Something Wicked This Way Comes

How does Mr. Dark convince the pohce they were just rehearsing?

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The boys call the police, and several minutes later they return to the carnival along with two policemen and two interns from an ambulance. Mr. Cooger is not where they left him, and the group enters the tent. They get a good look at all of the freaks inside the tent. One of them, a Dwarf, looks vaguely familiar to Will, and a few moments later he realizes that the Dwarf is the lightning-rod salesman. They see Mr. Cooger, strapped into the Electric Chair. Mr. Dark welcomes the whole group, and tells them they were rehearsing their latest acts. He claims that Mr. Cooger is the new act, Mr. Electrico. Will yells that the man is dead, and that they should take him down from the chair. The policemen start to move forward. Mr. Dark wants to run electricity through Mr. Cooger and he looks for help to Jim, who says that it is all right. This calms down the policemen, and Mr. Dark pulls the switch. Electricity courses through the dead body, buzzing throughout the tent, and Will and Jim see Mr. Dark willing the body to live. Mr. Cooger comes alive, and all of the freaks seem to be willing life into him, helping him to breathe, helping his pulse to beat. Will starts to say that the body will die if the electricity is cut but then realizes that saying that means he wants the man to die. Mr. Electrico speaks, and he claims that the boys saw him rehearsing and that he pretended to die and they ran away screaming. The policemen are satisfied, and Mr. Dark offers the boys free tickets. He asks them for their names, and they lie again. Mr. Electrico speaks again to the boys, and then they grab the tickets and run back to the police car.


The police and paramedics pick them up and they head for the carnival. When they get to the carousel, the mummy is gone. A tent flap opens and the boys and policemen walk inside. It is filled with carnival freaks, including the Lava Sipper, the Crusher, the Wart, the Dwarf, Monsieur Guillotine, and the Skeleton. Many are sitting around a table playing cards. The dwarf looks familiar and Will realizes that it is the lightning rod salesman, shrunken to the size of a small dog, made crazy and stupid. Mr. Dark is sitting in a chair with his shirt off. Mr. Cooger is also there, mummified and unmoving. He is strapped to an electric chair, and he appears to be dead.

Mr. Dark welcomes the newcomers and pretends that they are rehearsing the "Mr. Electrico" act. He sends 100,000 volts through Mr. Cooger's body. His mouth opens and sparks jump between his lips. The freaks inhale and exhale in unison with Mr. Cooger, as if helping him breathe. Mr. Dark announces: "Gentlemen, boys, here indeed is the man who lives with lightning!"

The mummified Mr. Cooger manages to excuse his feigned death as rehearsal for the act and the police are satisfied. Mr. Dark offers the boys twelve free passes for the carnival. He asks their names, and the boys give them fake ones. As they leave, Mr. Electrico curses them: "A short sad life for both of you." The boys grab the tickets and run outside to the police car.