The Torture Show
by Mark Frierson
When I was a kid, my parents would
take me to the fair each year. They really liked to see all of
the exhibits and shows that would come to the fair.
I remember this one particular show, I think it was at the Florida
State Fair. It had this really graphic front
painted on it. It was mounted on a large semi truck trailer. The
front was covered with a giant painted interior. It looked like
this huge underground dungeon. There were people painted all over
the front, you know they looked like tortured souls. They were
chained up, broken on the wheel, branded, hanging from their
arms, all kinds of other torture was going on right there in front
of my eyes. What I found to be highly unusual was that everywhere
these people had severed limbs or injuries they weren't bleeding
red blood. There was this clear liquid coming out of all of their
wounds, it looked exactly like saliva or Kero syrup. It was the
craziest thing, some how it made it look more grotesque than if it
had of been red. The show had this bally tape it kept repeating,
"You are going to hear the screams of the tortured. You are going
to witness the terror on their faces. You are going to smell the
burning human flesh!!"
Well, out in back of the trailer they
had this barbecue grill where they were burning pieces of
leather. Then they would blow the smoke and smell out onto the
midway. When you are a kid you look up at this monstrous front
with all the horrifying stuff painted on it, you smell what the
bally tape says is human flesh and you get these incredibly
horrific images in your head. I was terrified my father was
going to take me in there. I did not want to see it.
Years later I was telling Ward Hall about my experience with this
show. He began to laugh and said there wasn't anything on the
inside except these little miniature dioramas. It was a whole lot
of hoopla over nothing. But it really did scare me.
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