The History of Fallsburg
Fallsburg is a place rich in history. That in itself may sound inviting but as we found out that’s not always the case. Hours of sit downs with community elders and reading documents paint a sometimes gruesome picture. Although there are many stories and mischievous deeds in this towns past one stuck out above all others. That would be the happenings on the Collinsworth Farm. We want to give sort of a disclaimer and let you know that not all of the family’s crimes we are going to tell you can be historically proven but many can.
That brings us to William Collinsworth. William owned over 1400 acres in and around Fallsburg and many of the businesses in town. According to the Fallsburg History book after losing his wife and children to an outbreak of scarlet fever things definitely changed. William and his brother were rarely seen and closed the majority of the family businesses. By all accounts we found that mental illness ran in the Collinsworth family, as Williams father was schizophrenic and passed when William was very young leaving him to care for his afflicted brother Ray. William and Ray reserved themselves to the family farm exactly where the Fearplex now stands today.
Only a handful of the disappearances could be directly tied back to William and his brother. Local accounts from town folk paint a grim picture bringing deaths associated with the Collinsworth farm up to more than 19. The horrific nature of these crimes ranged from kidnapping to torture and mutilation. All of which centered on young women between the ages of 18 and 25.
Although William cared deeply for his brother the burden of raising him was overwhelming. As time progressed Ray’s condition evolved into psychosis. His mental state deteriorated into that of a deranged child. Rarely seen off the farm Ray’s only connection to reality was his fascination with the traveling circus that would on occasion pass through town. It was behind this guise that Ray would live out his every sadistic whim behind the makeup of a clown.
As documented in the Fallsburg Dispatch on September 17th of 1896 a young women was found on the banks of Blaine Creek. Discovered by gristmill workers the severely injured woman began ranting of her accounts at the Collinsworth farm. The young woman’s story described the inside of the Collinsworth home as a vision of horror. Rooms containing instruments of torture and other women like herself, some alive, and some who would now be named among the many victims of William and Ray Collinsworth.
After hearing his daughters claims Everett Daniels a local farmer decided to take matters into his own hands. Unaware of Everett’s intentions several local constables gathered to question William and his brother. Before the group could arrive Everett entered the Collinsworth home confronting William in his workshop, the incident would end with both men dead by gunshot.
As denoted by historians in the book “Falling Leaves : Accounts of Eastern Kentucky Violence” Research done by Fearplex manager John Adams revealed that on that day in September 4 bodies were removed from the home, and the partial remains of 2 others. Although all available documented information has been confirmed the word of mouth accounts that have been passed down through generations describe scenes of women tortured, chained, and caged like animals in rooms inside the home. Many of which who were near death or long deceased.
The story you have just read is all based on research done by the Fearplex managers, owner and some outside sources. While some of these accounts can be historically proven we do not convey that in its entirety all statements are true. The Fearplex is entertainment based but we also pride ourselves in trying to recreate things that have happened right here on the grounds. An attempt to find living relatives with direct lineage was made with no success. We do not want to slander the Collinsworth name in any way. We only want to tell of accounts pulled from historical documents and stories handed down from years ago. Many elders within the surrounding area of Fallsburg contributed to this story and made clear that they could not prove or disprove any of the things shared with the Fallsburg Fearplex staff.