaned the walls and carpet the smell would not go away, I had to resort to putting a scented candle on a table where the smell is strongest. I also noticed that things seemed to disappear, nothing large, but things like a screwdriver, a mirror, lighters, candles, random snacks, but the weirdest one was when a pound of beef I had bought vanished in the 10 seconds I had been turned away from it.

Lastly, I noticed that lights would be on that I turned off when I left my place, doors would also lock and unlock on their own but this was the extent of it, nothing more significant ever happened. Always having believed in the paranormal though, none of these things ever bothered me, as long as I or anyone I brought over was never harmed whatever was in the house could coexist with me peacefully. I even began to say goodbye when I left my apartment as if this phantom could hear me. Then things took a turn for the worse.

One night I could not get to sleep, and around two in the morning, I was going to my kitchen for a drink when I passed the spot in the hallway that always smelt. Looking down though, I saw a very faint glow coming from a vent that was on the wall by next to the floor. Looking even closer, I noticed this vent wasn't screwed into the wall, all the screws were missing and it was just hanging there. Returning with a flashlight, I got to my hands and knees and pulled off the vent thinking a dead animal was the cause for the smell. The aroma that wafted out was tenfold that of what you could smell when walking past this vent. I held my breath as I went up to my shoulders into the hole on the wall, and to this very day that is the biggest regret of my life. Shining the light around, I saw what looked like a small room, there were half eaten and mutilated rats in one corner, the whole back wall was covered in my belongings that had went missing, there was a picture of me surrounded on both sides with candles and a black hole in the picture where one of my eyes should have been.

Terrified, I backed out of the hole and put the vent back on, taking the screwdriver I had found inside the hole and screwing the vent completely back on. Feeling a lot more relieved I went to my bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed. That’s when it hit me, whatever had built that little sanctuary had been doing so for a long time, I had cut off its only access into its home while it wasn't in there, that means it knows that I found its home tonight and if it’s still in the house, it won’t be able to get back to its sanctuary. I sat in my room with the door barricaded and all the lights on that night, every little noise or creak made my heart jump. The hours seemed to go by as slowly as days would when finally rays of sunlight drifted through my window; I let out a sigh of relief.

The sun gave me a sense of security that was surely not promised. Stepping into the hallway I nearly fainted at what I saw, the ground was covered in dead rats and what looked to be the black remains of the food that had gone missing all that time ago. The vent was ripped in half and the hole in the wall looked bigger, scrawled on the wall in viscera said “go to where it all began”. I grabbed my coat and left the apartment as quick as possible. I called my work and took the day off, then I made a straight shot to my mother’s house, she was at work, but I knew where the spare was. I walked into my old room and almost immediately felt as if I was being watched. As if I knew why I was there already, I instinctively grabbed a chair began to unscrew a vent on the ceiling.

When the cover was off of the vent, I poked my head through and proving my assumptions correct, on the inside of this vent was a small room similar to the one I found earlier, this one was missing all the gore, though a lot of my personal items from my adolescence were in there. It was then that I realized just what this “thing” was. It was Blinky, he had been watching me all those years as a child and now he has followed me to my new residence.

In a panic, I rushed out of the house and made a beeline to where my grandmother used to live, I’m not sure what compelled me to go there, but I felt as if it was the right thing to do. The house had been condemned for ages now as no one bought it after her death. I remember she always left a spare key in the back next to the fence so it was easy to get into the house, but as soon as I stepped in I became very uneasy. The house was unusually cold and no one had come to get any of her old furniture, things were exactly as I remember them only with a fine layer of dust. I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for, I just had to see if I could find some sort of clue as to what was happening. I walked into my grandmother’s old bedroom and almost fell to my knees, on every single wall was a shelf lined with stuffed clowns. I had never seen these before and I know for a fact my grandma did not collect these things. They all had button eyes that almost seemed to glow and all of them had a malicious looking smile. I was looking for a vent to possibly find another hide out when I heard something.

“I killed her ya know, she wouldn't give me her eyes” the voice was hushed and deep yet cheerful in way I could not describe, it was right behind me and I could even feel icy cold breath on my neck as the words were spoken. I turned quickly to see no one behind me, yet all the clowns on the walls had shifted and were staring looking down at me. Then all of sudden, a roaring laughter like the sound of a thunderclap sounded. Every clown in the room had started an awful cackling at the same time and begin to twitch as if they were animating before my eyes.

As one of the dolls fell off the shelf and landed upright on its feet, my mind came back to me. I bolted from the room and out of the house. Driving away, I glanced back at the residence and saw the bedroom window…rows of button eyes and malicious never changing smiles lined the windows as all the stuffed clowns watched me flee. I wished I never looked, for the image still haunts my dreams.

I was at a loss, I didn't know what to do and I couldn't ask anyone for help, they would think I was crazy, though padded walls might be safer than being locked in my room. After being up for three days without leaving my room, the exhaustion became too much to bear. I fell back on my pillow and sleep came quickly. I woke up to an overwhelming stench of rotten milk as a glowing eyed Blinky stood over me, “Hi friend! Do you want to share?” I tried to get up but I couldn’t, I was bound to the bed by my hands. “What do you want?” I shakily asked the doll, “oh its simple, I only want my other eye” the doll said while its smile stretched so far the stitching around the mouth began to rip.

“But why me?” I asked, “Well your grandmother didn't want to give me her eyes so she gave me to you. Of course I couldn't take it when you were younger, but now that you're more developed you can still survive the removal.” I thrashed about as the clown turned around but it was to no avail. This terrible thing approached my head and as I started shaking, he pulled a spoon out, “now just remember to keep smiling” Blinky said as he thrusted the spoon into the bottom of my eye socket while laughing all the while.

All I could see was red, the pain was unbearable and I screamed till my lungs were ready to give. I felt my eye dislodge from its socket as I flailed about madly. Blinky was laughing maniacally as he held my severed eye in his hand. The binding on my right wrist came lose as Blinky was stitching my eye into the spot where his was missing. I quickly untied myself and punted the clown against the wall as I ran for the door. I stumbled into the hallway holding my head and bleeding profusely. As I was nearing the front door, I heard Blinky’s laugh coming down the hallway. Turning around, I saw him running jerkily towards me, my eye crudely stuck where the missing button used to be.

My adrenaline kicked in again I began to run despite the pain. I jumped into my car and drove. After about two miles I heard a scratching on the roof, slamming on the brakes I saw Blinky fly into the street. I grabbed a tire iron out of the trunk and ran to where Blinky was. I beat him until there was nothing left but bloodied cotton on the street. Looking up, I saw I was in the middle of a busy street surrounded by cops who had guns trained on me. 

That was two weeks ago. As I write this I’m sitting in an asylum, I know how it looks and I can’t blame them, there was a doll with my eye stitched into it, a vent in my house covered in dead rats and gore, I hadn't been to work or school in three days, they thought it was a basic case of psychosis. I know what happened though, I know what I saw, and that is why I write this. Believe me or not that is your choice, but know that nothing is ever as it seems.

There is evil in this world we are all blinded to or just refuse to see. I don’t want to see anymore evil, so I’m going to finish what Blinky started. I've already made a rope, from my bedding, I can’t go on like this. When I close my eye I can only see that evil clown and in my dreams all I can hear is the laughter, and today when I looked in the mirror for a split second I saw a red button where my eye used to be. This is the end for me; I apologize to my friends and family, especially the ones who tried to help me when I was institutionalized.  You can call this a suicide note if you want, but in reality I know my life ended on Christmas day when I was only five years old.

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