Pennywise the clown feeds on the fear of his victims. He’s every nightmare you’ve ever had, your worst dream come true, everything you were ever afraid of.
One of my most vivid childhood experiences was watching Tim Curry’s 1990 mini-series adaptation of It. It absolutely crippled me, leaving me traumatised and trembling at the sight of clowns even today in my twenties.
So, if I was sitting outside, enjoying the fresh air, and a Pennywise doll descended into my back garden like an unholy force of evil, I would absolutely shit myself.
Renee Jensen, 42, was relaxing with her boyfriend, Alex Papazian, outside their Harrington Park, New Jersey, home when they caught a glimpse of something in the air.
Jensen told the MailOnline:
All of a sudden we saw it come through the tree line across the yard without hitting one tree and clear the top of the gate at an angle… I turned it over and saw the face and let go of it immediately and yelled for Alex.
It was a cartoon, plush doll of Pennywise; the nefarious, child-eating monster at the heart of Stephen King’s novel It and the latter two adaptions (1990 and 2017, respectively). Complete with a fake blood-soaked face and creepy outfit, it also had mysterious, cult-like symbols on its forehead.
Spooked by the airborne gift, the couple phoned the police who came and searched the house for any other clues – however, they didn’t find anything. Renee said they did a great job of helping, and asked cops if they wanted to take the doll away, but they declined.
We asked them if they wanted it. They said no. It wasn’t part of an actual crime so I guess they didn’t feel the need to take it. But they wouldn’t touch it. They were being half serious, half joking.
After the police left, Renee had a dilemma: what on earth would she do with the doll?
With many other objects that playfully find themselves floating into your garden, you may well attempt to find the owner, or keep it in hopes the owner comes to find it. But when it’s a fake blood-soaked Pennywise the child-killer clown doll with mysterious symbols on its head, the only thing left to do was burn it.
Killing Pennywise wouldn’t just be as easy as lighting a match – the doll wouldn’t catch fire at first, due it likely being coated in a flame-resistant chemical. She tried soaking it in olive oil, to no avail. Eventually, with the help of newspaper as kindling, the doll began to burn.
That night, Renee was left in the house on her own as Alex was away for work, and the kids were with their father. Renee was so spooked she ‘had to leave the house for a couple hours’ as well as going to bed armed with a kitchen knife.
Since I don’t own guns, I thought a knife for the evening would be appropriate. I couldn’t even fall asleep until super late.
Mercifully, Renee made it through the night without any clown-based interference. She insists the doll appeared to ‘float’ through the trees before landing outside her house.
The best explanation we have is that it was possibly a drone. Nobody could have launched that thing into our yard from any angle around our property.
Renee read King’s seminal horror novel when she was younger, but hasn’t seen any of the films as she ‘hates horror flicks’. ‘That kind of stuff gives me bad dreams, I had bad dreams last night,’ she said.
It’s only a few weeks until Pennywise makes a return to our screens in IT: Chapter Two. Following on from 2017’s first film, the sequel catches up with the Losers’ Club when they’re all grown-up, still haunted by the nightmares of their youth.
Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and Bill Skarsgård as the terrifying antagonist, it’s set to be a darker and more violent beast than its predecessor, and hits UK cinemas on September 6.
Check out the trailer for IT: Chapter Two below:
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.