Barnum Institute of Science and Horror

Give me my props!

The investigators split up, searching the attic for the bust of P. T. Barnum. Scott headed to the small enclave on the corner to discover a tall stone statue of a humanoid lizard female from Sumer (thousands of years old, and certainly priceless).

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Annie searched a large desk, finding a drawer full of Bill of Sales and Purchase Orders. Diligently searching through the mass of papers, she found an envelope from a law firm to Nancy Fish Barnum: Letter from Barnum to Nancy – Please Forgive Me

Angus heard a creaking sound, and noticed that a rocking horse was rocking without a rider. He headed over to investigate as it slowly came to a halt. Beside the horse was a small music box: Charity’s Music Box. He opened it carefully, and it began playing music. This caught the others’ attentions; and they thought they could see a young woman dancing. She strongly resembled the ghost of Charity that they had seen before. Angus quickly closed the box, and the ghost disappeared with the music.

At 3am the room began trembling, as if from a minor earthquake. It subsided after a few seconds.

As they continued to search, they discovered several bizarre and creepy things: stacks of balcony chairs; foot lockers full of military clothing and moth balls; piles of clothing, leather belts, satchels, worn leather shoes, and reed sandals; shelves of mummified animals and human remains; and a large travel trunk full of shrunken heads and tiny spears. Annie found a wooden statuette of a cat with no tail, ridden by a small aged woman holding a tiny spear. She decided to torment Angus with it by suddenly thrusting it at him – he was shocked, but was able to maintain his composure.

Scott left to continue the search, discovering a table filled with games and a pile of rag dolls with one particularly creepy doll sitting in front. It appeared to have a rabbit’s head, and yet if you looked closely, it was actually a rabbit’s head “mask” pulled over a human head and tied tightly about the neck.

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Douglas, Angus, and Scott headed back over to the music box. Douglas opened it, and the music played for only a second. Douglas wound it back up so that it played, while Scott returned the amulet to the box. Closing it and laying it back on the floor next to the rocking horse, they spoke to Charity telling her they had returned her locket, and that she was now “free”.

Finally, they headed to the farthest corner from the stairwell. Layers of stage curtain lining and window curtains covered many objects. Annie started removing them, uncovering a nest of black beetles with “red eyes” that were eating away at the cloth. Beneath were empty open boxes, tiny barrels, and a brilliantly white bust of Barnum.

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Angus lifted the bust, and the room began to tremble once more. They started debating on what to do next, when they noticed a black smoky cloud was rolling across the floor of the attic. They hurriedly tried to exit, and found their way blocked by the mannequins; they had come to life, moving and crawling across the floor in a zombie-like fashion.

They made a wide circle around the mannequin zombies, which proved to confuse and slow their approach significantly. However, upon nearing the stairwell, they found the exit blocked by the Sumerian lizard woman. The creepy rabbit doll leaped out, knocking Scott to the floor and jumping on his chest. After much effort, the investigators were able to bypass the doll and run passed the lizard woman that blocked their way. Scott, Annie, and Angus were the first three to make it to the stairwell; it took a little more time for Elmer and Douglas to make their escape.

As the first three reached the bottom of the stairwell, they found that the menagerie was ablaze. Angus directed them to leave through The Egress to avoid the flaming room and any additional perils they might meet on their way down to the first floor. The journey down the stairwell was strangely quiet, but when they reached the door they found it to be locked and chained shut from the outside. Annie unlocked it with the keys, and Angus produced a crowbar and started popping the hinges off of the door.

Thinking on the situation, Scott made a sudden realization: Heth had been contained within the building, and Barnum’s bust was in the attic of the building; while Barnum’s bust was on the column, Heth had been contained within the column. So, if Barnum’s bust is taken outside of the building, Heth will no longer be contained within the building and will be free (at least for a time).

He explained it to the others – Angus didn’t believe, but deferred to the “paranormal specialist”. Annie, although also not fully convinced, yielded to the expert. The three headed back up the stairs, re-joining Elmer and Douglas. After some discussion near the top of the stairs, they decided it may be good to employ the help of Loughman to extinguish the fires. Annie and Elmer decided to head back down the stairwell to The Egress and re-enter the museum by the front door to quickly reach Loughman and ask for his help. The others turned to face the blazing fires within the menagerie.

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