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The Sims: Sonny the Tragic Clown

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Sonny the Tragic Clown staring down...

To this day, I honestly have no idea or explanation what, why, or how this happened but I will never touch the game ever again… It has haunted me for the longest time and I will never go back…

To those who never played the game, I’ll try to keep the beginning descriptions as brief as I can. The rest of you can have your nostalgic moments.

If you’ve ever owned a PC to play games on ten years ago, you must be familiar with the game The Sims. However, if you’ve played the game enough, you’d know that it could also get a little too creepy for your liking. For instance, whenever all of your sims are asleep, on random nights a burglar would appear. When this happens, you can hear a very creepy tense tone that gives you that tingling shiver throughout your body as he creepily walks towards your property. Of course, if you’ve done the rosebud cheat, you’d have the burglar alarm installed in your house for sure and it would go off as the burglar nonchalantly walked into the nearest door he could find. It’s as if they don’t let you install a lock on those goddamn things. Then the policewoman would arrive and arrest his dumbass. You then get a reward for apparently “catching a wanted criminal” which is nice. The same creepy tone plays when your sim misses work or gets fired from it.

In another instance, whenever a fire occurs, a tone similar to the burglar music plays… except it is possibly 3x creepier. Then the firemen arrive and your sims can help attempt to put out the fire. After the fires are out, the firemen just walk away like nothing happened. Your sims act like nothing has happened either. That is if nobody was killed during the fire... If someone was killed, the grim reaper will arrive and do his thing over the dead body. You can use your sim to beg him to bring the dead one back to life. If your sim is happy and has mostly green on the needs bars, you can gamble against the reaper and you’ll most likely win, thus saving your dead sim’s life. If the begging sim has mostly red, the reaper will turn him down and a tombstone will appear in the dead sim’s place.

Attempting to find the creepy music on youtube would be helpful before reading this… If you’re brave enough…

Now that you have the gist of it, here comes one of the most haunting moments I’ve ever had in my lifetime… I really wish this would never have happened to me…

It was winter of 6th grade when I was staying up on a Friday night playing the sims. It must have been around 10:30pm. I got bored with just playing with my rich happy family. So I decided to go to my spot home to the miserable family that I created for some fun. It was home to many tombstones scattered in random patterns. Just based off of that and the fact that the sims had names of people and kids I didn’t like back then, you could easily tell what I had been up to. I always chose that spot to conserve memory. One even had the name Osama Bin Laden who I killed with a firework rocket. Ironic right? So I’m going through the sims, all of them have red needs bars. I decided to make these two guys fight and beat the crap out of each other, I made the one kid stay in an isolated room with only a bookshelf to see if he’d actually read a book out of cabin fever and other sick things like that.

However, there was something odd about this particular sim who I would specifically torture to my liking. After a while, Sonny the Tragic Clown arrived to the “house”. He’s basically a miserable clown that comes to your house if your sims are too miserable for an extended amount of time. He spends his time walking around trying to do tricks that fail miserably, crying, coughing like a guy who smokes 3 packs a day and pissing off your sims. He just makes your life suck until you get rid of him. Now he would be the worst victim suffering under my wrath. Everyone would always slap the shit out of him and insult him. I had the other sims torture him like there was no tomorrow. I just thought it was funny. For every time I was waiting for a sim to complete a task, I would do something to make Sonny miserable. I even made someone call the sim with my actual name (lets call him John) to come over just so John could slap him too.

Eventually, every sim starting hating Sonny so much that they would slap the crap out of him, insult him, and even just flat out attack him without my command. Now I thought that was pretty funny at the time. It got up to the point where I just loved seeing Sonny miserable. John was able to attack him and that’s not normal because when I created his personality traits, I gave him a full “Nice” meter. Sims with a high “Nice” meter only have commands which are courteous to other people like “Hug”, “Give Gift”, “Flirt” and “Compliment”. Even so, I just brushed it off not bothering to think anything of it. Sonny became the symbol of everything I hated.

At this point, my mom told me I should go to bed soon. I should have listened to her…

This is where all the mayhem began, starting with the worst mistake I’ve ever made…

After a while, I got sick of messing with the clown and couldn’t stand hearing him cry all the time. I did everything I could to try to make him leave. Making the sims slap him, insult him, tell him to leave. Nothing worked. So I figured it was time to get down to business. I set up a firework inside the house, launched the rocket and let it crash down which started a fire. The bone chilling music started playing. I had the doors taken away and timed how long it would take them all to die a fiery death. One of the women were the first to go as she started screaming and flailing her arms helplessly. Then one of the guys were caught in the spreading blaze. Eventually the sims started cooking and the fire reached Sonny who also began flailing his arms and screaming. I felt a sense of evil pass over me as I gave my computer screen a morbid gaze along with a kiddy sadistic smile. The same smile you’d expect a kid to have when he’s burning ants with a magnifying glass.

But another feeling passed me by alongside the evil feeling. Something just wasn’t quite right. I’ve watched sims burn before and they all flailed their arms the same ridiculous way. This time it was very different. The sims seemed to scream in no other way I’ve known before. Their cries weren’t as if they were being funny stepping on hot coal but as if they were calling for help. Begging for help. Begging and pleading like they knew I was there and was the cause of all this madness. What really got to me was that they were screaming at a louder volume than I thought I had my speakers at. They were turned pretty low as it was but I quickly turned them down a little. I had a strange feeling from this and a slight bit of fear but I attempted to shake it off. Then my time of humor was short lived… After I was apparently doing nothing to help them, their cries really invoked the pain, sorrow and suffering. Looking around the fire, two of the sims had already fell to the ground while the others were still flailing in vain. One or two of the sims seemed to be looking straight at me calling for help. I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought they were facing me because that’s how they were facing before they were caught in the blaze. But then… As I skimmed across the house, there was Sonny. He too was facing me. He was different… Something wasn’t right about him. He was flailing his arms like a maniac. He was screaming like the Joker except much more sadistic and insane. The way he was shrieking and wailing kind of made me feel scared. Plus it was cold so I shivered a little. He was facing directly at me and giving me that creepy clownish look. Only this wasn’t just any type of clownish look.

This type of look that Sonny was giving me was a glare of insanity in its purest form. I never knew if he was supposed to look like that, but he did. It was as if he was staring into my soul past the screen. His morbid face was full of disbelief, anger, depression, rage and heartfelt hate. His blank beady clown eyes were facing perfectly on line with me. Never have I seen such powerful emotion from a video game character, let alone many at once. Hell, I’ve never seen someone in real life give me that type of stare. Then he just stood still. Just like that. Like he was just standing at idle although he did not shake the evil look upon his face or the fact that he was being incinerated. It must have been a glitch I thought. I hope it was a glitch…

Just then I heard a camera shutter noise. It was the screenshot camera going off automatically. It usually does that whenever something eventful happens while you’re playing. So I clicked save and clicked on my photo album to check what it was and it was a picture of Sonny inside the fire. The caption said something like “Got that darned clown” which I found to be funny but more eerie because of the situation I was in. There, in the photo too, he was doing the same exact death stare. It filled me with such a grim creepy feeling that I click out of it right away. I thought about it and clicked on the photo album again to delete the photo. The game froze for a bit. Then without warning the clown photo sprung up again. It might have just been me but the photo appeared to be slightly zoomed in. I clicked the delete button. Nothing happened. I got frustrated and clicked it again repeatedly. Then you could hear the clicking get slower for a second and stop. The game froze on me.

At this point, I was quite freaked out. I was trembling. I could feel all of my pores bumping up against my clothes as a chill ran down my spine. I ducked under the desk, reset the computer and booted the game back up. I then remembered that I completely forgot to check the time after the sims died. It was 11:30pm. Still having the willies, I decided to play the game again. But something was odd. There was no sound during the intro and the color seemed to have a weird tone to it. All the flamboyant colors seemed to combine into one and filter the screen. Every color was either purely red, white, blue, yellow, or green. It just didn’t look normal, I felt like my monitor was going bad. The conga music wasn’t playing during the loading screen either. Just blank nothingness. When the map appeared, I checked my speakers because there was still no sound. I turned them up but still, nothing. For some reason, I decided to go visit what was left of the family I just slaughtered.

When I got there, there was nothing left. Everything was burnt and there were ashes everywhere. There were tombstones inside the mediocre building. I looked to where Sonny had died and I found nothing. Nothing but a painting on the wall was there. It was a painting of him that you can buy from the store. I really regret taking the closer look to see it because now I saw what looked like him in a much creepier state. It was depicting him in a dark shade. He looked as if he was staring someone down. I decided to play as my happy family to get it off my mind. So I go to the menu and clicked to go back to the map.

Now, I have no idea if I just got a glimpse of it or it’s been like this the whole time I wasn’t looking, but for a quarter of a second I felt like the face of the clown in the painting glanced up right at me in the eye…

Getting another one of those chills, I selected my happy family. The house that I constructed for them was specifically designed to have very similar architecture to my actual house if not exact. It was nighttime in the game. I even had the one kid turn on the cartoons to make myself feel better. But here’s when the strange part started… The other kid decided to interfere with the cartoons and put on the horror channel. I kept trying to switch back to the cartoons but he would just change it to horror after five seconds. I just sent the kids to bed and had everyone go to sleep. Time sped up since nobody was doing anything.

Suddenly, a message popped up saying “Three More Days…” and that fucking creepy ass burglar music blared out my speakers. It took me so unexpectedly and by surprise that I jumped back in my seat making a huge thump. I forgot I had it that loud. The biggest shiver ever turned into a spasm of panic and fright. Next to the message was Sonny’s face staring at me straight in the eyes. I was so frightened I couldn’t move or respond but stare for two straight seconds. My heart must have skipped a beat and it was beating faster than ever before. I took the mouse and clicked the crap out of the “OK” button. Of course, just my luck, the game froze and I was left to suffer through Sonny’s face staring at me. I was about to reset the computer when the message finally went away. Thank God. I turned on the buy menu so I could hear some of the calming music except I turned the volume down a lot. I couldn’t hear it. It was glitching or something. Maybe the music wasn’t working properly. Eventually, I went about my business as usual doing everyday tasks while still freaked out about the message.

Then, when I sent everyone to bed, that haunting message appeared again. The music didn’t play at first so I thought it didn’t go off. It did. There was a delay just to fuck with my head and throw me off. It didn’t scare me as much but it still creeped me out. Nothing was different except this time, the message said “Two More Days…”.

Freaked out, I got my CD player and played some Green Day to cheer myself up. All to my convenience, the batteries died in the middle of the song “Holiday”. That really didn’t help at all. Still, I decided to push on. To this day, I don’t know why I wasn’t too deterred to press on. But I did it anyway. I went to sleep quite restless thinking too much. Maybe if I just let the game go for the night it will all go away…

My younger brother was also addicted to the game so I decided to ask him about if he knew anything about it. I even accused him of doing it to mess with me. He just responded by ridiculing me, saying that I was just making it up to scare him. I believed him when he said he didn’t know about it. Besides, I was kidding myself to think an elementary school kid could figure out how to do something like that. Even before I could. Especially not that well planned out.

I also attempted to look it up online. All I found was BS. Nothing.

The next night of the game, which I was playing Saturday night this time, the same thing happened except the message said “ONE… MORE… DAY…”. The tense spine chilling music blared out my speakers again. How?! I don’t know, this time I had the speakers down almost all the way. The only thing that could have made it more silent was if I muted and unplugged the damn thing. I didn’t bother to even look at Sonny’s face but from my peripheral vision, it seemed like his mouth was open in a very devilish way. Damn game lagged again and I looked out the window until the message went away. It really didn’t help that the game seemed to be getting me ready by displaying a clown on the TV, a random clown picture that I have no recollection of putting on my wall, and a bush outside looked like a wig. Trust me, you’d have to be there to see it or else you would have no God forbidden idea.

This really was a sick joke. I was thinking who could have done this? Why would they? I was only 12 years old. It’s not like they could see my reaction to get any enjoyment out of it. So why do it? Is it even a joke?...

I proceeded to go about my sims’ daily business when they woke up. I bought a bunch of new stuff for them and touched up a few things. I also sold the clown painting for $1 and replaced the TV. I tried to do everything I could to keep the clown out of my head. Out of sight, out of mind. Things looked a little up from here…. Right…?

At this point, there came the worst and scariest time of my life. My heart would have beaten a Kenyan runner on steroids in a heartbeat race. No other moment haunts me like this does today. In all sincerity, paranormal times like these are like a turning point in life…

A message popped up while everyone was still awake. This time, it wasn’t the burglar music that played. It was the fire music. It shrieked out my speakers so loudly because I wasn’t expecting it. It struck fear into me as if I just got punctured by 1000 needles. My spine tingled so much, I was petrified. I might as well have hit rigor mortis. There it was. The message. It had Sonny’s face on it again which seemed to have a demonic smirk. When I read the message, I could feel myself turning pale. My body felt like it was shutting down from the neck down to my whole body. My eyes widened without my control. Believe me, if you could ever feel your pupils dilate, this is what it would feel like.

The message said, “THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO. HE’S HERE.”

It really killed me to type that… Let alone read it…

I tried to click “build mode” but it wouldn’t let me. It was as if the burglar came and didn’t let you do anything. I got my sim his wife to go somewhere inside the house where they could escape. Once I got them in order I realized something. The kids were playing tag outside…

Oh no… Oh God no…

The next thing I know, one of the kids run away to the backyard while the other just stands and stares while his back is turned to the sidewalk. I didn’t want to watch but I just couldn’t look away. The clown slowly creeped down the sidewalk. The kid just stood there like he had no idea what was going on. The clown walked until he was on line with the kid… THEN TURNED… He walked towards the kid and I tried to get him to run away or something. Anything that would get him the fuck away from that goddamn clown. I must have clicked the mouse 40 times per second. Nothing. Then the most horrific thing happened. As if the clown was a burglar, he bent over the kid and the kid disappeared! Right when he disappeared, the burglar music shrieked. An image flashed onscreen for a millisecond but I couldn’t make it out in time. Sonny was then holding a sac just like the burglar. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My jaw just fell open involuntarily. I didn’t even feel or notice it much because my body was so numb with fear and panic. I watched in horror as he walked after the other kid who was running around the house. To my surprise and awe, Sonny did the smart thing and went back the other way towards where the kid was running around the house. There was no hope. The kid ran right into him around the front left corner of the house. He too was “scooped up” into a sac along with the burglar music playing. The image flashed onscreen again. I couldn’t make it out but I know for sure it wasn’t something good or something I’d like to see. The clown then proceeded to not walk but RUN out of the scene. As if it wasn’t creepy enough, those sims run really fucking fast in a jolty-like motion. My other sims stood in the house doing nothing until the clown from hell was gone from the scene.

Then, all of a sudden, my sims darted out the door towards where the kids were taken and started screaming in horror. An expressive speech bubble that symbolizes a loud noise appeared above each of their heads. Nothing was in them. Now I’ve heard sims scream before but again this was different. The screams were bloodcurdling, despair inducing, terror striking, and very realistic. My speakers weren’t that old but they definitely could not have produced that realistic of audio quality. It seemed like a small person was actually inside the speaker screaming at the top of their lungs. The sims then began to sob and cry in their hands. Likewise, it was a very realistic sounding sobbing. I could literally put the speakers under the desk and you would think that there’s somebody sitting under the desk crying like they’re living in complete purgatory.

The image from earlier flashed onscreen again and I managed to press “Print Screen” just in time. God help me, if my timing was just a tiny bit off then I wouldn’t have to see what I just screen capped.

At this point, I was on the verge of tears. My vision was blurring, my lips were trembling, I was shaking violently but I could not take my eyes off the terror. I was even whimpering like a scared baby. I lost it. I tumbled off my chair. I went to go play some music. I listened to some tunes and let out the longest piss I ever have in my entire life. When I got back with my CD player in hand, my original plan was to quit the fuck out of the game. I was done with this crap. I didn’t care if I had to play Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron for the rest of my life, I just wanted the fucking game off the computer. I got back in about fifteen minutes. I noticed I hadn’t paused the game. Touching my mouse caused me to scroll down just to see what was happening. There was only one sim left. That sim was the one with my name on it. The wife was nowhere to be found. None of their faces were available in the navigation bar except for the remaining sim. He was just standing in the house staring blankly at nothing.

The music played again. The clown from hell was back… Coming to get the last of what he started. I wasn’t in the mood for taking this shit anymore (not like I was 3 hours ago). I had the sim call the police then walk out the back door and go to the left. Not to mentioned I muted my speakers for real this time. Sonny walked into the house nonchalant like he knew I was just there. He creeped around the living room, dining room, the kitchen and a little bit of the family room. It was like he was looking for him. After searching around and finding nothing, for some odd reason he decided to touch the TV and it broke instantly. Then sat on the couch watching it like there was something on. After a moment or two, he stood up abruptly. It was like he just had a sudden thought. He proceeded to walk out the back door and go the same way my sim did. I quickly commanded the sim to walk around the front and towards the back. The clown followed his tracks.

Then came the worst part for worst night of my life…

Since the architecture of the house is just like my actual house, the computer room is upstairs and in the back right corner. My sim was walking around the corner towards the back with the clown walking about the same speed. But here’s the scariest part. Once my sim reached the back left corner of the house, Sonny was beginning to reach the back right. I heard something outside. I didn’t dare push aside the curtains so I just listened. I listened hard. The whole time Sonny was walking around the back right, I could hear footsteps silently crunch on the ground outside the window. It was around what seemed like the same spot too. When Sonny stopped to turn to the left, the footstep sounds outside stopped and they too sounded like someone turning around… Then they just continued once Sonny started walking again. The footsteps outside slowly faded out…

I couldn’t do it. I went crazy and absolutely ballistic. I force switched off the computer. I ran and opened the door to my mom’s room crying while so scared. I leaped into the bed and under the covers in one motion and would not come out. I started crying. My mom woke up instantly, concerned. It was too hard to talk at the time, so all that I managed to say under my hysterical crying was “I’m scared, I wanna sleep here”.

The next morning, my brother was playing the game asking why I just left the computer on without pausing. I stared at him for a second, then just walked away. Once he got off, I took the disc out and put it away. You have no idea how much I wanted to smash it to pieces and put it in the trash but I would have gotten in trouble for it. But then I remembered how I screen capped the image. The computer was on all night long so it couldn’t have forgotten the copied image. I opened up Microsoft Paint and clicked “Paste”…. The image that came up was horrifying.

If I can remember correctly, it was a picture of Sonny. He was standing on the same spot where he died. It was a closely zoomed in image. He had an obvious smile on his face that showed rotting gingivitis ridden teeth ground into sharp points. It looked like the Stephen King’s IT clown. That was it. I deleted the image and took the game out.

To this day, it still haunts me. I still question what it was. As Stephen King says, eliminating the word “how” is what really gets to you. Such an unexplainable event occurred and baffles me. Why did my speakers go off even though I muted them? Why did the footsteps stop after I turned the computer off? Why did Sonny decide to mess with my head? Hell, why did it have to be after I tortured him for so long? I guess sometimes things can only go so far until they snap.

If you’re ever wondering what happened after, here’s something I find really strange. I logged onto the game about a couple years ago and from what I remember, all the houses in the game were wiped clean as if I never built a house or did anything there. It was a bit unsettling looking at an open field which was once the domain of houses I created. All but left, there was an eerie graveyard in place of the house I used to torture the sims. I have never touched the game ever since. I never even bothered to get the Sims 2 when it came out.