Last year I posted some creepy amusements from the Prater in Vienna. Now my ‘Eyes In The North’ Porl Cooper has spotted this Victorian Jolly Jack Tar at the end of Southport pier, and pointed out how much it looks like the one that features in the story ‘Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ in ‘Red Gloves’. I think they must all have been made by the same company, but when you put in your penny and he started to roll about laughing I never found him funny, just sinister.
There was a laughing policeman, too – and of course, the effigy in the case idea extended to fortune tellers, like the one that features in ‘The Memory of Blood’. Funfairs had other automata, like the eerie tableaux that came to life when you put in a penny. These included ‘Midnight In The Graveyard’, ‘The Drunkard’s Dream’ and ‘The Ghosts In The Library.
In Jerez I found this gaudy House of Terror that featured real scares, including a red devil who jumped into the passing ghost train cars to terrify their occupants and a bloody butcher wielding a chainsaw who ran into the tunnels after punters.