Barnum Institute of Science and Horror
Letter from ST to Barnum
Nov 15, 1887
Dear Mr. Barnum,
Please do not dismiss this letter as manic or depraved. I fear for your life, and the lives of your loved ones. I have been following your career for some time, and have recently found proof that the recurring disastrous fires that plague your holdings are not coincidental but, in fact, a curse!
Unknown to you at the time, your acquisition of the negro woman was a dangerous maneuver. She was not what you were led to believe, and I fear that you must have angered her, somehow, to cause her repeated retributions against you from beyond the grave.
I have included photos of pages from the journal of Colonel Sir Harry Smith of the British forces, which I found amongst Mr. J. Bowling’s possessions. They tell that she was a powerful voodu witch that caused much trouble for the African Xhosa tribe. They subdued and poisoned her, and then traded her to Colonel Smith as part of a conditional surrender which allowed the Xhosa to retreat to the Amatola mountains.
I’ve also discovered that when Bowling purchased the woman she wore a gris-gris necklace to keep her powers under control. If placed upon her remains it will restrain her in death, just as it did in life. I pray that you still have it or know where it can be found.
Barring that, you have but one option. You must retrieve her remains and keep them with you at all times. Her powers can still be contained, but only if you, as her “owner”, maintain constant dominion over her. She will always be constrained by your physical presence, and for as long as you are diligent in watching over her in this way, she will be unable to cause you or yours further harm.
Should you like to discuss this matter further, you can find me at the Burkdon Street Coffee House. I am there most mornings around 8am, and will be diligent in setting a brown bowler hat with a light strap on the table in front of me.