Far from the pavement, in a weed-choked field, lies an ordinary looking house. It's old, of course, and has been abandoned for years, but there are several that look just like this one. If you were to walk inside, you would see rotting walls and missing floorboards. A certain odor would permeate the air around you, a smell of dust and mildew. All of the rooms are dreary, and the doors are missing. (Does anyone know you're here?) All of the doors except that one farthest from you. The floorboards creak and groan under your weight. You hold your breath and reach for the knob. It turns easily, and the old door creaks open. It's a bedroom. The wallpaper is cracked and peeling, but through the ancient layers of dust and cracks, you can see them. The clowns, that is. Clowns juggling, clowns laughing, clowns doing cartwheels. The carpet below your feet is filthy, and it smells awful. A single window by the old bed frame in the corner has been boarded up from the inside.

A closet opposite from the bed appears to be empty at first. But you can see something at the top. Reaching up, you pull a box from its dusty spot on the shelf. You set it down gently and open the lid. VHS tapes. You count five of them. They are not labeled, and you wonder what's on these tapes. You leave the box on the floor, and as you are about to leave, something catches your eye. The carpet looks a little strange in one corner of the room. A perfect square has been cut into it. A small opening, perhaps? You dig your fingers into the opening on one side, and lift the section of carpet and floorboard up. It is an opening. Just enough room to climb down.

You feel the rungs of a ladder and carefully make your way down. It doesn't go down very far, and now you seem to be in some kind of cellar. It is very dark, and you pull a flashlight out of your jacket pocket that you brought just in case. It illuminates a hallway in front of you, and that's when you see the paintings. Vintage paintings of clowns. Covering the walls of the hallway. You can feel their eyes on you as you walk quickly towards a door at the end. (Leave now, it's getting late.) You get a sick feeling in your stomach as you turn the door handle. It reluctantly turns in your hand, and you step inside.

A single light bulb on a chain swings from the decaying ceiling. It illuminates something in the center of the room. A man, sitting in a chair, his back towards you. Dear God, the smell is horrible. You feel bile rising up in your throat. An old camcorder on a tripod is set up in front of him. The chair revolves. You grab the top and spin the man towards you. You scream then—you scream loud enough to wake the dead. The man is nothing but a rotting corpse; he's been sitting here for a very long time. His decomposing face still retains some of the white clown makeup that has been painted on. Hints of a sickly red smile still remain. The light swinging overhead... it doesn't make any sense. Who turned the light on? Why was it still in motion? The corpse seems to stare at you, as you stand completely still, frozen to the spot. That's when the light goes out. It's pitch black now. A cold hand suddenly grips your shoulder, and that's when the laughter starts, a horrible laugh that easily drowns out your screams.

Submitted by: Midnight Storytime