What Was the Nightmare Fair?

The Nightmare Fairs were an annual convention of the magical, scientific, and fantastical which took place annually throughout the 1800s.

The Foundation of the Fair

The Nightmare Fairs were originally founded by Victor Pomeroy, later to be known as the “Master of Ceremonies”, who was born near the end of the 18th century to a family of good reputation. Most of his youth was unremarkable, but post his service in the great international war of the period, Victor returned entirely changed in demeanor.

“No being alive should witness such horror”, he wrote. “Nor do they deserve to. I have had enough of madness and death. If this violence arises again, it will be the end of everything.”

He composed a letter to significant figures in the human and non-human communities, beseeching them to take part in his benevolent vision.

His letter concluded:

“I believe it is imperative, now more than ever, that we come together to share the knowledge, wisdom, and enchantments which have shaped our diverse realms. This event, a friendly gathering of minds and spirits from around the world, shall serve as a testament to the power of unity in the face of oblivion.”

Victor Pomeroy, AKA “The Master of Ceremonies”
Victor Pomeroy in his study

“I implore you, dear reader, to join me in this endeavor. It is my hope that this gathering, this fair, will unite us in curiosity, imagination, and the eternal bonds between us all which transcend time and space.”

His sincere words of hope for a new, enlightened world spoke to the hearts of all who read them. The leaders of every nation began to make plans.

A symposium was called to define the rules of this annual event and establish consensus around accepted behavior. The process took nearly a year. Eventually, through months of difficult negotiation, a charter for the “Nightmare Fair” emerged. Today that same charter can be found on display at the Smithsonian, along with several of Pomeroy’s personal effects.

For the final phase of planning, a board of trustees was enlisted to seek the aid of The Cube.

The Cube was amenable to their appeals, and set the rules of time and space into motion for the fair’s success.

Less than a year later, the first ever Nightmare Fair was held, and was by all reported accounts a rousing success. It would remain so throughout the span of the century.

The mission of the Nightmare Fair Archival Committee is to compile all available materials on the fairs, so that their message of unity is never lost to future generations.

It was a truly wondrous period for our world, and we must do our best to remember it.

A typical day at the Nightmare Fair
The Cube