A local meat processing facility has always brought the most delicious cuts to the local market. Everyone loved their product and the small-town Wisconsin feeling they created. When the facility began an expansion, they uncovered a plastic chemical tote with an extremely powerful odor radiating from the liquid leaking out of a hole they punctured. The entire crew was outside to help hoist this tote out of the ground. When the chain from their lift came loose, the tote fell six feet straight down - causing the sides to capsize and spilling the contents everywhere.
Everyone around got wet with this mysterious and odorous liquid. Within seconds, the lot of employees and the butcher himself began coughing uncontrollably. Minutes of gut-wrenching coughing brought everyone to their knees. Their saliva began turning black, their eyes bloodshot, and their demeanor entirely changed. Their veins were fueled by a blackend blood and their skin flushed vile shades of yellow and grey. They were no longer the jolly crew of butchers they once were - now a band of vicious bloodthirsty killers waiting for anyone looking for a fresh cut of meat.
Business has never been better.
As the tensions between the Axis and Allied powers grew, one man sought to use this opportunity to make a name for himself. Herman Von Richtmyer was a reputable chemist having received his Ph.D. from a prestigious college, ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zurich, and graduating at the top of his class in 1938. Being the opportunist he was, Richmyer was able to take advantage of the global climate. His advanced knowledge of chemical warfare drew him to the highest bidders - on every side of this global conflict. He orchestrated some of the most gruesome experiments in human history at the discretion of the governments who hired him.
The war drew to an end and Nazi officials exposed his work during the Nuremberg Trials, claiming it was Richtmeyr who was notorious for the use of his own torture creation; a device that held down captured prisoners of war with long, barbed pins that maximized experienced pain if movement followed. His contraption allowed him to ‘pin up’ victims and torture them without the need for classical restraints. He even had one pin that went through the throat, keeping his workplace quiet. The torture would inflict pain, while the victim’s reaction would create more pain as their nerves would wiggle against Richtmyer’s pins. He took the opportunity to test new chemicals on his subjects - with the intention of selling more modern chemical weapons to the highest bidder. If his victims survived his slow chemical applications, he would skin them alive starting from the top of their feet. He was able to obtain whatever information his client state required, but that wouldn’t stop him from fully removing every inch of human flesh while the subject squirmed through helpless and voiceless suffering.
Richtmyer was sure his fate was sealed at the end of a noose. Luckily for him, his connections with Allied governments attested to his expertise and value. The U.S. was in desperate need of scientists to compete with the growing U.S.S.R. At the request of President Harry S. Truman, “Operation Paperclip” allowed for Nazi scientists to become working members of American society in exchange for scientific information from their work with the Nazis during the war - including war profiteers such as Richtmyer. He agreed to these terms and began his new career as a chemist for the United States Department of Defense.
As Communism spread to southeastern Asia, the United States took an interest in bringing the fight to them. In 1955, the Department of Defense predicted the potential of a war in jungle terrain. A solution was proposed that would ultimately change the lives of millions of people forever. “Clearway” was the nickname given to the chemical used to clear large sections of wildlife for military advancement. As the leading chemist on this top-secret project, it was up to Richtmyer to determine whether or not this would have any effects on humans. He saw there were potential dangers for the chemical but he reasoned that it would be primarily used over enemy territory - deeming it unthreatening to his current employer. Richtmyer passed Clearway as safe for use, and it went off to the battlefield.
Over the course of the next decade, over 20 million gallons of Clearway were dropped on the jungles of Vietnam… resulting in vast amounts of human exposure. As the war in Vietnam came to an end, an increasing amount of side effects from chemical poisoning grew amongst soldiers and Vietnamese citizens. All pointing back to Clearway.
He lived alone in an old house in the countryside during his older ages. It was then that his demons came back to haunt him. The long days of isolation bled together as he hid himself from the world. Increasingly paranoid that he was being hunted down for his past actions, he assured himself that all he had done was for the sake of scientific advancement. He ferociously tried to cover his tracks by burrying his chemical creations throughout the surrounding farmland and woods when darkness fell each day.
Going mad with insanity, he developed stress-induced hallucinations and began to see his tortured victims. The people he cut open, the people he poisoned, and the people he distorted forever. Days of insanity became a blur to him, as his whole world began to fall apart. Reality was fictional to him. The dark shadows of his home were now full of the people he once hurt. Richtmyer was beyond the realm of reality. In his world of makebelieve, he chaotically tried to recreate experiments from his early days as a chemist. His torturous hallucinations came to an end when he was found dead in his home covered in his own feces. Into his arm he had carved, “EVIL AWAITS, NO RETURN.”
Years slipped by, and he was forgotten. But he hasn’t left, his evil has only just begun... His voice is still heard chaotically yelling throughout the house. Listen, and you just might live.
A doomsday prepper was undergoing an elaborate DIY bunker system under his home in the countryside. Upon his excavation, he began to notice a powerful odor coming from a strange chemical that appeared to be leaking from above. He reasoned that it might be something that his crazy, hermit-like, neighbor might have buried. The prepper knew his neighbor was a bit crazy and had a lot of experience with chemistry - maybe he just didn't want to pay for chemical disposal. The prepper figured he would do the same and thought nothing of it.
He halted excavation in that sector of his tunnels but the fumes grew stronger. He eventually began to spend more time underground, turning his tunnel system into more of a den than a doomsday solution. Eventually, he stopped coming out entirely allowing for his surface property to become dilapidated and overgrown. The man was presumed missing and his property was foreclosed and sold to new owners. The entrance to his tunnels was hidden back in a treeline at the edge of the cornfield - overgrown and undisturbed for years.
Richtmyer lost his senses in his last months, and you will learn exactly how it felt to fall off the deep end. Be prepared to lose touch with reality and become lost in the mind-numbing maze that is Side Effects. There are twists and turns - you will never be sure where to take your next step!
New to Screamin Acres in 2019, we wanted to add a little "extra" sideshow for all of you thrill-seekers out there. The DEATHTRAP is an evolving attraction at Screamin Acres that is designed to take it to the next level of fear by targeting natural human reactions.
In 2021, we plan to focus on Shock-therapy. If you want to have the fear of being shocked by everything you touch, this is the haunt for you. If you don't consider yourself brave enough, you can always wait outside while the toughest members of your group give it a go!