Barnum Institute of Science and Horror

Scott pulled out his tool and tried to describe the seaman

Elmer struck up a conversation with the cobbler, who seemed much more amenable now. They learned that he was originally from Ireland and worked for a cobbler named Peter. Peter’s son, Sean, was obviously no cobbler and kept putting things in wrong places. Frustrated, he accosted Sean, who became wide-eyed and ran out of the shop never to be seen again.

When asked about the native American dolls, the cobbler became very agitated and accusatory: “I don’t go up there. Ventured once, but there’s strange thing, very strange. Humans are always meddling; don’t realize things are old: sometimes much older than they appear. They need to have more respect, and not just go messin’ around with stuff. Things should be left alone, except to put them right!”

When asked about the voodoo lady, he replied, “Things have always been strange here, but got a lot worse once she showed up,” referring to the black voodoo woman. He first saw her when she lit Malone’s place on fire. He stopped the fire: “I wasn’t puttin’ up with her burning down my shop. I’m not sure if she knows it was me. I think she knows I’m here, because she doesn’t come in here. But I won’t do anything to run afoul of her!” The day prior to the fire, two men had carried off the bust of Barnum taking it somewhere upstairs.

The group made a business deal with him, agreeing to take him to Fairfield and put him up in his own cobblery. Angus said he would ask nothing in return, which made the cobbler suspicious and slightly snide. Douglas mentioned they would help for free, but there would be payment required for helping to find a better than average location and providing him with connections to wealthy clientele. This put the cobbler at ease.

Angus asked the cobbler his name, giving him his own as a show of faith. The cobbler laughed calling him “bold” and stated: “You can call me Loughman”.

The group made their way upstairs, and eventually to the mummy. The casket stood upright in the corner of the room surrounded by a tall hippopotamus looking statue with a plaque reading “Ammit the Destroyer”, and a container depicting a cat in bandages. In front of the cat lay several small clay jars with occult symbols for the heart, tongue, eyes, liver, stomach.



A sign at the foot of the mummy read: “Egyptian mummy Pa-Ib and his Amulet of Divination – 2500 B.C.” The mummy’s face was unwrapped and horrifying, and he wore a silver necklace with moonstone beads and a central silver disk with a skull surrounded by strange symbols: clearly not Egyptian since silver was rare and moonstone unavailable in Egypt, and the skull and symbols were clearly Aztec.



As Elmer and Scott headed back to the get the turquoise hippopotamus necklace, the others investigated 3 glass cabinets containing dolls from various cultures, including Native American, South American, Russian, Chinese, and Indonesian. One in particular was quite odd – a smooth featureless doll carved from African Blackwood (sub-Saharan or ‘Senegal’ Africa) wearing a long coat of black cloth and a sash woven from black and white hairs tied around the waist. A strange symbol of two overlapping hearts was carved on the chest: occult symbols of “Soul Binding”. They decided to take the doll and deal with it later.

As they removed it from the case, Scott explained more regarding the strange doll: “the act of combining personal effects to the same item can be utilized by powerful wizards to maintain a connection to the soul of the other throughout death. It was often used as a means of tormenting a soul for eternity.”

Annie convinced Douglas to remove the sash from the doll. As he tried, his hands suddenly burned as if on fire, and the others could hear and smell the burning flesh. Angus came over to help, and witnessed both his and Douglas’ hand bubbling, bursting, and sizzling from the fiery heat. As Douglas fought off the pain and struggled to remove the sash, the voodoo woman appeared laughing: “You can’t do anything.”

Scott seemed unphased by her sudden appearance, simply asking her: “why do you have such a problem with Barnum? What did he do?”

“Horrible man, wouldn’t let me have any rest. But I got my revenge: burn them, burn them all. And now I’ll make you suffer too!” She grabbed Scott’s sleeve and started burning out a large patch to take with her.

Douglas knew he couldn’t rip the sash off and threw it back into the case. Angus went to pull his gun, and then had a sudden insight and instead pulled out the cold-iron blade. He slashed the sash from the doll, which fell to the ground as the voodoo woman turned with a look of shock in her eyes: “What?! How can that be! It’s impossible.” As she started to fade, she spat curses out: “I’ll get you, I’ll get you all! You’ll pay for this!”

The mariner from Malone’s cafe appeared before them all, mouthed the words “Thank you”, and disintegrated.

At the realization of this minor victory, the investigators felt a bit of relief, regaining a small amount of resolve.



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