Dec 09, 2011 I Jason Offutt

The Mysterious Harlequin — Part Three

Author’s Note: This is the last in a three-part series about Dan Mitchell of Wisconsin, U.S.A., and his struggle to identify the entity that’s haunted him throughout his life – the Harlequin. (Read Part Two Here)

The description of the Harlequin – the shape of the face, eyes, mouth and thin, androgynous body – are similar to reports of the traditional “grey” alien. Councilman Adrian Hicks of Winchester, Hampshire, England, saw the Harlequin in February 2004 and is convinced the entity is extraterrestrial. Hicks walked down High Street at 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday when he saw a blonde-haired girl in a white ballet dress, but what set the girl off from the crowd was her walk. Hicks described the woman as a “humanoid” that walked “with a penguin-like gait,” and was taking keen interest in everyday objects, like a bank clock. “Most definitely an alien,” Hicks said. “I watched her for a very good eight minutes plus.”

Although the street was busy that winter day and Hicks reported someone taking pictures of her, no one else has come forth to say they saw the girl in the ballet costume, Andrew Napier, chief reporter of the Hampshire Chronicle, said. Napier was the first person to interview Hicks about his encounter. “Despite lots of publicity in the local papers and websites, no one has come forward to corroborate what Mr. Hicks said he saw,” Napier said.

However, the drawing made of the entity Hicks saw made an impression on Mitchell. “The likeness in his drawing was the spitting image of what we have here, the collar was identical,” Mitchell said. “I recall he said that someone got pictures of this thing. I’d pay to see those, I really would. Hopefully someone might know something or have a similar story in all of this. Time will tell. I’ve been taking my camera with me everywhere I go.”

Hilary Porter of BEAMS, the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society, said she’s convinced Hicks saw an extraterrestrial. “I feel this is a real encounter and that he is an honest and sincere person,” Porter said. “It must have taken some courage to go public with this, even though others saw her, too.” Porter lives about 30 miles from the site of Hicks’ encounter, and the area is rife with paranormal occurrences. “It is an ancient place with prehistoric burial mounds,” she said. “There have been UFO cases and alien activity for Winchester down the years.”

Karen Totten, who grew up near St. Louis, Missouri, also saw a Harlequin-like entity in the 1970s and, like Hicks, she’s sure it was not of this earth. “I was 17. I was working in a small convenience store when a woman came in to buy cigarettes,” she said. “At first I didn’t pay any attention to her until I saw her hand when she handed me the money.” The woman was small, about five-feet-tall, and thin. But her hand was spindly, white and not like a human hand. Startled, Totten looked up and saw a pale human-like entity wearing a black raincoat with the collar turned up to cover her neck. The entity’s heavy, long wig covered her ears and most of her face, and it wore large black “Jackie O” sunglasses. “This did not entirely hide her strange face,” Totten said. “(She had) a very pointed chin, scant lip and nose. She did not speak.”

The entity took the cigarettes she’d paid for and left. “I was kinda stunned,” Totten said. “Her head was not overly large in comparison to her body, but other details, like her hand, her facial features, were not human looking.”

The Harlequin next door

When Dan Mitchell and his wife moved from their southern Wisconsin three-bedroom townhouse, they kept in touch with their neighbors. In 2010, when Mitchell’s wife called to announce they were moving back into the townhouse in early March, she found someone had been looking for them. “The woman who lives there with her husband she says that her and her husband were up watching a movie (February 5),” Mitchell said. “She had a pizza in the oven and when the timer went off she goes into the kitchen to take it out.” Someone was waiting for her. “Once she gets to the kitchen she is horrified to see a strange woman standing in her kitchen,” Mitchell said. “She says that she knew she heard something, but thought it was the cats. It didn’t sound like the door even opened.” Mitchell’s neighbor said the woman in the kitchen looked like she was wearing a disguise. Blonde hair, big sunglasses, “and overall she was just weird looking.” She also held a key. “She says something like, ‘I have this key for the house next door (Mitchell’s townhouse). I tried it but it didn’t work. I have the wrong key because it opens (Mitchell’s neighbor’s) door,’” Mitchell said.

The couple demanded the woman leave, and she did. “They lock the door behind her and start to run around to the windows to see if she is getting into a car,” Mitchell said. “They wanted a license plate so they can tell the police.” But there was no car and the woman seemed to have disappeared. “They called the landlord and he came out to change the locks the next day,” Mitchell said. “The landlord says he never gave anybody the keys to the houses and has no idea how it could have happened.” The encounter has rattled Mitchell’s neighbor. “She tells me that she can’t sleep at night and wants to buy a big dog to have in the house after what happened,” Mitchell said. Mitchell is convinced this woman trying to get into his townhouse is the sexless, moon-eyed entity that’s plagued his life. “I am starting to suspect that perhaps I am being tracked down,” he said. “I can’t say that there is anything malevolent going on around here, but there is something odd and disturbing.”

It is generational

The Harlequin isn’t finished with Dan Mitchell; it’s getting at Mitchell through is children. “While we were eating breakfast my daughter who just turned four said, ‘A guy came in my room last night and he got in my head,’” Mitchell said. “My heart sank a bit and I can’t know for certain that this means anything. My son has also made mention of someone coming out of the walls and playing with his pillow.” Although it’s sometimes difficult to interpret the words of a child, something about his children’s descriptions sound all too familiar. “In regard to my daughter, the way she said it reminded me of when I was a little kid telling my mom these things,” he said. “The whole ‘in my head’ thing really was reminiscent of the intuitive communication I had with this thing.”

Twenty-eight years after his encounters began, Mitchell is still trying to figure out what this entity is. “My thought is that whatever this thing is, it attempts to fit in, but can’t quite seem to figure things out,” Mitchell said. “In other words, it’s not intentionally trying to scare the dickens out of me, but it can’t fit into our culture for whatever reason. Of course I can’t be sure on any of this, these are just the impressions that I get.” Mitchell has been frightened by this entity, but has never felt threatened. However, now that the Harlequin may be visiting his children, that feeling may change.

The decision

Frustrated, afraid, panicked, desperate, Mitchell wanted answers more than anything. The only place to get them definitively was from the Harlequin itself. “My only curiosity is how exactly does one talk to it?” Mitchell said. “I am of the opinion that if I were to go out for a walk alone one night that I would be able to call it and see it, but to be very honest, the thought is incredibly terrifying.” Rabbi Albin said for Mitchell to rid himself of the Harlequin, that’s what he needs to do – talk with the entity. “This being is attached to this young man and has been for a long time,” Albin said. “His best action would be to try to contact the being and find out what the being wants. It would put his mind at ease and might end up with a friend he never expected.” So Mitchell did.

The meeting in the park

Dreams bombarded Mitchell’s sleep one night in late April 2010; powerful, vivid dreams – and they were telling him something. “The dreams were so profound that I felt as though I had been told to be at a certain location at a certain time, which was this morning (April 29, 2010) before sunrise,” Mitchell said. “Against my own better judgment, I decided to go there while having the impression that nothing at all would happen, and the whole affair would be little more than a wild goose chase at best. I was profoundly wrong.” Mitchell walked out of his house before the sun crawled over the horizon, drove to a park with a playground near his house, and sat on the bench his dreams instructed him to sit on. He took nothing special with him; no cell phone, no camera, no audio recorder, and no weapons. However, as a precaution he taped his driver’s license to his leg in case his wife had to identify his remains. “That is how concerned I became before I left my house,” Mitchell said. “I was so anxious about this meeting that my hands were shaking.”

After sitting on the bench for about 10 minutes, Mitchell realized he wasn’t alone. “I felt that I had made a grave mistake by even showing up,” he said. “It was clear that my mind was not sufficiently prepared for the event.” A tingling grew in the back of his head as if something almost physical was pushing itself into his mind, something that began to swim there. “At that point I distinctly heard a voice say, ‘Do you remember when we used to dance and sing together, Danny?’” Mitchell said. “My heart dropped utterly because it was clear there was a presence right behind the bench I was sitting in. I have never heard a voice so incredibly rich, while possessing no accent or blemish of any kind. As nice as that may sound, this didn’t make this experience seem any less terrifying.” The thing behind him was the Harlequin. “There is no doubt in my mind of this,” Mitchell said. “I was solidly frozen in absolute terror. How I managed to not piss myself is a mystery.”

Mitchell turned his head only slightly and made out the Harlequin’s thin form standing less than ten feet behind him. “It was just as I always remembered it, it was not a ‘grey’ or any other such being,” he said. “It was an old androgynous human-like being that still possessed the features of a child with that typical shocked look upon its face.” But unlike the thing he had always remembered, it didn’t call itself the Tooth Fairy. It gave Mitchell a hint at what it is. “It became clear almost immediately that I entered into the mind of something that exists so far beyond humanity that not even in my most profound moments of despair or spiritual elation, have I ever experienced anything like it,” Mitchell said. “It has a certain animal nature to it even though it is far above the animal kingdom in respect to its self-awareness. I am convinced that it has the potential to destroy the world if it wished.” Mitchell sensed no human morals, no human sympathy in this ancient entity. “This type of being operates by an entirely different set of rules, rules that transcend morality in ways we don’t understand,” he said. “At the same time, as nonsensical as it may sound, there was a genuine care that it had for me this morning. Even though I was completely terrified, and was possibly screaming, ‘Please don’t kill me,’ as I was running to my car, it became obvious to me that it felt a horrible sorrow at my response to what it was. It was as if I had rejected it completely.”

Mitchell’s meeting with the Harlequin lasted only about 20 minutes, but during that meeting he garnered the creature had once been human, but transcended its humanity out of sheer will. “It communicated things I did not want to know or even believe in. It revealed to me how my own view on life, and my reliance upon traditionalism as a worldview, was laughable at best,” Mitchell said. “This bothers me partially because it is almost like saying, there is no God, that idea is a delusion. Quite honestly it’s blown my fucking mind in ways I can barely express.”

Mitchell also got the impression there are more Harlequins out there, watching humanity from the shadows, lurking in the corners of our lives. “They are disguising themselves as homeless people, I am sure of it,” he said. “They are hiding out and carrying out some kind of mission. I say this because on several occasions in my childhood, and in adulthood, she has presented herself to me in such a manner. I want to say that this shocked appearance on its face seems related to the trials it has been through.”

But something about this entity that has flitted about the periphery of Mitchell’s life, something devious, something dishonest, leads Mitchell to believe he’s been a pawn in a grand lie – a job he no longer wants. “There is still a large part of me that considers all of this a deception,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes it seems like the more we think and dwell on things, the more life and expression we give to ideas. That’s really a scary thought, I think. At this point it feels that I have the option to say, ‘No,’ and all of this strangeness will simply end.”

At least, that is Mitchell’s hope.

Jason Offutt

Jason Offutt is paranormal investigator, an author of several paranormal books such as “What Lurks Beyond,” “Darkness Walks: Shadow People Among us,” “Haunted Missouri,” and “Paranormal Missouri” and a teacher of journalism at Northwest Missouri State University.

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