The Amish are a kind, peaceful people.
That being said, let dread’s cold hand grip your spine as you gaze into the soulless eyes of 40 life-size Amish wax models for sale in a Lancaster County Craigslist ad.
Dana DiCicco, who’s selling them, said they didn’t seem “creepy at all” when she was a kid in Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Now, she can’t deny it. Even the dog feels off.
“When I went to see them in storage, they definitely looked creepy,” she said. “It looked like a scene from the Gettysburg battlefield.”
DiCicco is putting them up for sale on behalf of her uncle, a longtime manager of the Amish Farm and House, a tourist attraction in Lancaster. The adult figures are going for $350 apiece, the children and dog for $250, and DiCicco said they’d like to sell them as a set.
“He would definitely love to see them used for historical reasons,” DiCicco said.
The wax figures, each standing 5 feet, 5 inches, once were part of the Lancaster County Wax Museum, which was opened in 1969 by Dutch Wonderland founder Earl Clark adjacent to the amusement park along Route 30. The museum featured dioramas of local history, including the burning of a Susquehanna River bridge to thwart the Confederate Army and also one about pretzel-making. William Penn was there. Ben Franklin, too. The centerpiece of the museum was the Amish barn-raising scene.
According to Lancaster Online, nearly all of the figures were auctioned off when the venue closed for good in 2006. Ben Franklin went for $4,100. Nathaniel Lightner, Lancaster’s second mayor, sold for $550.
“It’s bittersweet,” Molly Clark, widow of the museum’s founder, said at the time. “I think the whole country, including me, isn’t that interested in history anymore.”
Dutch Wonderland, according to Lancaster Online, held on to the Amish scene and was going to re-create it in the park. DiCicco said that never happened because the park was sold to new owners.
The whole crew went instead to the Amish Farm and House about a mile away, but the tableau was never resurrected and all the figures sat in storage.
“Some are mechanical. Some move,” DiCicco said. “The one with the hat and a beard, he would speak.”
Pennsylvania’s wax-figure population had already been plummeting. Last year, Gettysburg’s Hall of Presidents and First Ladies auctioned off all its wax figures.
“I don’t have good intentions,” a man who bought Hillary Clinton told the online magazine Slate.
DiCicco didn’t use the word creepy in her Craigslist ad, but she gets it. Halloween isn’t too far off and haunted attractions abound in Pennsylvania.
“I was thinking maybe the Field of Screams would be interested,” she said of a nearby attraction.
She said she noticed other Amish wax figures being sold in recent years by a woman from Bird-in-Hand whose collection went viral for being “creepy.”
DiCicco said those wax figures were photographed in poor lighting.