The 35 acres that is The Haunted World, has an interesting history. Please read on to find out all about why the corn is so tall and is such a creepy place to be at Halloween. The story begins about 85 years ago and is retold by Jeremy Justice.
Gustav Gristle's crops just wouldn't grow. His wife Hilda, insisted that the ground was infertile, or that the irrigation water was contaminated or that Gustav simply wasn't a farmer.
For 3 years he had tried everything he could think of to get his crops to grow. Every year, when the corn reached about a foot in height, it would wilt and die.
As Gustav tilled the soil and planted the seed, he told himself over and over that this year would be different. Even if it killed him, he vowed to have the tallest corn in Idaho. So after the seeds were sown, he waited and watered. When the corn had reached a foot tall it began to wilt and die again. He did all he could to save it, all to no avail.
One day as he came to the house after working the field, he noticed a flash of color over by the ditch and decided to investigate. As he neared the headgate, he heard the voices of two boys. Creeping closer, he saw several empty buckets lying on the ground at the boys' feet. Both boys were snickering; all the while, dumping buckets of salt into the ditch.
Now Gustav was not a violent man, but upon seeing this, all the years of frustration boiled up inside him and vented into an uncontrollable rage. Before he even realized what he was doing, he leaped up, screaming incoherently, and stabbed the nearest of the 2 boys. The other boy just stood there and stared, shocked. Snarling, old man Gristle ripped into the other boy who soon met the same fate.
Moments later, when his rage subsided, he stood looking down at the 2 corpses and couldn't believe what he saw. Shamefully he walked to his house and told Hilda what he'd done. Fearing vengeance from the community, who already disliked the crotchety couple, they dragged the bodies into the cornfield and bried them there, carefully hiding all traces of the horrible deed. late into the night they worked, and when they were done, they vowed to never speak of it again.
Gustav's corn started to come out of the shock and began to grow a little better. But where he and Hilda had buried the boys, the corn was magnificent. In that spot alone, the corn grew to nearly 20 feet in height, and the corn was delicious.
Several weeks after the harvest, a huge storm rolled in and a stranger stopped at the farm to get out of the cold. The Gristle's though not social people, offered the stranger some supper and a room for the night. During supper, Gustav and the man began to speak of politics and religion. The conversation grew so heated that it soon turned into a terrible argument and eventually a brawl. The stranger attacked Gustav and began to beat him. Hilda, fearing for her husband's life, grabbed her iron skillet and hit the stranger on the head. He fell over and didn't move. They buried him in the cornfield, and the next year, the corn was taller than ever. And so it began...every stranger who happened by, was invited in for supper. Sometimes, Gustav did the slaying and sometimes Hilda. However, the result was the same...the corn grew taller than any around.
After many years of this, Gustav and Hilda grew more and more ruthless, while their entire 35 acres of corn grew taller and more lush. Local farmers, who at first had marveled at their success, began to grow suspicious of their inhuman manner and jealous of their monstrous crops. The townsfolk shunned them, and they had to start hauling their corn to the next town to be sold.
Because of their age, they had to hire on a few hands to help them. Two of the men they hired were simpletons, dim-witted individuals who had to be directed in every little chore. The third, Henry was smarter than was good for him. He found the massive pile of personal possessions, from the hundreds of victims, in the stand of trees on the backside of Gustav's property.
Late one night when Henry went home for supper, he told his mother and father what he'd found--he always told his family what he'd done during the day.
The next day Henry asked old Gristle about the pile. Gustav, fearing the discovery of his secret (and having an insatiable taste for murder) attacked Henry with his sickle. The blow caught Henry on the arm just above the elbow. Henry howled in pain, his arm cut to the bone, and fled. Gustav gave chase but could not catch him.
Henry ran straight home barely making it in time to tell his father what had happened. He died only moments later from the loss of blood.
Several hours later, Henry's father arrived at the Gristle farm with a mob of angry citizens. They dragged old Gristle and his feisty wife Hilda out to the stand of trees at the back of his property and prepared to hang them both. But before doing so, they set fire to Gustav Gristle's precious cornfield. After the blaze had died to smouldering ashes, they hanged Gustav and Hilda Gristle. The Gristle's evil, twisted spririts remain. Sometimes late at night you can still hear Hilda Gristle's tortuous cackle or old man Gristle's shuffling steps in the corn. And occasionally, people still disappear in the corn that still grows there today, fed by the corpses of Gustav and Hilda Gristle's hundreds of victims.
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