Stories and Songs

The Fantom Phactory -- Circus Clowns From The Grave -- The Robot Revived -- Suspensorama -- Son of Pumpkinstein -- Lonely Ghost -- The Revenge of the Colossal Beast -- Dracula's Darling Daughter -- The House on Cemetery Road -- Terror Tunnel -- The Farmhouse Manor Tragedy

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Horrendous Clown Incident Part Two

The Horrendous Clown Incident - Part Two.

August 13, 1965.

     It was a mildly hot and extremely sunny day in August but darkness was lurking around the corner for Victoria Summers.  She, and her husband Fred, just arrived by car from Cockeysville in Baltimore County Maryland. They were on a one week’s trip to visit their old hometown Mobile Alabama and spend some time with some old friends and also especially Victoria’s aunt Mabel.

     Mabel had moved out of her little white house with picket fence and daffodil garden to the ominous-looking Dixie Nursing Home, a converted cotton mill and warehouse made into a final resting home for sick and aged residents on their way to the world beyond. Mabel sold her house to pay for her medical bills of repeated broken hips and surgeries; the nursing home was her last choice and she had no one else to take care of her.

      Mabel, nevertheless, was a lively, full-spirited woman who loved a good laugh and a tall tale. She had made several friends and tried to liven up the old depressing place by discussing the missing clown incident of 1952.

     Getting a willing ear, or cornering someone in her wheel chair, she would recount that when the bones were found by the game warden that the police did not jump at an investigation, as if they knew bones were one day to be found. Obviously, this was her spin on what the police may have thought, however, Mabel was none-too-shy to divulge what she thought. Her biggest question was - Why in the world would the police want the bones reburied where they were found. After all, whenever a dead John Doe is found, he is buried in the Potter’s field in the county cemetery.

     Her neighbors gave various credible reasons: one being that if the bones were reburied, maybe the killer or killers would return to the scene of the crime. The other reason, more practical, is that the expense of interring four groups of human remains would cost the county four interment fees and other labor costs so they were just dumped backed into the hole they came out of. Mabel, however, still insisted that somehow or someway the police themselves were involved in the foul play.

     Cornering another resident in the home, Mabel correctly stated that “. . . to this day, no one, and I mean no one, ever put out a missing person’s bulletin for one man let alone four clowns. On top of that, no one, and I mean no one, ever found the ’48 Plymouth that they supposedly drove off in. And now, more than 10 years later, no one, and I mean no one, has ever re-dug and found where them darn bones are!”

     Mabel’s “discussin’ and supposin’” came to an abrupt halt when her eyes opened widely as Victoria and Fred entered the room. “Auntie! How you doin’? I missed you soooo much!” shouted Victoria, loud enough to wake the dead, perhaps, just those sleeping.

     “Oh Vickie! I’m so happy to see you – I think I’m gonna cry – but I won’t, HA!” shouted Mabel.

     Then Auntie looked at Fred, with her smile dropping out of sight she glibly said,
“Oh, Fred, so you’re here too.” You see, the truth be known, Mabel never took too kindly to Fred, especially since the last time they saw each other. At that time, he egged her on about the clown story and bone investigation. Mabel had been real sour on Fred ever since.

     “Yes Mabel, my arm was twisted so I guess I’m here. Are you still cacklin’ like an old hen about the clown murders?”

     Victoria was just about to chastise her husband, like a good wife would when Mabel grabbed Victoria’s arm, winked, and said to Fred, “Yep, I sho am and if I thought you was a little older, you sorry pain-in-the-rump that I wouldn’t put it past you, knowing how you are, that you yourself could’ve had somethin’ to do with it.”

     “Oh Auntie please! You’re just throwin’ gasoline onto the fire,” lectured Victoria.

      Too late, for Fred was ready in this match-up. “Mabel, you know nuthin’ about nuthin’. You know nuthin’ ‘bout me, nuthin’ ‘bout how old I am, nuthin’ ‘bout where I’m from, or who my daddy was. And, Mabel, you sure know nuthin’ about any bones or clowns. I ain't even gonna ask you if you know what kind of car I have – well I have a nineteen and forty eight Plymouth, just like the one those clowns had,” he said, giving it to her.

       Mabel quickly leaned forward in her creaky old wooden wheelchair and whispered “Plymouth?” Then her eyes rolled up and she slumped back into her chair.

     “Oh my God! Oh Lord1 Fred, you killed her!” screamed Vickie. Then everyone in the room sat up and took notice and one of the residents rang for the on-duty nurse. The nurse came over, saw Fred who was as white as a ghost and Vickie with tears in her eyes.

     The nurse reached for her stethoscope and gently placed it on Mabel’s heart. “Thank God, this woman is still alive”, the nurse said with relief. At that very moment, the ‘dead” woman jumped forward and shouted “Gotcha! Gotcha Fred!”

     Yes, it seems like Mabel won this match, although Vickie wasn’t too pleased with how it went, making her cry and all, but she knows how her mischievous aunt is. Fred didn’t take it as well as Victoria and left the room. He waited outside for Victoria, took her to the motel and said he had a few things to do in town.

     He headed on over to the bar where the old barkeep told the police about the clowns and his theory. Unfortunately, the old story-teller had passed away in 1960 and the tavern was under different management. Still, Fred, determined to get to the bottom of the story – and get back at Mabel -- inquired like an investigator from Perry Mason.

     Lips seemed sealed until Fred made his demand, “I just wanna know where that dang-tootin’ graveyard is!”  Then he explained,”My daddy and me were in the bar when that one ugly SOB clown came up to us and insulted us.”

     Finally, at this revelation, the new owner, an old timer, stepped forward from the back office. “Listen boy, you better be tellin’ the truth, ‘cause if you ain’t, well there’s the door.”

     Fred swore “Honest to God’s truth mister. No one knows anything and the yarns that are gettin’ spinned are gettin’ out of hand. This thing needs to come to a close.”

     With that, the old timer gave Fred directions where he believed the grave was, but not before asking for a price for this information. Fred gave him twenty five dollars, which seemed to be enough for the old-timer.

     So off Fred went on his graveyard goose chase. He drove out west and looked up and down just about every dirt road he could find. Gas was running low so he decided to head on back taking a dirt road cut-off. Looking off to the left about 200 feet he glanced upon a small wooded area and a sign “No Trespassing”.

     With a hunch, he surmised that this is the place. Holding up that sign was a chicken wire fence. Fred thought he hit the jackpot. If this is the “Clown Graveyard”, he thought, he could get back at Mabel, earn some money by selling his story to the newspaper, and make Vickie proud.

      He got out of the car, a 48 Plymouth (he wasn’t lying), and walked over to the patch. In the middle of the patch was an old “Keep Out” sign. Nothing else looked unusual, just an area overgrown with weeds. Yet, here was what he needed as evidence: the sign. He wasn’t prepared to dig up any bones as he didn’t have a spade on him, but the idea of grabbing that sign seemed to lure him and convince him that that was all he needed right now. Then he can come back tomorrow morning with camera and spade and photograph his evidence.

      One problem: he had to get into the patch. So he decided to try to run and jump over the chicken wire and as he did his pant leg got caught. At that moment he started to feel a little queasy.   

     Not giving up, he felt he could reach the sign from where he was.  He did and he easily pulled it out, weeds and all. As held the sign, he tried to untangle his pants when all of a sudden he heard ominous laughter – coming out of the ground, with a foul odor. He couldn’t believe his ears. He got so nauseous that he soiled his pants.

     He looked up and saw ghostly clown faces – in broad daylight! Fred’s salt and pepper hair turned snow white and he couldn’t move. Then, he saw what he didn’t want to see – that ugly clown who insulted him and his daddy. Coldness passed through Fred’s body and his heart suffered a severely painful thump.

     There Fred died . . . with “Keep Out” clenched in his hands . . . in soiled clothing . . . in the weeds . . . pants tangled in chicken wire . . . lying on the circus clowns grave.  

End of Part 2

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Horrendous Clown Incident - Part One

The Horrendous Clown Incident:  Ku Klux Klan may be responsible. 

September 26, 1955 Mobile, Alabama - This is the story of four unknown professional circus clowns who may have mysteriously disappeared as a result of a group murder. The Ku Klux Klan had been suspected but the allegations and any evidence have proven negative so far. The information from townsfolk, and an old barkeep, in particular, spin the story as to almost make it far fetched. 

     Here is some basic information that may be deemed as accurate but not totally reliable. There was a sales convention for travelling vacuum cleaner salesmen held the week of August 25th to August 29, 1952. The convention was basically a week of sales meetings with Friday being reserved as a day of revelry and jubilation. Talent and entertainment was hired for the group. 
     Among the pitchmen's own forms of entertainment were additional talent such as a fire eater. A stand up comic from West Virginia by the name of Don Knotts was booked but cancelled as he landed an acting position. In his place was a guest appearance by CBS radio and television host Steve Allen, of "The Steve Allen Show". Mr. Allen Had agreed to visit on his way from a business trip in Atlanta on account that he had a soft spot for vacuum cleaner salesmen and often used a sales pitch in some of his sketches. 
     Following Steve Allen on the itinerary were to be an acrobatic act and a vaudeville-style sketch by a circus clown troupe. Those responsible for booking the event for the entertainment destroyed their records and the names of the acrobats and clowns were never known. The clowns were to stay at a hotel near the venue but never checked in. The sales meeting and special entertainment day went on without a hitch except for the fact that no clowns showed up. 
     Here is the local folklore which has been generating ever since for the last 3 years. The four clowns had arrived in Mobile the day of their scheduled performance. They never checked in to their hotel or they never used their real or stage names in any of Mobile's 32 hotels and motels. Nevertheless they were in full clown costume and purportedly on their way to the convention. Nobody saw any clowns at the convention. 
     The story from the tavern barkeeper (his name omitted for his own safety) is a little more twisted. He alleges that four clowns entered his bar. "They had some time to kill," the barkeeper stated. Here is what he recently reported to the police: "They were joking and having fun with the patrons. They all had clown make-up on and started to get a little rowdy when they had too many beers. A farmer and his boy got offended by one clown that had a wee too much whisky. The clown, and I swear, this is what he said . . . he said, look guys, I'm whiter than you! You're in the wrong part of town. He laughed and thought it as a harmless joke. The farmer slammed his glass down real hard on my table and he and his son left in a huff. He was smokin'. You just can't say that kind of stuff round here or you be gettin' in trouble." 
     And trouble ensued. According to our bartender he stated that the clowns, realizing they had a performance had better get out and head on down to the convention. That's when things could have allegedly gone wrong, dead wrong. The four clowns drove off in their Plymouth and headed west. The barkeeper, noting that the convention hall was north, stated that he didn't see where they went but had his own theory. 
     "I can put two and two together, yup!" he proudly said. His theory, mixed with evidence dug up by County Police, was that they headed out about 20 miles west of Creek Lake. "Maybe they were too drunk or maybe they were lost or maybe both," he surmised. They ended up at a cornfield in full clown apparel and were followed by 3 or 4 pick up trucks, as the theory goes. They got out of their car and still in a playful mode decided to make their own corn maze. The drivers and passengers of the trucks got out and followed them into the corn. There the happy-go-lucky entertainers were allegedly beaten to death in cold blood with baseball bats and ax handles. 
     Their bodies were then thrown into one of the trucks and driven east to a wooded area. One large grave was dug and the four bodies were thrown into it after they had been stripped of all their belongings and valuables. The Plymouth was never found. A wooden cross was burned on the grave site and a makeshift grave marker was made using an old "Keep Out" sign. On that sign, written in chalk were the words "Circus Clowns In The Grave." 
     All of this speculation can fit the puzzle with what discovery the County Police made last Friday. In a secluded wooded area a game warden discovered a patch of ground that had a "Keep Out" sign on it facing down. No burnt cross nor chalk markings on the sign were observed. Obviously, the county was called to excavate the patch and bones were exhumed. The bones were human and matched about four males. According to the coroner, the bodies were all buried together naked and had been buried about three years ago. It was observed that many bones were broken due to heavy blunt objects causing the deaths. Obviously the bar owner was interrogated by the police for the mere fact that he kept spreading his so-called theory about the clowns. Since no evidence of clowns came to fruition, the police dismissed the barkeeper's story. As police could not discover the identities of the remains and no missing persons report matches the recent find, the county decided to re-inter the remains where they were found and fenced off the area. 
     The game warden was given the added responsibility of checking the area to see if any visitors may return to the scene of the crime. The "Keep Out" sign was placed on the front fence of the grave. In cooperation with the police, if anyone knows of four men who had been missing since 1952 or whereabouts, please contact the Mobile County Police. Police also advise that false information is subject to prosecution and anyone attempting to locate said grave will be arrested for trespassing.

End of Part 1

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