When I was a child I spent many years in hospital due to a recurring issue with my upper respiratory system. I also suffered from many bouts of tonsillitis and when my family moved to another city, I had to get them out. My parents were thrilled to be able to admit me to a children’s hospital, where the facilities were state of the art.
Even though the building was older, the interior was sparkling white and full of wonderful staff and doctors.
When I was admitted, I was taken to the oldest part of the building at the back, where I was seen by a great doctor.
I thought that the ward was bright and happy, as it was decorated with fun motifs and had lots of toys and books.
After the tonsillectomy, I was feeling poorly, so the nurses and the doctor brought ice cream and jelly many times.
On the day after my operation, the doctor brought a clown into the ward as well as a special gift for me: a ukulele!
The problem was, I had always been terribly afraid of clowns
Even though the clown played with the other kids and entertained them with songs and games, he freaked me out.
Every time he looked over at me I felt a chill down my spine. It was like he showed me a different side of himself.
I wondered why the other kids weren’t creeped out by him, seeing as the sinister vibes were pretty intensely obvious.
When he approached me, I felt the air react like it was being snap frozen, as he leered at me over the foot of the bed.
To me, he looked like he lived in a dumpster, as he had a veneer of filth on him like he was spray painted with dirt.
He smiled at the other kids and they seemed to adore him, but when he looked at me – the smile turned vicious.
When the nurse came in to check on me, I asked if I could be moved to another ward. She advised it wasn’t possible.
She asked why I wanted to be moved so I pointed to the clown without speaking. She laughed and shook her head.
She leaned in and said, “There’s nothing to be afraid of, Sweetie. He’s been coming to the hospital for years!”
When she left the ward, the clown slowly turned to look at me
His face twisted into an evil grin and his eyes flashed.
I jumped when I heard the strings of the ukulele strum twice, but then I tried to convince myself that I imagined it.
After the clown left and my parents turned up for a visit, I cried and begged them to take me home.
Mom asked me why and I told her that I was afraid of the clown. Dad advised that he wouldn’t hurt me – to relax.
Then Mom told me that as long as the clown was only visiting during the day, when the staff were there, I was safe.
When they left, I was too afraid to go to sleep, but the nurse came in and gave me a drink that soon put me under.
Many hours later I was awoken by the strumming of my ukulele, which was playing slowly and deliberately.
I tried to ignore it, talking myself into believing that I’d accidentally kicked or pushed the instrument while I moved.
When the strings continued to be strummed, I realized that I could sense something evil in the ward, next to my bed.
Even though I was groggy, I sat up and rubbed my eyes.
When I finally opened them properly I saw a dark shadow
Now the ukulele played violently, like a crazed lunatic was ferociously whipping the strings with their fingers.
Then I saw the deranged clown from earlier in the day, laughing hysterically as he played the ukulele next to the bed.
As the clown leaned over me, I saw the tiny blood drops on his face
I tried to scream but my throat was sore and constricted – far worse than it was several hours earlier.
Then the clown inched closer to my face and he grinned with dagger-like teeth that were red with dripping blood.
Thinking fast, I reached out and hit the panic button on the head of my bed, while the clown started to fade away.
The ukulele fell to the floor as the night nurse came in, turned the panic button off, then picked the instrument up.
She playfully scolded me. “No musical instruments at night time!” I cried out, “It was that evil clown! He did it!”
The nurse laughed, checked my pulse and said, “Nonsense! Everyone loves Flip-Flop. He’s been with us for years!”
When she said his name my blood froze, but I didn’t know why
Maybe it was my small mind going into overdrive.
She put the ukulele on my night stand and laid me back down before leaving the ward. I couldn’t go back to sleep.
Through the rest of the night I stayed awake, mulling over the clown’s name in my mind and then trying to forget it.
I finally fell asleep in the morning, but was soon awoken by the day nurse and the doctor, who tried to get me to eat.
They didn’t believe me when I told them about my visitation and the doctor told me that it might be the medication.
After telling the nurse to change my meds, he handed the ukulele to me and smiled, saying “Don’t forget to practice!”
I couldn’t eat my breakfast and soon fell asleep, only waking in the afternoon when the clown visited the ward.
The children were calling out, “Flip-Flop!” as the ukulele began to strum
I felt a chill running through my body.
When I sat up the clown turned to face me with his vile smile, so I grabbed the ukulele and put it in the drawer.
For the rest of the afternoon, he left me alone - but after dark – the visitation took a creepy and nasty turn.
Later, I was woken up by the distant sound of the ukulele. Once again I was groggy but my heart was racing.
Then I saw the clown creeping towards the foot of my bed – with the ukulele in his hands – strumming violently!
I tried to scream but once more – my throat failed me. When he crept along the side of the bed – I got out and ran.
It was odd that the nurses couldn’t see me as I ran past their station and I knew that the clown was right behind me.
As I raced down all the hallways, trying to find a way out, I heard the crazy ukulele as the clown gained on me
When I reached a dead end, I remembered the words my father had always told me: “You have to face your fears!”
This seemed so idiotic to me now, but I trusted my father, so I turned around and backed against the wall.
The clown seemed to be ten feet tall as he bore down on me with his terrifying smile and jagged, dripping teeth.
Suddenly I knew what to say, so I yelled in a hoarse voice, “Give me my ukulele!” He stopped and shrunk four feet!
I realized that he was now a “normal” clown, with a happy smile and a kind face. He handed the instrument over.
I was speechless when he disappeared and I was left holding the ukulele, which I still have in my possession!
Hospitals can be frightening for anyone and even more so for little children – but it’s a totally different experience when the hospital is haunted!
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