More Creepy Ventriloquists: William Wood


The current production the ventrilooquialcentric Dead End Dummy has prompted me to add to the ventriloquism section of Travalanche. We already have most of the best known ventriloquists of the classical show biz era represented (find them here),  but there is always more to add (although less will likely be known about them). Anyway, here is today’s installment…



William Wood (1862-1908) was an American ventriloquist and magician who began his career as an assistant to Harry Kellar. One of his most famous stunts (as depicted on these posters) was the spectacular levitation his wife Edna. By the last decade of his life he was considered one of America’s top ventriloquists.


While traveling on the Gulf of Mexico on tour, with his young daughter, a large sum of money and all his equipment including eight ventriloquist dummies he was lost at sea under mysterious circumstances. There was reported to have been a shipwreck, but (suspiciously) all of the crew survived, while Wood, his daughter and and their money ($20,000) all vanished. All that survived were four dummies, which washed ashore. They now reside at the Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky, where they are being preserved. Here is one of them:


These dummies were featured on a 2013 episode of Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel.

But if you truly can’t get enough mysterious ventriloquism, please join us here!


One comment

  1. I wouls like to know more about Mr.Wood and his daughter did anyone investigate the ships crew to see if they had suddenly come into money and did anyone search for the ship? what was the name of the ship and who was its captain? has anyone searched for this mysterious ship since it went down?


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