There's a reason why I'm afraid of puppets, clowns and mannequins. In 1966 we lived in Sacramento, California. I was 11 years old at the time. The school year was about to begin and my whole family would go out shopping for school clothes at this big department store called Newberry's. It was the same ritual every year. My mother would pick out the clothes for my brothers and me. We would try them on in the fitting rooms, then go up to the second floor using the escalators (which was neat) and look for shoes. We would be there all day. After a while I would get bored and restless.
On this particular day, I asked my mother if I could go to the toy section with my younger brother. She was hesitant at first, but decided it was alright, just as long as we didn't wander off. We went down to the main floor where the toy department was. We walked by some store mannequins. I noticed how life-like they looked and mentioned it to my brother. We came to a male looking one that was wearing a swimsuit and holding a beach ball. I started posing like this mannequin, making funny faces, acting silly. My brother was laughing. Then I looked around to make sure no store personnel were watching. I took the ball from the dummy and started to really pose. My brother was cracking up!
I put the ball back and in a silly voice thanked the mannequin. After an hour or so, our mother came down and called out for us. It was time to go. Everytime when the shopping was done, we'd go and get something to eat. Yeah, I was hungry, I was ready. My brother ran up ahead of me.
As I was walking past the swimsuit mannequin, I noticed it didn't have the beach ball anymore. Again in a silly voice, I said something like, "We have to go now, Mr. Dummy." As I turned away, I felt a hand softly run down the back of my head! I'm not lying! I quickly turned around. There was no other person there -- just me and the mannequin! I started running toward my mother. I was scared! As we were walking out the store, I looked back and the mannequin had one arm up like it was waving goodbye! Oh my God!