You might need to sit down for this, because I'm about to tell you the scariest TRUE story of all time. Are you sitting? OK, good.
Once upon a time there was a giant animatronic clown named Louie. Things were going well for him. He had a great career as a mascot for Kansas' huge Joyland Amusement Park (not the same location as Stephen King's Joyland, but equally as creepy) where he enjoyed playing the organ. Fans lined up daily to watch him play, smiling and posing for photo opportunities.
But Louie's musical talents weren't enough to keep the amusement park afloat, and the park closed in 2004 after 55 years of operation. Joyland was abandoned, and Louie was left to fend for himself in the desolate grounds. Little did he know things were about to get even darker for him.
The only thing scarier than a clown playing the organ is the person who would steal said clown. Wikipedia
Authorities aren't sure exactly when he went missing, but they assume it was sometime in either 2005 or 2006. Valued at $10,000, you'd think someone would have tracked down Louie's captor immediately. Sadly, no one reported Louie was missing until 2010.
Who could have stolen this historical clown? How would someone conceal a giant, organ-playing clown for years? Would Louie ever be found, or would he be across the globe, never to be seen again? These are all questions authorities asked to no avail. That is, until this year.
Now, I warned you in the beginning that this was a scary story. And if you've been creeped out just by reading about a seemingly harmless robot clown, this next part might be enough to give you nightmares for the next couple of weeks.
Authorities received some tips, leading them to the house of 39-year-old former Joyland employee Damian Mayes. During his time with Joyland, Mayes built and repaired organs, which is fitting since that was Louie's instrument of choice. Oh, and he is also A CONVICTED CHILD PREDATOR, BECAUSE OF COURSE HE WAS.
Yeah, this pervert is much scarier than a clown. Wichita Police Department / KSN
According to local news station KSN, Mayes "is serving a prison sentence for a 2010 conviction for aggravated indecent liberties with a child..." So, yeah, this story is essentially the plot for a horror film so messed up that not even Rob Zombie would want to direct it.
Louie was returned to his rightful owners, but there's no guarantee that he'll ever be the same clown he once was. Honestly, if his smile weren't painted on, I doubt he'd ever smile again.
Is this why clowns in movies go on murderous rampages? Were they all forced to hang out with the scum of the earth? If so, can we even blame them for lashing out?
The only good thing about this story is that Mayes will add grand theft to his list of charges, extending his prison sentence for a much-deserved time. The bad news is that you'll probably never be able to erase this story from your mind. Good luck sleeping tonight!