Elmer McCurdy

Elmer McCurdy

Elmer McCurdy was a really inept train robber. He once tried to blow up a safe to get to some silver coins and ended up melting the safe and the coins. Another time, he tried to rob a train, but all they were able to get was some whiskey and like $15 from the conductor. After that, he holed up at a farm, drank all the whiskey, and got into a shootout with the Sheriff and died in 1911. But that’s not the end of his story. They took him to the funeral home and embalmed him with a lot of arsenic because they thought it’d be a while before someone claimed him. They were right. No one claimed him. So the funeral director decided to make money off him and put him on display as the Oklahoman Outlaw and charged money to see him. People had to put the money in his mouth. The funeral director’s kids used to put Elmer on roller skates and scare other children with him. Eventually, two men came to claim their brother Elmer. They were actually sideshow operators. Elmer was on the circuit now. He went places. He was sold a few more times, ended up in a “museum”, and they rented him out. He was in a movie theatre lobby as a hophead who tried to hold up a store and was shot, in order to promote an anti-drug film. Decades went by and he started looking a little rough, all desiccated and missing a couple of fingers and his hair. They then rent him out to a display at Niagara Falls, and they send him back because they think he’s a really creepy waxwork. Yes, it’s been so long no one remembers now that he’s a real dead guy. He gets sold to the Pike, an amusement park in Long Beach, California. He’s hung up in Laff In The Dark, their ghost/funhouse ride. In December 1976, they’re filming an episode of “The Six-Million Dollar Man” in Laff In The Dark, moving stuff around, and they move this painted neon orange dummy and its arm breaks off. It’s a real arm. He’s eventually taken to the coroner, eventually identified, and then eventually buried in Boot Hill in Oklahoma under concrete, so he won’t go wandering again.

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