All right, no surprise — this Howdy Doody Marionette Freaked Me Out.
I’ve never really liked puppets or marionettes. I thought they were just creepy. Sometimes my dolls would creep me out as well. But I digress . . .
Way back in the 1950’s, my brother got a Howdy Doody Marionette for his birthday … and I stayed away from it. Gary got good at manipulating the strings and having him walk around and up and down the stairs and even do a little dance, but I wasn’t amused, I was afraid of it — it just wasn’t natural.
Oh good grief!! He even got it to talk … and say my name!!!
I’m not claiming it was possessed, I’m just saying I didn’t like it. Howdy Doody was fine on television, but not in the same room with me. And it was fine for my brother to have as long as he kept it in his room.
Well, it seemed this toy would be in other parts of the house. Maybe my brother was trying to scare me, but he claimed he left it in his room. I guess one day, this little marionette got in my mother’s way and it was put out in the trash.
As my mother admitted decades later when I asked her what happened to Howdy Doody, she admitted to throwing it out. “That thing kept staring at me. I swear it moved, crossing its legs and folding its arms.”
Throughout the day she kept hearing something in Gary’s room. She thought at first I was in his room playing with it, but she saw me outside swinging on my little swing set. Then she thought maybe there was a mouse in the house, but all she saw was that marionette. She studied it as it seemed to study her each time she went into the room. She moved it to the closet and it returned to the desk.
She got a paper bag out of the drawer and put Howdy Doody in it and put it in the trash. When my brother came home from school, she had some cookies for us. She encouraged us to go out to play for awhile, but after dinner when he was doing his homework and I was coloring in a coloring book, nothing was said about the missing Howdy Doody doll.
I asked my brother about it and he just shrugged and said, “It’s gone.”
“Gone? Where?” I asked.
“I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m glad it’s gone.”
Then he leaned closer and said, “You were right, that thing was creepy.”
Sometimes there are real demons possessing items and sometimes things are just creepy with the help of our imaginations . . . or . . . not.
Have you had a similar experience with a childhood toy?
Let me know your real ghost story!!
Thanks for stopping by!