By Rachel Caine, Kelly Gay, Kevin Hearne, Kelly Meding, Rob Thurman, Jennifer Estep, Allison Pang, Seanan McGuire, Delilah S. Dawson

<I >Come one, come all! The Carniepunk halfway grants you each thrill and sit back a touring carnival provides. yet worry now not! city fantasy’s greatest stars are the following to lead you thru this unusual and hazardous international. . . .</I>

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teenager discovers while her center leads her a ways, a long way off track in “The chilly Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the fundamental murderer, opposed to the Wheel of demise and a few dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, airy story of a mysterious carnival that returns to a perilous city after two decades in “Daughter of the halfway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound notice in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly healthy sounding Kansas Wheat competition is really no longer a fit position to hang around. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN unearths the destiny of a psychopath stalking younger carnies in “Painted Love.”

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The sanitarium’s grounds were crawling with paranormal enthusiasts, curiosity seekers, and dedicated spirit photographers. They had traveled not only from Louisville, but from all over Kentucky, bordering states, and even as far away as Florida. Under the looming shadow of the sanitarium, I wasted no time setting up my recording equipment at a nearby picnic table. After briefly talking to two or three people, word spread that I was The Performance of Legend-Tripping 23 a folklorist interested in hearing supernatural experience narratives and in seeing evidence of ghosts.

Folklorist Carl Lindahl was the first to suggest that ostension has the potential to inspire a sense of religious and spiritual awe. He studied the activities of a Hispanic San Antonio community whose members routinely visit “gravity hill”—a railroad crossing where the laws of gravity are seemingly defied. According to local legend, one rainy night a school bus stalled on the tracks and, despite the efforts of the driver to move it to safety, was smashed by an oncoming train, tragically killing all the children inside.

Most physical legend-tripping sites are out-of-the-way, secluded places, and just as a car allows teens to explore places that were previously inaccessible, so do legend-tripping locales provide for experiences generally inaccessible in everyday life. The desire to test conventional, experiential, and metaphysical limits cannot merely be attributed to the adventurousness of rebellious youth, The Performance of Legend-Tripping 31 however, nor can simply visiting an alleged supernatural site be considered a legend- trip.

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