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  • The Burdale Historical Association

Lore Entry #6: What Is The Circle Of Wonders?

Updated: May 22

The Circle Of Wonders, originally The Circus Of Wonders, is a circus that was founded by Robert and Helen Santelli in the late 1930's/early 1940's. After moving to the United States from Certa, Italy in 1934, Robert and Helen founded their circus in Akrington Village, Massachusetts. In 1949, after roughly a decade in operation, Robert and Helen decided to take their circus on the road and become a full fledged traveling circus.

On July 5, 1964, The Circus Of Wonders found it's way into Burdale and decided to set up shop and spend some time dazzling it's residents. There, while handing out flyers to shop owners on Birdview Ave to advertise the spectacular circus, Helen met Nelson Myers, the owner of The Oddity Shop.

  • As we already know, Nelson's family has been in possession of The Conjure Quake Artifact, which has been corrupting his brain and turning him more and more insane. This insanity had made him susceptible to advances from Birdy, The Witch of Burdale.

  • Birdy, who in 1864 was in love with and having an affair with Nelson's great great grandfather, school teacher Arthur Myers, has been trying to seduce Arthur's descendants for generations.

  • Nelson succumbed to Birdy's advances, and together they had a child - William Myers.

  • Birdy, who requires a human sacrifice in order to remain young looking, tasked Nelson to round up candidates for her future sacrifices. Nelson, being the owner of The Oddity Shop, went a bit rogue and started rounding up "freaks" - people with various deformities or abnormal characteristics - and locking them in cages in a back room of The Oddity Shop. Birdy was unhappy with his offerings, fearing their deformities would turn her ugly.

  • Nelson decided to keep his collection of "freaks" until Helen Santelli knocked on his door handing out flyers for her traveling circus. He thought this could be an opportunity to make a few bucks so he inquired about Helen possibly buying some of his "freaks" that he's been holding captive.


When asked if she wanted to buy "freaks" for her circus, Helen, with her heart of gold, became enraged and disgusted by the thought of selling humans. She vowed to return with her friends from the circus. That night, Helen and the circus performers marched down Birdview Ave, kicked down the door, and attempted to free all of the prisoners. Nelson burst out of a back office, pulling a gun, but was tackled to the ground knocking him out cold. During the scuffle, a table with a lit candle was knocked over setting the place ablaze. The circus performers acted quickly to free all of the "freaks" from their cages. The last two out alive were a little girl and a little boy. The girl was Alana Hale - a shunned member of The Hale Tribe who was ousted by The Tribe Elders when her ability to see the future came to light and caused alarm. Robert and Helen assumed the 4-year-old boy was just one of the prisoners. Neither child spoke for months after the fire. Robert and Helen decided to adopt the boy, and named him Michael. The newly named Michael Santelli was raised by Robert and Helen and quickly forgot about where he really came from.

One night in 1984, Robert and Helen died in their sleep when their tent caught fire and they burned alive. Michael was not inside. Being their son, he quickly took ownership of the circus and two days after his parents' deaths, the newly christened The Circle Of Wonders traveled to the next town - the show must go on. The cause of the fire was never officially determined, but a small number of circus performers had suspicions that it was no accident.

Soon after the change in management, the circus began to have a weird effect on it's patrons. Time would became blurred as if they were stuck in a limbo state. For guests that allow themselves to lose focus, days will pass without them realizing it. What's more, the ferris wheel always seems to go round and round without stopping. Nobody gets on. Nobody gets off. But it's always full with people having a blast. Strange.

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