The item is a wooden mallet from "High Striker" carnival game. A long wooden handle extends from the head. The item infects any organic material with an unknown disease upon making physical contact. The effects of this disease are similar to leprosy, but develop at a much faster rate. Within a matter of days, tissue loss develops in the limbs closest to the point of infection. While the disease itself has not claimed any lives, secondary infection has resulted in numerous deaths.
The Smiley Carnival traveled throughout the eastern United States during the 1950s. Beginning in 1956, young men in the towns visited by the carnival became plagued by a strange form of leprosy originating in the hands and swiftly moving up the arms. As the death toll climbed, newspapers named the disease "Farmer's Rot". Rumors began circulating that the carnival itself was to blame. In November of 1959, the townspeople of an unknown town in Georgia took it upon themselves to raze the carnival to the ground, believing the entertainers to be servants of the devil. Bureau agents had been monitoring the carnival while while investigating the odd disease. The agents confiscated all carnival property that survived the flames. At a field office, stray animals were placed in rooms with individual pieces of the carnival equipment. The game hammer was identified as the cause of the disease. The remaining property was incinerated, along with the infected animals. The carnival owners were told they had been carrying a dangerous pathogen in their equipment.
The following procedures for containment for the item in the Oldest House:
- No method for suppressing the item's thaumaturgical effect is yet known.
- To prevent infection, wear proper safety gloves when handling.