Local folklore has it that there was once a Carnival called the “Friendship Carnival” that toured around the Dirty South showcasing some of the state’s most talented individuals. After years of touring, rumors started to surface that some of the circus performers were actually very dangerous individuals. Some were convicts, some had severe mental health issues, and the others were just downright demented, not exactly the type of people you’d want juggling fire around your 8-year-old daughter. Still, the show went on.
During a hot evening in the summer of 1961, the Friendship Carnival was headed to Gainesville, Georgia from Arcade, Georgia. While driving down Highway 347, Kee Kee the Clown stood up out of nowhere, walked to the front of the bus, and slit the bus driver’s neck with an unknown object causing the bus to spin out of control and flinging nearly twenty of the performers out of the bus and onto the dark highway. Though many died from the impact immediately, there were still a few survivors scattered around screaming for help. Unfortunately, they weren’t much luckier. Kee Kee suddenly went on a frantic murder spree killing every last one of them…
When local police and EMTs showed up to the heinous scene, they couldn’t believe their eyes. A few of them had to be immediately admitted to Laurelwood and are still there to this day.
After a few weeks of investigation, local detectives determined that Kee Kee must have suffered from a variety of mental issues but perhaps the most dangerous disease he suffered from was jealously. Over the years, he had grown so sick of being just a warm up act, that he would do anything, even kill, to be the main attraction. Turns out Kee Kee had a few more secrets. Seventeen months prior to the gnarly incident, Kee Kee had been a patient at the Laurelwood mental institution. And before being admitted there, he served fourteen years at Phillips State Prison.
The piece of property that the Trail of Terror now sits on is said to be haunted by all the fallen members of the Friendship Carnival. After dark, you can still hear some of the performers rummaging around the woods, searching for revenge.