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Statement of Yuri Utkin, regarding an incident in the Russian village of Algasovo in November 1952.


Yuri Utkin loved the circus when he was a boy, but lived in a poor village where the circus did not tour. Every year, his father would take him and his brother Ivan on a trip to Morshansk to see the government-run circus. Yuri loved watching the clowns, but felt uncomfortable watching the acrobats after witnessing a childhood friend, Piotr, fall and break his leg very badly.

In early November 1952, a strange new circus came to the village, calling itself другой Цирк (English: Another Circus/The Different Circus). Although Yuri's father was initially suspicious, he agreed to take his two children to the circus after he realised much of the village would be attending. As they approached the gate, they met a woman in a leotard that spoke strangely and who was unaffected by the cold. A calliope organ could be heard playing and Ivan ran past the gate in excitement.

Yuri heard a tiger roar as he entered the circus, and he ran from his father to find it. After locating the tiger he stared at it intensely, noticing that its eyes were glassy and its movements stiff. The tiger roared without opening its mouth and Yuri fell back, only to be picked up by two huge men in overalls. In crude Russian that seemed to flow back and forth between them, they told him that the tiger "wasn't finished" and returned him to his father.

Yuri's father asked the ringmaster where they might find Ivan and was told that, while the staff would be instructed to keep an eye out for the boy, Ivan had likely wandered off in excitement and would return when the show started. The ringmaster assured the worried man that the circus had yet to lose a child, but as he spoke Yuri was reminded of the strange tiger and resolved to find Ivan himself. During his search he came across a smaller tent with a sign written in English, likely reading "Freakshow". There, he saw many impossibly deformed people standing silently in cages. At the end of the tent, he found a large, rough sack tied with coarse rope. As the calliope started to play to signal the start of the show, the bag began to writhe and Yuri fled to the main tent.

Inside the tent, he found a crowd of Algasovo residents, including his father, cheering wildly as two clowns brutally attacked each other. Looking up, he saw Ivan slowing walking the tightrope while crying, terrified. Yuri was sure he would fall with every step, yet was powerless to do anything but watch. Ivan successfully reached the end of the tightrope and disappeared from sight. A moment later, Yuri's father appeared with Ivan at his side and they left the circus, shaken.

The circus had gone the next morning. For many years Yuri thought the events of that day were a terrible dream, but he spoke to Ivan about it as an adult. His brother could remember the day and going through the gate, but nothing else. Each November he would have nightmares of being tied up in a rough sack and would wake up screaming.

Final Comments[]

Gertrude remarks that the two brothers were lucky to have only suffered significant mental trauma after their experience, as Gregor Orsinov's troupe had been particularly dangerous at that time. The troupe had become more tame after Nikolai Denikin left in the 70's, but it was still remarkable that the village did not suffer any casualties following their encounter. She is interested in knowing what Ivan would have been like, but he passed away in 1984.


John is disappointed that there is not more information about why Gertrude started making these tapes, or why she stopped. He also believes that someone has found his supplemental tapes and resolves to find a better hiding place for them in the future.


  • Nikolai Denikin, The Different Circus, and the calliope organ were first mentioned in MAG 24.
  • The two men whose words shift between one another are employees of Breekon and Hope. They previously appeared in MAG 2 and MAG 35, and were mentioned in MAG 37.
  • The large clown beating the other clown in the circus wears the same white and purple polka-dots as the clown doll in MAG 24.
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