Adler Westfield - Part One: Makeup Test

In August of 1913, Adler Westfield’s Traveling Circus of Oddities and Abnormalities embarked on their first tour of the well-heeled carnival circuit of the American West and Deep South, bringing with it a variety of unusual performers including Petula the Bearded Lady, Balthazar the Strong Man, trapeze daredevils The Flying Zambonis, Shayna the Snake Charmer, Lupe the Wolf Boy, Pip and Topper (the pinhead twins), and Sygmund the Sword Swallower.

As the troupe toured east from California and through the desert Southwest, rumors of bootlegging, theft and prostitution became rampant. And the further they traveled, the more heinous the stories became. Whispers and rumors even began to tell of ritual occultism and witchcraft, and an unfortunate notoriety began to envelope the small band of performers. Townsfolk all along the carnival route began to refer to Adler Westfield’s by its new and more sinister moniker: The Devil’s Circus.

Unofficial records show that Adler Westfield’s made it all the way to the small, secluded town of Highbury, Mississippi (“Ol’ Haw-barry” as the locals called it) sometime in late October of 1913. It was on the early morning of October 29 that local children happened upon the abandoned caravan on an old, desolate road on the outskirts of town. Each of the trailers had been maliciously ransacked, some even appeared to have been burned. Peculiar markings were found in some of the trailers, including that of Adler Westfield himself (witnesses claimed that the markings appeared to be “ritual pagan” and “of the unholy”). There were signs of struggle throughout the caravan and some reported seeing spatters of what was thought to be blood. But not a person was found.

Authorities were baffled, and again the rumors quickly began to swirl. Had some of the townsfolk had enough of The Devil’s Circus and decided to take righteous law into their own hands, or was there something more evil involved? Had the black arts practitioners conjured something beyond their control? Had punishment been handed down from the underworld with a swift descent into the very bowels of Hell itself?

Speculation continued at a fevered pace, but the case went cold in the winter of 1914 after no new leads turned up. No sign of any of the circus performers ever emerged and the incident was simply registered as a “disappearance.” In 1916, the case was closed due to “lack of evidence.” Some say that the town’s authorities never wanted to find them anyway.

Months turned into years and the horrifying case of Adler Westfield’s Traveling Circus of Oddities and Abnormalities was forever resigned to local legend...

That is, until October of 2013. On the cold, dark autumn night of October 29, reports came in of “strange, muted lights” and “warbling sounds” that had been emanating near an old, desolate road on the outskirts of town. A few of the witnesses swear that they had heard “carnival music,” but the notes were somehow off. Distorted and low. Menacing. Almost evil. At daybreak, investigators noticed peculiar markings that had been scratched into the old, worn dirt of the road...

Soon, the dark legend of Adler Westfield’s was cautiously revived in hushed tones among the townsfolk. Could it be? One hundred years to the day, had this evil returned to “Ol’ Haw-barry”? A curse straight from the mouth of Hell itself? And what was to become of the people of the town if the rumors were true??

The character of Adler Westfield came about after a conversation I had with a fellow haunter and his idea of doing a carnival-themed yard haunt for 2014. The photos above are from the first makeup test I did, along with most of the final costume. I still have one important prop to finish fabricating and will have more photos when it is completed. This is the character that I will be bringing to the Midwest Haunters Convention's Saturday Night Masquerade Party. Look for me, come say hello and let's get down!!



Anonymous said...

Looks GREAT Mike! Has a real Clockwork Orange meets CarnEvil feel to it. I'm really diggin' it my friend. Can't wait to see what you come up with for your yard.

HalloweeNut said...

Looks sick, man! Does this mean that the cemetery haunt theme is being switched out for a Dark Carnival, or is this just a costume for the MHC?

highbury said...

Damien, the Cemetery theme is staying for my yard haunt. This is just a character for MHC, and my friend's yard haunt (if he builds his carnival theme for this year!).

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