The Dreaded Wishing Well of Cedar Point

The best of Mr. Denham's moments!

Posts: 48

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:18 am

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:03 pm

The Dreaded Wishing Well of Cedar Point

The stuff that happened in the three years we worked with Cedar Point could fill an entire book of its own. As it is they've got two chapters in my book, Looking for Clues in All the Wrong Places. In many ways our relationship with them was a perfect storm, a clash of minds coming from two radically different places. :shock:

They never really understood us or had any idea what to do with us. It was pretty sad when you get right down to it and I still scratch my head when I think about the decisions they made. Anyway . . . watcha gonna do? Life is like that! And I wouldn't trade those three years for anything. So . . . on to the story!

The Cedar Point Pooh-bahs had asked me to do a water-themed mystery our second year there. They had just purchased an expensive ferry boat to move guests by water from one of their hotels to the park. This was a good idea except for the fact that the ferry drew four feet of water and the landing area was only three feet deep. :o Sherlock Holmes once chided a Scotland Yard inspector with "You really must pay attention to these details."

Meanwhile I had launched off in the water-themed direction big time. I had plans for guests to see something from the water that you wouldn't notice walking through the park. I got pretty excited about this until they pulled the rug out from under me!

In fact, the only element of my original water-based theme mystery that survived was the Wishing Well in Fort Sandusky and holding on to that was like pulling hippo teeth. They'd let it go into disrepair. There was no water in it and the same people who'd just spent a small fortune on a ferry boat that couldn't go where they wanted it to go were worried about spending a couple of bucks to replace a water pump. The mind boggles.

Their big objection to using the well--other than the budget-busting costs--was their fear that someone "would fall in." The well had been there for years, I said. Had anyone fallen in before? Well . . . no . . . but the mystery people will be looking to get a clue out of it. Someone will fall in. :? On and on it went. My God, but I paid for time off in Purgatory with those people! It was like trying to teach grammar to a bunch of howler monkeys. I'd get to explaining verbs and they'd all make big eyes and weird faces and start screeching and howling. If I'd ever needed a reason to drink THEY were it!

For three months we "discussed" the question of the well. "Discussion" consisted of me bringing up several new reasons why it would be safe . . . and them saying "No."

FINALLY . . . after promising them my first-born, they relented. I would have a mystery crew member there AT ALL TIMES. Whenever a team was visiting the Fort Sandusky mystery site at least one additional crew member would be there with them. They would watch things carefully. I staunchly maintained that these are ADULTS they'll be watching and even without supervision no one's going to fall in.

Good God allmighty!!!!!

I had to be really careful about all this. The contract we had with them had two intriguing parts. First, our budget. That would be zero. Second, they could break the agreement and toss us out at any time for any reason, apparently including the color of my shirt, and I could see them tearing up our check over the slightest problem. :roll:

But . . . the Wishing Well was ON. Hot dog! It was just down the trail from the lockers people used to store their valuables while they plunged and whirled on the water rides so I worked out a marvelous little scheme.

The KEY--literally--to the whole weekend would be at the bottom of the wishing well. There was only one way to get it. On Friday night the teams were given the choice of three articles relevant to the mystery to keep and use on Saturday. One of them was a metal tape measure which could be used later to retrieve a key from the bottom of the well. The key opened a locker and the locker held another problem--a box that you had to be REAL careful opening.

This was also the year we did fingerprint squads! Each team had a fingerprint squad that dusted for prints at the murder scene. The plan was for me to wait outside the gates of Fort Sandusky and confer with the fingerprint squad while the rest of the team went in to the Wishing Well.

I can still remember that morning! It was a beautiful fall day. Sunshine, light breeze, God was in heaven and all was right with the world! The very first team of the day had arrived at the fort. I was sitting on the bench looking at the prints they got from the murder scene and commenting on them and giving them advise on how to proceed from here when I glanced up at the fort . . . and there was the team crowded around the Wishing Well . . . and, excuse me while I gag on the memory, but right in the middle of it WERE A WOMAN'S LEGS STICKING STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR!!! :shock:

I was Ralphie in A Christmas Story and I'd just shot my eye out!!! I JUMPED to my feet as my life flashed before me and ran across to the fort. I think I began to speak in tongues on the way!!!

My team of grown adults were holding this woman by the legs and lowering her into the well! :o At this point I was speaking in three Babylonian dialects at the same time. I got there and dove into the crowd and grabbed this woman around the ass (now, so you don't get the wrong idea, I am not adverse to grabbing a woman around the ass but I normally know the lady beforehand) and I'm yelling "What's the matter with you people? Pull her out of there!" and the lady is all excited and yelling to the rest of the team "I've got it! I've got it!"

This is why, my friends, there are warning labels on ladders that say "Do not climb above top step" and why various electrical products like hair dryers warn you not to use them under water. What's more, I'm SURE I noticed my first gray hairs RIGHT AFTER THIS WEEKEND! The fact that Shadow Stalkers did a third year at Cedar Point can be attributed to the fact that none of the Grand Pooh-bahs became aware of this incident until much later.

I still have dreams about it!

The perpetrators of this incident will no doubt want to post their own version of this story, minus, of course, the three months of pulling teeth at the Cedar Point meetings, the heart palpitations and gray hairs it caused or the bad dreams or delayed stress syndrome which haunts me to this day.

When I say "You never know what will happen at a mystery," baby, I MEAN IT! ;)

Posts: 15

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:38 am

Post Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: The Dreaded Wishing Well of Cedar Point

I remember that day just as fondly. Every time we pass Fort Sandusky we laugh and talk about that day, and since we are pass holders it happens a lot. I can still see Mr Denham screaming and running at us as the guys hold onto Kimberly's legs. The tricky part is that the well had a metal grate over it. We kept missing the key with the tape measure, when Kimberly announced that she might be able to fit in. I will have to check and see if I have a picture of her in there. Now Mr Denham, how did CP learn about that little adventure?? Between that day and almost getting arrested by the FBI for kidnapping, I just cannot believe that they won't let us come back. Those were such fun times! My daughter still wants to know how we got a person down there. Are we responsible for the metal gate over the top?

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