Welcome to elfordalley.com! Where you will find out about my latest horror stories, read about the weird tourist traps I visit, and of course, cringe at my fringe political beliefs. I’m sorry retail work radicalized me, Joyce, but I won’t apologize for my A Guillotine for Every Billionaire platform, I just won’t! Anyway, today I’m talking about this new fancy site, and failed-bank-robber turned successful-Halloween-decoration, Elmer McCurdy.
So, as you can see, I now have a store on here! You can still order my stuff on Amazon, but you can also order ebooks and signed paperbacks directly from me. Plus, I got bookmarks and fuck, they’re sexy. I’ll also update on the progress of my latest novella, We’re Never Leaving, about a family who refuses to vacate a haunted house, but soon finds there is a very good reason these specters want them gone. I hope to have this out by Halloween, so fingers crossed!
A few weeks ago, my family and I went crystal digging in the Salt Plains State Park in Oklahoma. There, you visit a flat expanse that looks like Crait, and dig for brown crystals. Then you drive five hours home. But! We made a little stop at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie. There, we paid our respects to the late Elmer McCurdy, who died in 1911 and was buried in 1977.
The basics: Elmer was a wannabe bank robber who was terrible at the easiest job there is. There was no radio system for police, there was no communication across county and state lines. You showed up, pointed a gun, collected the loot, and ran like hell. That was it! But Mr. McCurdy decided to be innovative, and blow up the safes with nitroglycerin to retrieve the cash. He never perfected the system, only succeeding in burning cash and melting coins. He netted less than 500 bucks in his entire career. Then he died in a shootout.
The undertaker dressed him up and charged folks a nickel to see the outlaw. A man pretending to be Elmer’s brother bought him off the undertaker, and then displayed him at various sideshows, the admission fee adjusting with inflation. At one point, he was used as a prop to show the effects of drugs by the director of a pre-Reefer Madness drugsploitation film. He didn’t appear in the movie however, but he was displayed in the lobby! He would have a chance to flex on screen though in 1967’s She Freak. Finally, Mr. McCurdy was discovered when in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man was filming scenes in a funhouse exhibit, and the arm popped off of what the crew assumed was a mummy prop.
After seeing the exposed arm bone, the production was halted and subsequent examinations would show this was a human corpse. A sideshow ticket stub found in his mouth, which led investigators to eventually discover his identity. In 1977, he was returned to Oklahoma and buried under two feet of concrete on Boot Hill, right next to successful outlaw Bill Doolin. Then in 2021, I took a picture by his grave!
The relentless march of time continues.
My Fringe Take of the Day!
We should blow up the heads on Mount Rushmore. They are an affront to people who believe the mountain is sacred and the world needs to stop pretending they are in any way interesting.