I was reminded of this by a Facebook conversation with my Sister:
I’ve thought about it and tried to find things online about it.
I found about 2 mentions of it on the entire internet and they were pretty useless.
Here’s how I remember it…
Sometime around 1991 when I would have been 9,
There were rumours of men going around Glasgow & Lanarkshire (Where I lived) in transit vans dressed as clowns.
Royal Blue Transit Vans.
The story goes that these guys were escaped psychopaths from Carstairs Hospital hell bent on disfiguring and murdering children in the area.
Myth? Rumour? It probably was but friends of mine who are the same age as me and from different parts of Scotland have told me that the story was around in their schools at the same time too.
I think that there must have been something in it.
Just enough truth to build on y’know?
Because I remember an assembly being held in my School.
All the children were told to go straight home at the end of the day and “If you even see a Royal Blue Transit Van children, Run!”
…Like all Holy Hell all the way home.
That was always at the front of our minds when we walked home everyday.
We’d talk about it on the way and the stories (Probably invented by our imagination) grew and grew.
In Mossend when I was really young, there was a gypsy camp a stones throw from my house.
Apparently, there was a gypsy called Tommy who would cut both sides of your mouth open then pin you down and tickle you whilst jig-sawing your face with a blade.
In Bellshill at the time, that wasn’t that far fetched.
I’m laughing like a looney tune as I’m typing this!
It’s funny now but see when you’re 7?
It’s fucking far from funny my friends!
Far from it.
I don’t mean to go off on tangents but I need to tell you this:
Later when I was 12, I made friends with a gypsy girl whose name I’ve long forgotten.
She stayed in a caravan at the camp near my house and one day she invited me to her home and her Dad goes:
“Who’s this then?”
She said: “Oh this is just Alan from School”.
Then her Dad goes: “Well nice to meet you Alan. My name’s Tommy”.
I instantly thought to myself: “It’s Tommy The Gypsy!”
I nearly had a massive stroke right there and then folks!
Anyways back to 1991:
That ‘Tommy The Gypsy’ story got lumped in with the clown Story and it became:
‘Psychopathic men dressed as Clowns going around knifing and kidnapping and jig-sawing children’s faces in a Royal Blue Transit Van’.
I’m almost positive that it made the papers at the time but I haven’t found anything yet.
One time when me and my pal Stephen were walking through a lane,
A Transit Van pulled up slowly blocking the bottom of the lane.
That lane was our only way home.
We fucking rocketed right down passed that van and Stephen gave the back doors of it a boot and shouted something imaginative like “FUCK YOU! YOU CLOWN FUCKS!”
(Even as kids we knew how to swear!)
…But I couldn’t give the van a kick.
I was too scared.
But then again,
Most kids’ experience of clowns in 1991 was Ronald McDonald.
My folks let me see and read whatever I liked.
My experience of clowns in 1991 was Pennywise!
If any of this even rings a slight bell with you, please post your stories here on this blog ‘cause I’d love to hear them.
Especially if you grew up in Lanarkshire or Glasgow.
Even if you’re from anywhere else actually!
If you have a similar story involving Clowns, post it here and we’ll try and get to the bottom of this.
I’m not scared of Clowns.
I’m 28 Years Old.
But all the same,
I’m still really wary of Royal Blue Transit Vans.