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Puppet People


I've been a frequent visitor of YGS for several years now (longer than my profile suggests.) I can even prove it: Hey Rook, how's the Cleansing ritual coming along? The page-long version I printed out 2 years ago was quite helpful.

Point being, I know the drill. This is a place for REAL ghost stories. And I can promise you that the tale I'm about to tell is wholly nonfiction. Whether or not the events as I remember them actually happened in the manner described is of course debatable. But the story itself is not something that I have intentionally made up.

I am a freelance writer (see: broke dreamer) by trade and have been known to make up numerous stories with the sole intention of entertainment and, a handful of times, I have even exchange them for actual money (much to my own bewildered amusement, I can assure you.)

So, though it may be the standard knee-jerk reaction to hear "writer" and think "liar", in this instance I can promise you this is not the case. In fact, the story I am about to recount is not one that I would want to claim as a fiction writer. Nothing much happens in it, plot-wise, and the climax sort of leaves you wanting.

Still, it's probably the single scariest thing that has ever happened to me and arguably the one experience from my childhood that has affected me more than any other.


The first time that I encountered something "supernatural", I was about seven years-old and faking sick so I could stay home from school because this kid who had been picking on me during recess.

So, there I am: Faux-sick and lounging on the sofa in my grandparents' living room when the sound of my grandmother coming down the stairs filters in from the foyer. I quickly close my eyes, getting into character.

I hear my grandmother enter the den and shuffle around for a moment, gathering her things. The jingle of keys, the snap of a wallet. After a few more moments of shuffling, I hear the side door in the attached rec-room shut and then a car starting outside. I wait a few beats just to be safe and then open my eyes...


The sound comes from the attached rec-room I just mentioned, which is actually an add-on my grandfather had converted from a two-car garage. The room is fully equipped with a wraparound sofa, a stocked bar, a closet full of G.I. Joes, and a large state-of - the-art stereo system circa-1991 ("Five CDs on a large rotating Frisbee? What decadent madness is this?!")

Though, right now my focus is on the toy closet. The only thing that divides the den and the rec-room is a four-inch carpeted drop and so I can see clearly across to the closet, which is built into the room's far-wall. And, to a 7 year-old Clarence's wide-eyed amazement, I can see that the closet door is slowly opening.

I can't move. My eyes are fixed on the door as it casually swings open. This isn't a draft or overzealous hinges. Something is wrong here. I can feel it in my bones (just as clearly as I do now, years later as I type these words.)

"Is she gone?"

The voice is a distinct whisper, clear and yet somehow not right. The way it seems to hum on the last syllable of every word, sort of like the vibration you hear when a bass-note is played through an old amplifier. I can still hear that voice as clear as day in my memory. I wish couldn't. But I can.

Puppet People

A friend that I confided in requested a sketch. The one on the left was the "pinch-er", which made the experience even more creepy.

The first one leans out.

He's shorter than the doorknob and looks, for lack of a less ridiculous reference, like a humanoid puppet from the American children's show Sesame Street: fuzzy light pink "skin" with a shiny black "nose", big cartoonish eyes and a tuft of troll doll-like hair atop his football-shaped head.

The only difference is this little guy isn't being puppeted by anyone and his legs are clearly visible. Seven year-old me is so fascinated by this aspect that I am suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to get closer; to get a better look at this puppet-person. My fear takes a backseat to my childish curiosity as I begin to sit up.

Then comes the GRUNT...

What seems to be an affirmative response to the first puppet's question; this new voice brings me to a halt. If there was something vaguely creepy about the first one's tone, then this second one's voice is down-right disturbing. People don't sound like that. (Make the "uh-huh" sound without opening your mouth. Did it sound sort of like "mmm-hmmm"? Now imagine that sound but louder and with a bass-like hum to it.)

The first puppet exits the closet followed by his nearly-identical companion. The two of them are only visible for a moment as they hurry behind the rec-room's wraparound sofa.

Once again my fear subsides, giving way to curiosity. Trying my best not to make a sound, I slip down off of the den's sofa and slowly crawl across to the rec-room. The first puppet is now apparently bending over something behind the rec-room sofa and his little denim rear-end (they're both wearing faded grey denim overalls) is now poking out from behind the wrap-around couch.

I make my way across the rec-room, still on my hands and knees, following the long end of the wrap-around sofa over to where I can see the first puppet's butt poking out. I'm inches away when I finally stop crawling, too afraid to go any closer. I can't even bring myself to poke my head around the bend in the sofa. So instead I simply reach out and place a hand on the puppet's back, saying in a timid whisper "Hey..."

The thing instantly whirls around, its big puppet eyes now glaring at me as I retract my hand. It leans around the corner of the sofa, bringing us face-to-face and I open my mouth to say something, though I'm not sure what it would've been.

The puppet darts out a hand and pinches my arm. HARD. Harder than I have ever been pinched before or since. Hard enough to break the skin on my forearm and inevitably cause a small scab to form.

Without a thought, I'm up and across to the side-door and then out onto the lawn where I wait for what feels like hours until my grandmother finally comes back. She starts to scold me as she exits the car, something about faking sick just so I could go outside and play... But then she sees my face.

At first, I don't want to tell her what took place. Even at seven years-old, I'm aware that these kinds of things just plane don't happen. But then she asks about the tiny smear of blood on my arm and I break down.

I tell her a condensed version of the story. I even admit to fake-sleeping earlier when she was leaving after my grandmother tries to insist that it was all nothing more than a bad dream brought on by the fever I had been faking all day. I don't admit to faking sick, of course (that would just be reckless.) So the conversation ends there, at least as far as my grandmother is concerned.

For me, though? To this day, it's still a constant debate. Am I simply crazy or did scary-ass puppet-people actually dwell in the toy-closet of my grandparent's rec-room? (I didn't say it was a logical debate.) I can remember weeks afterward sitting in class or wherever and looking at the scab on my arm and every time thinking: Oh yeah, that happened... That ACTUALLY happened.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Clarence, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
6 years ago (2016-10-31)
Hello good people of YGS and Happy Halloween! It's been a couple of years since I posted this story about one of the most defining moments of my life and since I shared the tale with you fine folks, a lot has changed.

Specifically, I got a book published. It's fiction but borrows heavily from a lot of my paranormal experiences IRL. Anyway, thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this story, you might dig the book:
Wish-Not (16 stories) (534 posts)
6 years ago (2016-05-20)
Clarence- HOLY ****! Kuddos to Tweet for bringing this story to my attention. That's just some crazy stuff, changed the word there. This was written before I joined and would have missed it if it wasn't for Tweed.

The theories are blowing my mind. So glad I was able to read this one Clarence. Wish you had some more to share. Granted not like the puppet people but great writing skills.

Drat though, I'll be thinking about this tonight at bedtime. I am real good at bringing things to bed with me and they join right in on my dreams.

*side note* will be building my great niece a toy box soon. Sigh, it will have a lock on it now 😁
Oatcake (2 stories) (6 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
I have submitted two stories to the site totally separate from this story (still awaiting approval) purely because I never even thought the puppets I saw were real. But reading all these accounts has sent shivers down my spine and I just don't want to think about it anymore. At the same time I had dreams of 'cartoon' people looking like people I knew in cartoon form. I don't know if the two are linked but again I hate to think about it. I remember vividly the last dream I had about them. They told me they had to leave & were hugging me one by one. Then I never dreamed of them again. The two probably aren't linked but because they are so bizzare, they are encounters I haven't really told anyone.
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Oatcake, glad you've come back I was pretty distracted yesterday and didn't say all that I wanted to about these puppet weirdos.

Biblio, yeup there's been at least one other encounter that I learned of recently.

Firstly Oatcake, here's a link to a similar experience I had.

In the comments of my story a member named Ladydarke recently linked me to a similar story she read about on another site, here it is.

Also a member named Dani9119 commented on this story (Puppet People) about something similar. (it's one of the older comments down below)

So it definitely seems there's something going on here! With regards to their appearance the one I saw poking through the curtain in my encounter looked somehow less toyish and more animal. Bit like a cross between a rat and a dog, but 'he' (they sounded male) still had the same smooth 'cloth' like skin as the others, and all had round black beady eyes.

I get the sense whatever these entities are they're of the 'fae' ilk, meaning a type of nature spirit, fairy or goblin, that sort of thing. But that's just a theory a few of us have kicked around.

Really glad you've spoken up about what you encountered. No smoke without fire if you ask me! 😊
Oatcake (2 stories) (6 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
My kids are watching The Furchester Hotel as I type this. The characters I saw were actually slightly smaller than the muppets/sesame street characters now I'm looking at them. Its all very odd anyway to see others have seen the same.
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1082 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-12)
Greetings, Clarence; Welcome, Oatcake; Hi, Tweed!

I remember that I enjoyed reading this story when it was first posted, and -as Clarence has indicated that he gets e-mail alerts when someone comments on this page- I'll admit that I'm fascinated by the idea that there is a commonality to the experiences each of you had in childhood.

Oatcake: The muppet you describe is 'Beaker,' the hapless lab assistant (read 'victim') to my first favorite oblivious/heartless genius, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. (I have accumulated others: Professor Branestawm, Sherlock Holmes, The Brain -Animaniacs!-, Dr. Gregory House, but I digress...)

Since Tweed has mentioned their Fae attributes, I suspect that these entities may not look like puppets to adults. If they've got an "innocent appearance" defense of some sort (think of the nouns "glamour," "seeming," and "thrall"), then puppets would appear to be gentle/innocent (despite Beaker's flipping the bird to Michael Caine as he leaves Scrooge's office) to children. Even scary-looking muppets -Harry, Oscar the Grouch, the Count, the Two-Headed Monster, Statler & Waldorf, etc.- have cartoonishly exaggerated features to minimize the fear response in children.

Has any adult seen such entities, or have the sightings all been childhood memories?
Tweed, you're one of the most interactive/open individuals with whom I've discussed the supernatural, faerie, elementals, etc.; have you run into any reports which would suggest an alternate appearance for the same "species" based upon the age of the witnesses? I may be barking up the wrong tree (or howling at the moon, given how much of this posting has sounded in my head as I typed it), but there may be something to this.

Oatcake (2 stories) (6 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-12)
I don't think it would be long enough to submit. I just remember lying in bed and the door creaking open. There were 5 of them peeping round the door like one below the other (the heads) if that makes sense? And they said "boo!" Then they ran over to my bed but they didn't sound like described here it was higher pitched. I can't recall if it had happened before but I remember telling my dad the next day to not let the muppets tickle me anymore. I had always thought it was my imagination but reading this has made me feel all funny and pins and Needly haha
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-12)
Oatcake, would you be up for submitting your encounter to the site? I would absolutely love to read it, so would others here. Really glad you found the story and commented. 😊
Oatcake (2 stories) (6 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-12)
I just came across this and had to comment. I've seen similar and always put it down to dreams and haven't ever really mentioned it even when talking about the paranormal with friends.
They popped their head around my bedroom door when I was about 3 or 4 and said boo and started talking like fast gibberish then came to tickle me. I remember one looked like a Muppet I'd seen on muppets Christmas carol. One with orange hair and like a long face. Similar to that. I had the biggest chill reading this story I just can't believe it!
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
7 years ago (2015-02-26)
whhaaat the hell?! I saw some critters like this when I was about 3 or 4! Not exactly the same as your sketch but definitely of that ilk! Felt like skin, tuffty hair, oval head etc. I chalked it up to a childhood imagination but something's always gnawed away at me about that conclusion.
There's something very Fay about their demeanour, I agree.
I know this story's not recently posted but I just noticed your comment and have to say Clarence, thanks so much for sharing and Wow!
God I love this site.
Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
7 years ago (2015-02-26)
[at] francyne1031:

My memory of their skin is pretty much just like you pictured it: a sort of soft-looking felt-like material or whatever they make puppets like Bert and Ernie out of (I tried to Google it but couldn't find the answer, so I'm simply going to assume it's felt.)
francyne1031 (49 posts)
8 years ago (2014-11-03)
I have read this story over and over again, I would have to say it is one of my favorites. I did have a question about the look of the "puppets" did they have a lifelike texture or was the skin (for lack of a better word) cartoon like? I was just wondering what they were covered in. I keep picturing the material that puppets are covered in and I would like to know if they were more lifelike in appearance?
Again, I love this story! I've been wondering this site for years and since you posted it, I've enjoy reading it! Thank you again for your response. Hope all is well:)
Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
8 years ago (2014-05-25)
[at] angel0037

First let me apologize for not seeing your comment before now. I had email alerts set-up for replies to this story but somehow missed yours. Which is a shame because the driving force behind what ultimately got me to do this...

To put my experience down into words for everyone to read and openly discuss the length and width of my crazy-pants...

Was so that, at the very least, I could finally have other people to talk to about it. People who were willing to listen without hearing the word "paranormal" and immediately knee-jerk reacting so quickly that you're worried they're going to pull a tendon. Honestly, since the dawn of language, has there been any single word that has generated more eye-rolls than "paranormal?"

I guess that's why it's so frustrating when you HAVE encountered things that defy reason, but I digress...

Q| "[...]Did your Grandmother go to check out the rec Room after you told her your story?"

A| Nope. She seemed 100% certain that I had dreamed the whole thing and then woken up home alone and simply freaked out.

Granted, I was 7 years-old and by no means a boy-genius, but I was at least bright for my age. I was into video games and the X-Men. I wasn't the type to make up stories (says the writer.) At least, I wasn't prone to lying about stuff that happened to me or sentient puppets in general.

Thing is, I DON'T remember a lot of stuff from my early childhood in much detail. But I remember the "Day of the Puppet People" VERY clearly. More clearly than I remember any nightmare or lucid dream (and I've had a good deal of both.)

And my grandmother? Well... Let's just say she's a bit of a character. "Adamant" would be the polite way of putting it.

Q| "Is the house in which this incident happened, still in your family?/ Do you have any pictures of the rec room?"

A| My grand-peeps' sold the house in 2001. But if you would't mind providing an email address, I can send you the Google Earth coordinates of the house. Out of respect for whoever lives there now, I'd rather not post the location in the comments. But if you're at least curious to see the converted garage, it's plainly visible from the outside.

I'm positive we have pictures of the rec room somewhere. Give me a day or so to search and I'll post them on her.

Q| "And did the 2nd puppet see you at all or make any reaction when the 1st one pinched you?"

A| Neither seemed aware of me as they exited the closet and from where I was when I crawled over, I was only able to see the first one when I put my hand on his back and he stood upright and sort of leaned around the corner to glare at me.

Not sure why, but as soon as I got close to where they were, I became extremely uneasy, especially about the idea of poking my head around that bend in the wraparound sofa. And then once he spun around and pinched me like that, my little 7 year-old brain went into full-on "F*** THIS!" mode, and I bolted without looking back.

Once again, sorry about the less-than-prompt response and I sincerely hope that you don't miss the notification for this reply.πŸ˜‰

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

Honestly, in a way this is all quite therapeutic. Answering everyone's questions allows me to recount the events in a rational, dare I say it, "sane" way which is far better than simply running them through my own head over and over and where most of the time the only exchange is...


"I know, right?!"
angel007 (1 posts)
9 years ago (2013-07-24)

I LOVE stories like this one. Ghost stories such as "I saw a ghost one night in the hallway and it was spooky and I was scared" bore me. Paranormal stories of the same nature as this one totally fascinate me. I have been lurking on this site probably since 2003, but have never signed up until I read your story and just had to comment on it. You do have excellent writing skills, and artistic talent as well! Thank you for taking the time to write this, and providing us with a sketch. I have to say that the first thing I thought when I saw the feline-like puppet was that it looked like the cat character from the 90's children's show "Allegra's Window." Just an observation.

I guess the few questions I have for you is did your Grandmother go to check out the rec room after you told her your story? Is the house in which this incident happened, still in your family? And did the 2nd puppet see you at all or make any reaction when the 1st one pinched you? I would have been terrified to ever go into that rec room ever again. Do you have any pictures of the rec room?

Please excuse all of my curiosity, but I just find your story fascinating. I know if it had happened to me, I would never be in that rec room again without thinking of the Puppet People.

THank you again for sharing such a unique story. Now that you got me to finally sign up on this site, I will have to recount some of my stories.
tomtomjh1983 (11 posts)
9 years ago (2013-06-03)
Logic is relative, if you ask me. It implies a certain actuality with a limited basis to specify an event or situation indefinitely. After all logic at one point dictated this world to be flat, and at the center of all creation. Until proven otherwise.

Now what those things were is anyone's guess. Apparently they hadn't noticed you and you scared the crap out of them.

I'm not even going to speculate as to the origin or nature of these strange puppet people. And for some reason this story reminds me of Alf. LOL! But good luck and please stay safe, God bless!
Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-23)
[at] zetafornow: A reasonable conclusion. Honestly, if it hadn't happened to me personally, I'd probably feel same way.
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-22)
Puppet people? Serious. Now I am not trying to be disrespectful here but I do believe that you are a writer and were at seven-years-old with an over-reactive mind. Nothing wrong with that.

Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-21)
[at] LillyPieLindsay: Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed my story as much as I enjoyed getting it off of my chest. And regarding your toys, LOL!

[at] pringles: Thank you for reading it. And I don't blame you for your initial reaction. It took me a while to deal with the reality of this experience. I was in denial for a long time and when I would recall that day, my first thought was also usually "yeah right..." But as I got older and the memory of it refused to fade along with the rest of my childhood, I finally accepted that SOMETHING happened that day whether I liked it or not.

Lsandhu: IMO, your alien theory isn't totally out of the realm of possibility (especially considering my story is fairly insane to begin with.) I shared this experience with a friend who had a similar hypothesis. Personally, I have a 101 theories as to what these things could've been and each of them sounds equally ridiculous when said aloud.

Which leads me to once again thank you all for such sound and reasonable feedback. And on the internet of all places. That's almost as strange as the story itself πŸ˜‰
lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-20)
I kmow this is not the right site for this suggestion, but I'm just going to put it out there as a possibility. Could this have been an alien encounter? I've read some aliens have been described as very small and stout creatures wearing what appear to be blue coveralls. I could see your 7-year-old brain interpreting what you saw as puppets wearing denim.
pringles (3 stories) (16 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-20)
ive just read your creepy story and at first I thought yeah right but when I got to the end I was reading with my mouth open. Good story and one for my favourites thanks for sharing x
LillyPieLindsay (35 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-20)
Wow, that is an extremely creepy story, fiction or not. Can see why people pay you to write, you certainly have a knack for it. These are the types of stories I love managing to get out of people. Sometimes the most unassuming have the most brilliant and creepy stories. Definitely going into my favorites. Now I feel justified for weighing all my toys down with weights at night and feeling they were just inherently creepy.
Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-20)
[at] Silene02: Do you have a link to the story? I'm terrible at Spanish but I'd love to try and mutter through it.

[at] Shlain: I honestly can't account for every toy that was in that closet. At that time there were at least 5 grandkids that had secondary toys in there and my cousin John swears I had an entire Voltron set in there that I didn't know about. So I couldn't say for certain if your theory is possible or not, but it's definitely interesting.

[at] Lady-Glow: Honestly, that's a good point. At least they didn't look like ventriloquist dummies. That probably would've messed me up way more.

[at] TessaTeddy1998: Lol! Oh Google ad-generator, you are hilarious. Seriously though, sorry about the missed sleep and everything... Thanks for reading?
TessaTeddyBear1998 (5 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-19)
i just finish reading this and then I see an ad for cuddleuppets and I think to myself,"i am never getting one of those." and now I think I am going to sleep in the living room tonite away from the toy bucket in my room. By the way I didn't need to sleep tonite anyway
lady-glow (13 stories) (2924 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-19)
Back in my native country some people believe that some toys shaped like gnomes can come to life to cause mischief during the night.

At least the puppet-people on your story look like cartoons, it would had been terrible if they resembled ventriloquist puppets -those things are really spooky!

I really enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing!
Shlain (13 stories) (246 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-19)

The only thing I can think of is perhaps those were actual toys that were in the toy closet, but that they were animated by some kind of entity/entities. It did seem however that they had no interest in you to begin with until you tried to communicate.

This story is very well written. Great writing skills πŸ˜‰
Silene02 (4 stories) (65 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-19), this story made remember on from a Latinamerican woman that I read in the Internet (in Spanish), but in her case this puppet was a sort of clown, one meter high and the puppet scared her and slap her many times before her mother got into the room to see what was going on.
Silene02 (4 stories) (65 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-19)
uhhhh! This story was really creepy, gave me the chills!:- (
Clarence (2 stories) (24 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-18)
Thank you to everyone for reading my story and for all of your comments. It means a lot to finally get this one off my chest.

H2olily: I'm definitely an open-minded person as a result of my encounter. I feel like this experience defined the person I am today in a lot of ways. I'll definitely check out your story as soon I get the chance. Sounds pretty creepy just by the title.

Dani9119: The internet is an amazing place. I was so sure my experience was wholly unique and now that I hear your story, I don't feel so crazy-pantsπŸ˜‰ Thank you. Did they resemble my sketch at all?

Rook: There was nothing in the foot or so of space between the couch and the rec-room wall except for an unused outlet. In the years since that day, I've wondered about that a lot myself but am still no closer to an answer. Either way, I'm glad to hear you're still around. It's people like you and the advice you give to others that keep me coming back to YGS.

Bizzjoe: That is a fair question. The honest answer is it took me a long time to build up the courage to tell this story. Since that day I've had a handful of brushes with the supernatural but they were all much more, for lack of a better term, "conventional" and I knew if I was going to share them here that I needed to start at the beginning. I probably typed out the above encounter at least four times before I actually got the courage to finish it. And let me tell you: It is an amazing feeling to be able to finally talk about this story with other people who don't immediately assume I'm nuts. I plan on sharing more of my experiences but, just for the record, I never saw the puppet-people again.

Norway357: I'm glad you enjoyed my story. All of these responses have made it worth the effort to finally put it down on paper. I've only shared this experience with 2 people in my day-to-day life and one of them suggested that maybe my child's mind wasn't able to properly process what I was actually seeing, which could explain why they looked so much like Sesame Street characters. Just a theory, but I thought it was pretty sound.
norway357 (2 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-18)
This is very eerie... Sounds like something out of a nightmare. It is interesting the things that happen to children, but everyone seems to think it is their imaginations. Creepy stuff.
bizzjoe (1 stories) (162 posts)
9 years ago (2013-01-18)
well I have to say I really enjoyed this story... It was deliciously creepy, the way stories on this site should be... BUT... You say you have been a long time visitor to this site, in which case I would have thought you would have submitted your story long before now...? Its hard to know who to trust these days...

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