Greater Ancestors

World Museum

The Return to Helenwood!

Who’d have thought, right? This is the one article where skeptics and hunters of anomalies have their one and only gotcha moment. Let’s look at this image of the Helenwood Devil. It looks like an overeager student’s trash art, doesn’t it, right? You know, where an overeager student uses found objects and welds or glues them together. The only thing worse is spray paint and speckled leftist political art. But, I digress.

Notice the mistake of not sculpting the arms in a crossed position

The famed Helenwood Devil, right? Remember these words? Andy White: “Looks this one is also a bust – it was a clay statue.” I am, in fact, really glad this was pointed out.

Later dates of altered articles and added features

These are the article’s dates so far: we have a date for Sept 08, Aug 19, and Aug 11. Let’s check before that. So, keep that in mind when I show you the earliest known article of the Helenwood Devil. Here is the oldest article: The Bismarck Tribune. [volume], August 10, 1921, Image 3. Okay, so this article is the earliest one, dated August 10th.

Oldest Date: HUGE SKELETON with hands folded.

So, there is a huge difference in the description from August the 10th to August the 11th. Let’s compare.

August 10th: Huge petrified skeleton, 6’4″ with a beautiful chain and the absence of flesh. The fingers are perfect with long nails. The hands are folded across the breast. 2 horns 4 inches in length. Its weight 450 lbs.

August 11th: A petrified body. It weighs something like 500 lbs. Abnormal size head, mouth unusual size, prominent front teeth, arms of unusual length, enormous hands, an ordinary trace chain. Wings of brownish color.

A repeat of the story was printed on August 10th in two articles from August 19th, and the only difference is the word “SKELETON” was removed in both.

By September 8th, a “petrified body,” not a petrified skeleton, was seen by thousands.

Sexton finally sold the “Devil” to Mr. Chumley Pemberton for, some say, around $2,000. The “Devil” was then sold to the World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. There it traveled from Tennessee to Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and beyond. Somehow or another, the “Devil” was lost and has not been seen in Scott County since its selling to the World’s Fair.”

So, let me walk you through the difference. On August 10th, there was a report about a skeleton found with its hands across its chest. The skeleton was 6’4″ and 450lbs, as reported on Aug 10th. Somehow, on the next day, it became about 500. It is likely that Sexton and Smith knew of the success of the Cardiff Giant and tried to imitate it. Believing that no one would want to see a six-foot-four skeleton with horns, they likely sold it and used part of the money to create the statue hoax, from which they would profit.

It is likely the Smithsonian moved in quickly; this we do not know for sure, but we do know they profited again when they sold the statue to the World’s Fair.

We have a 6’4″ skeleton with a beautiful necklace and folded arms with horns. Then we have a 6’4″ statue with an ordinary necklace, with one arm on its belly and the other on its side, with horns, wings, fangs, and genitalia.”

“I would say that the 6’4″ skeleton, which likely lost 3 inches and was 6′ 7” in life, is considered a giant human skeleton. The later fraud is just a statue, and I’m 100% certain that it was faked.

So, when you say that the Helenwood Devil is a fake, I’ll agree or disagree depending on which one you are referring to.

We have a motive behind the deception as well – the necklace. It’s obvious that the necklace went from being beautiful to ordinary in just one day. So, who got the expensive one?

Yes, I was always skeptical, but today, I’m not.

So, there was no giant human skeleton before, that I was aware of. But now, there is one!”

This image is only a representation of the first article’s skeleton

After being sold to the World’s Fair, the statue of the “Helenwood Devil statue” traveled to several states and was exhibited to thousands of people. However, at some point, it was lost and has never been seen in Scott County since then.

The story of the Helenwood Devil’s are a fascinating one, as it involves a mix of deception, hoaxes, and possibly even the Smithsonian’s involvement. The different versions of the story and the changes in the description of the creature over time only add to the mystery surrounding it.

In conclusion, while the original Helenwood Devil was a real human, the story and the statuesque hoaxes surrounding it are still an interesting part of folklore and American history.

Comments Off on The Return to Helenwood!