Barnum Institute of Science and Horror

Look at the floor. Look at the floor. Look at the floor.

Annie and Elmer ran out the Egress, telling the ghost girl to stay with Douglas and meet them downstairs. They ran into the cobblery, startling Loughman. They explained that they had found how to subdue the voodoo woman, but the others were trapped by the fires she had set upstairs. “She’s trying to burn the place down again? I’ll not stand for that!” Loughman exclaimed, then climbed the wall and disappeared through the ceiling. Annie and Elmer left the cobblery and headed down the corridor to inspect the columns at the end of the hall.

Scott, Douglas, and Angus stood at the top of the stairs, their way blocked by the flames. Angus stretched his muscles in preparation for running with the heavy bust of Barnum, while Douglas peered into the burning room. A flaming zebra slammed into Douglas, knocking him into Scott and landing him roughly on the steps. Scott headed back to the attic to look for a shroud to help them run through the fire unharmed. Angus heard the glass windows shatter, saw a lamp light start scanning the room, and heard a man shouting trying to get them to escape through the window: “This way. You have to hurry. The whole place is going to go.” The ghost girl helped Douglas to his feet – her left hand was solid, unlike the right hand that seemed to pass through physical objects.

Scott heard the music box in the attic and decided it was too dangerous for him to continue alone. As Angus was about to charge through the flames, Loughman climbed through the floor asking them why they were delaying: “This is no fire; it only looks like fire,” he explained. The explanation helped Angus and Scott to pass through the flames unharmed; unfortunately, Douglas was not convinced and was burned by the flames as he ran through them carrying the girl.

As they entered the Sixth Grand Saloon, they passed the Singer Sewing Dog actively working the sewing machine. It turned to look at them as they passed, pulling its lips up to form a hideously creepy smile. Angus turned his eyes downward, focusing on the floor as he continued to run with the heavy bust: “Look at the floor, look at the floor, look at the floor…”

As they entered the Fifth Grand Saloon, the Ape Woman grabbed Douglas and pulled him in. Both Douglas and the girl let out a scream; Angus continued running with the bust while Scott went back to help. “Let him go!” Scott shouted as he stabbed the huge beast in the arm with his small pocket knife. The beast responded by slamming Scott backwards, breaking his back and smashing his head against the floor with a sickening crack. The girl screamed and ran off while Douglas attempted to break free. The ape groomed him roughly, painfully pulling small patches of hair from his head with her teeth. Douglas maneuvered to knock the egg from the ape’s hand – she howled and went after her egg, releasing Douglas from her grasp.

Angus ran through the remaining rooms, keeping his head down and blocking his view with the bust. As he reached the corridor, the girl ran up from behind screaming. Angus continued down the stairs, but had only made a few steps when he was suddenly attacked from behind. A large black cat clung to his back, clawing at his face and neck. He quickly turned and slammed his body against the wall, crushing the cat and sending it falling to the ground.

At the bottom of the steps, he asked the girl about the others. “It killed him, the scrawny one. And it has Douglas, and he can’t get away.” As Angus started lamenting the loss of his companions, Douglas ran down the stairs. The three ran into the Entrance Hall to find the exit to the main corridor blocked by the armored statue. It completely filled the doorway, blocking the way with both its mass and large halberd.

Meanwhile, as Annie and Elmer approached the columns, the voodoo woman appeared before them. She was crouched as if to pounce, like a wild animal. She wore a thatch skirt and belt of shrunken heads. Her top was bare and disturbing. Her hair was wild and matted, with things crawling around in it. Her eyes were most disturbing of all: burning red pupils inside a yellow iris – almost cat-like, but demonic. “Leave this place, it is mine!” she hissed.

Annie and Elmer began a calm discussion, asking her what she wanted. Her answer: to burn everything that Barnum had ever loved to answer for his horrible treatment and lies. Annie calmly questioned her strategy: “Barnum’s already dead. So there’s no need for you to continue doing this. What are you really trying to accomplish? What is it you want?”

“I want to destroy everything that he held dear. I cannot rest. He defiled my body, and then he incinerated it. He did not give me a proper burial, like he promised to do. And now, I will burn everything he loves to the ground – just like he burned me.”

After several minutes more of discussion, Annie asked the simple question: “What can we do to help you rest?”

“Nothing! There is nothing that can be done. Unless you can bring Barnum back to life and he were to apologize for what he has done and admit that his actions were cruel and evil. Only then would I be able to rest.”

“Well, I do have this letter,” Annie said as she produced the Letter from Barnum to Nancy – Please Forgive Me. “How do I know this is really his signature,” the witch challenged. “Well, I have these other documents,” Annie replied calmly, pulling out the Bill of Sale and multiple other documents that contained Barnum’s handwriting and signature.

A deal was struck: Heth would not harm Annie or her friends and would cease her vengeful behavior; Annie would bury her ashes in the woods and give her a proper burial, with blessings from a Catholic Priest. The armored statue slowly walked back to the corner of the room, allowing Douglas and Angus passage to the hallway. Learning of the deal, Douglas searched the General Store for tools, and Annie popped the stopper out of the column (with Loughman’s covert help) to retrieve the urn containing Heth’s ashes.

Angus remained with the ghost girl while the others set out to find a priest and fulfill their side of the agreement.

Upon completion of the burial, they returned to the museum, resolved to help the girl “find her mommy”. After much questioning, and re-visiting the area where the girl “woke up”, they finally pieced together most of the story: the girl was Egyptian, her mother sent her outside so she could complete a trade deal, the girl’s right arm was ripped off by a crocodile, the girl ran back to the house and died.

They took the girl to the Egyptian section of the museum, where she spotted the mummy: “Why is it wearing my necklace? Is that … it is! Mommy!” The girl ran towards the mummy and disappeared in its folds. Finally, they understood the whole story: The Lost Girl

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