Trainwreck in 1915
A horrific and fatal train collision involving the traveling kennedy circus and/or carnival show. Excerpts from the november, 23 issue of the atlanta constitution georgia reveal the follwoing: “the bodies of six persons have been recovered, and nearly forty other persons are in hospitals in columbus tonight as a result of a head-on collision between a passenger train on the central of georgia and a special train carrying the con t. kennedy carnival shows, six miles west of here this afternoon. show officials believe the death list will exceed twenty-four victims.
There has been much confusion at the scene of the wreck, which is six and a half miles east of columbus, and it will be morning before the carnival company can complete its check to ascertain the number of missing. passenger train crew blamed. railroad officials here, where all of the reports of the wreck are coming in, blame the crew of the passenger train for failure to obey orders. the passenger crew had orders to stop at muscogee, four miles east of columbus, and wait for the special show train. they failed to stop.
The railroad officials emphasize the fact that the crash occurred on a straight stretch of track. the passenger coaches were of steel construction, three in number. both trains were running about 30 miles an hour. the engines of both trains were demolished, yet did not leave the rails. cars at the head end of the show train were telescoped.
There were two carloads of animals. most of the animals were burned alive. twelve pullman cars, carrying the principal people in the kennedy shows, were not damaged, as they were at the rear end of the special train. the show was on its way from atlanta to phenix city, ala., and was booked to the first of the year at points in southern georgia and florida.
Members of the engine crews of both trains escaped death only by the narrowest margin. both train crews leaped from their cabs as they saw impending disaster. engineer fickling, of the passenger train, was covered with a mass of debris from the demolished train, and sustained serious injury about the face and head.
Engineer bittick also in jumping from his engine received heavy pieces of debris on his body and is perhaps internally injured. the moguls pulling the trains were a complete wreck. the engine of the passenger train passed through the boiler of the show train special while the tender telescoped itself under the cab of the engine. all connections of both trains were torn off and the show train engine stands a mute witness of the shock that it sustained.
Following the wreck, fire from the show train engine was communicated to the carnival cars to its rear, and in less than two hours ten floats were totally destroyed by the consuming flames.
Physicians began coming on special trains and in automobiles and the injured were taken to one side and loaded on the baggage car of the passenger train and rushed back to columbus and taken to a side track near the city hospital, where other physicians were in waiting. kennedy stated that his train had come nearly to a stop when the crash came.
When the collision occurred he and every member of the company in the pullmans piled out, he said, and then as fire started they got four big draft horses that had been shot from the cars when the train was telescoped and hitched these onto the rear end of the train, pulling the sleepers and several other cars away from those that were burning.
Many people have sighted something unexplainable and called the police with strange sightings or pictures caught on home security camera’s and trail cams.
Some say that one of the mutated animals who were albino or white colored, considered freaks at that time, were collected by the carnival and used as the main attraction but either burned alive or died trying to escape. While most of the animals perished on site some survived, and roamed the woods horrible deformed and crazed in pain. Their mutated offspring is said to exist even to this day.