Waterfront, Long Beach, California, United States

The Funhouse Mummy

In 1976, while filming an episode of TV show The Six Million Dollar Man at a funhouse in Long Beach, the director asked a crew member to move a hanging dummy in the shot. The arm of the dummy fell off in the process, exposing human bone beneath. An investigation ensued.

The results? The mummy was outlaw Elmer McCurdy, who died in a shootout in Oklahoma in 1911 after attempting to rob a train with his brothers. His brothers got away, but the body of McCurdy ended up in the hands of the local undertaker. The undertaker decided to make an attraction of the embalmed McCurdy, propping him up in the storefront window, and charging a 5 cent admission to see the body. They paid by placing the nickel into the mouth of the corpse.

Some time later a man showed up claiming he was McCurdy’s brother and wanted to take the body for a proper burial in California. In fact, the man was a carnival promoter, and McCurdy’s body became an attraction in a traveling carnival before winding up at the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in Long Beach, California. The body is now peacefully at rest in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

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The Funhouse Mummy