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Captain Spaulding
Captain Spaulding 001
Captain Spaulding
Aliases: Johnny Lee Johns; Spaulding; Cutter;
Notability: Main character
Type: Psychopath; Clown
Gender: Male
Location: Ruggsville, Texas
Known relatives: Charlie Altamont [1]
Baby Firefly [2]
Mother Firefly [3]
Otis B. Driftwood. [4]
Tiny Firefly [5]
Rufus Firefly, Jr. [6]
Hugo Firefly [7]
Status: Deceased
Born: April 13th, 1918 [8]
Introduction: House of 1000 Corpses
Final: 3 From Hell
Actor: Sid Haig

Captain Spaulding is a fictional serial killer who appears in the 2003-05 horror films House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects by Rob Zombie. Perpetually seen wearing clown makeup, Spaulding is a member of the depraved Firefly family of the town of Deadwood. Initially, he appears to be little more than an accomplice to the Fireflys, but his exact relationship to them is developed further in The Devil's Rejects when he is revealed to be Baby Firefly's father. Spaulding was the proprietor of a roadside attraction known as Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen. Beneath the museum was a channel that Spaulding used as his horror-themed attraction, the "Murder Ride". This channel was connected to a larger series of mine shafts that led all the way back to a cemetery near the Firefly farmhouse. In addition to entertaining tourists with his museum attractions and Murder Ride, Spaulding also welcomed them to partake of his delicious fried chicken.


The man known as Captain Spaulding was actually born Johnny Lee Johns on April 13th, 1918 in the town of Ruggsville, Texas. Johnny spent his early years growing up at the Ruggsville County Home for Orphaned Boys until he was adopted by the Altamont family. Johnny's adoptive brother Charlie Altamont was nearly the same age and the two grew very close to one another.

As a young man, Johnny developed a macabre interest in violent crimes photography and sideshow deformities; a hobby that would later pave the way for his ghoulish "Captain Spaulding" persona. Johnny began disguising himself as a clown and murdering people using the name Mister Ding Dong a Bo-Bo. After watching him stab a man to death, his brother Charlie gave Johnny the nickname "Cutter". The name stuck and Johnny began using it as his regular name.

Around the fall of 1947, Johnny had an affair with a prostitute named Eve Wilson and had a child named Vera-Ellen. Eve Wilson (who later became known as Mother Firefly) already had two children from previous "marriages", Rufus, Jr. and Tiny. Johnny stayed with Eve for some time to help her raise their daughter.

During the summer of 1965, a man known only as Otis B. Driftwood, wandered into Ruggsville County. Cutter and Otis quickly became close companions and Otis began living at Mother Firefly's farmhouse. Despite their similarities, Cutter and Otis were also became bitter rivals, often competing with one another for control of the family. It was Otis who came up with the idea of giving everyone nicknames based on old Groucho Marx characters and he dubbed Johnny Lee Johns as Captain Spaulding.

In early 1968, Spaulding and Charlie Altamont, began running an illegal moonshine business from Charlie's brothel/ranch known as Charlie's Frontier Fun Town. Spaulding saw this as a way of raising money in order to build his own business where he could engage in his two favorite passions -- serial murder and fried chicken.

Sometime during this period Charlie and Otis encountered each other at Charlie's ranch, now doubling as a cut price brothel. This encounter lead to hostility towards Charlie from Otis. What caused this is unclear but it is thought that Charlie was supplying local law enforcement officials with hooch and women behind Cutter's back and keeping all the proceeds. [9]

Spaulding enjoying some chicken

Spaulding enjoying some chicken.

Captain Spaulding became the proprietor of the Museum of Monsters and Madmen in the year 1969. [10] The museum was only one part of the entire business structure however. It also served as a gas station and eatery. Accompanying Captain Spaulding was his sidekick, Ravelli, who often stood outside the establishment, welcoming customers while wearing a giant mask that covered his entire head.

House of 1000 Corpses[]

On October 30th, 1977, two locals named Killer Karl and Richard Wick burst into the museum wearing masks in an attempt to hold the place up. Captain Spaulding was unintimidated by the two men and even produced his own firearm (as well as brandishing a chicken leg) and held them off at gunpoint. As the assailants slung profanities at one another, Ravelli appeared from behind and felled one with a sledgehammer. Spaulding took advantage of his downed opponent and shot him in the face at point blank range. He then shot Richard Wick wit

Spaulding and his assistant

h no reservation.  After discarding the bodies and cleaning up the mess, Spaulding was greeted by four youths who had been traveling cross-country documenting obscure roadside attractions. One of them, Bill Hudley, irritated Spaulding by asking him a continuing series of questions, but Spaulding tried to appear as good-natured as possible. Captain Spaulding invited Bill and his companions, Jerry Goldsmith, Mary Knowles and Denise Willis to partake in his infamous Murder Ride attracti

Captain Spaulding (The Haunted World of El Superbeasto)

Spaulding cameo from The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

on. After some cajoling, everyone agreed to go on the ride. Spaulding led them through a darkened tunnel which contained displays showcasing notorious serial killers like Albert Fish and Ed Gein as well as local urban legends such as the evil Doctor Satan. Bill and Jerry were intrigued by the story of Doctor Satan and Captain Spaulding gave them directions to the cemetery where Doctor Satan was presumably buried. Little did they know that Spaulding was actually feeding them right into the hands of the murderous Firefly clan.

The next day, officers George Wydell and Steve Naish came to Spaulding's, asking him questions about the disappearance of Denise Willis. Spaulding made some uncomplimentary remarks about Denise's physique, but then provided the officers with the same directions that he had supplied to the others.

On the morning of November 1st, Captain Spaulding was driving his convertible down the highway when he saw a blood-stained Denise Willis stumbling out into the road. She had only just escaped from the underground operating room of the true Doctor Satan. Spaulding picked her up and began driving away, but Denise soon discovered that Spaulding's accomplice, Otis B. Driftwood, was in the back seat of the car. The two recaptured Denise and brought her back to Doctor Satan.

The Devil's Rejects[]

In May of 1978, Spaulding received a telephone call from Baby Firefly informing him of the police raid on their farm. Spaulding quickly left his abode and placed a call with his brother, Charlie Altamont, arranging for shelter for Baby and Otis. He started to drive off to meet with Baby, but his truck ran out of gas and he was forced to commandeer a woman's car outside of Buck's Grab 'n Go.

He found Baby and Otis at the Kahiki Palms Motel. As he arrived, one of Baby's hostages, Wendy Banjo, was trying to escape. Spaulding grabbed her, delivered a head butt and brought the unconscious woman back inside. Reuniting with Otis was bittersweet, and the two bickered over how to handle the current crisis. They decided to steal the van that Wendy Banjo had been riding in and drive off.

Along the way, Baby expressed interest in stopping for ice cream. The ruffled Otis had no interest in satisfying Baby's needs, but Spaulding and she antagonized Otis to the point where he finally relented and stopped for ice cream.


They finally arrived at Charlie's Frontier Fun Town, a brothel run by Charlie Altamont. Spaulding, Otis and Baby were able to relax and lay low for a while. Charlie entertained his guests with all of the comforts his establishment could provide including, hookers, alcohol and drugs.

Late the following evening, Sheriff John Quincy Wydell and two bounty hunters named Rondo and Billy Ray Snapper raided Charlie's Frontier Fun Town. Wydell squared off with Spaulding who was highly inebriated by this point. He shot him in the leg while the bounty hunters captured Otis and Baby.

All three were brought back to the Firefly farmhouse where Wydell tortured them at length. He stabbed at Spaulding repeatedly with a cattle prod, noting how much he despised clowns. Wydell then poured gasoline all around them and lit the place on fire. These "Devil's Rejects" were saved by Tiny Firefly who killed Wydell and freed Spaulding.

Spaulding, Baby and Otis took Charlie Altamont's Cadillac and drove off into the night. The following morning, they came upon a police roadblock set up in the middle of the highway with armed officers lying in wait for them. Realizing that this was the end of the road, the three killers gunned the engine and drove forward in a blaze of glory. Spaulding was wounded from multiple gunshot wounds.

3 From Hell []

Spaulding, Baby, and Otis, wounded beyond the limit of human survival, somehow lived. They were later incarcerated in a maximum security prison, where Spaulding was silently executed.

Notes & Trivia[]

  • Like many of the characters featured in the films, Spaulding is named after a character played by Groucho Marx. Marx's Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding was the main character in the 1930 comedy Animal Crackers.
  • Captain Spaulding is a big John Wayne fan and has a tattoo of him on his right forearm.


This article contains explicit content in the form of profanity and/or images of graphic violence and is not suitable for all visitors. Discretion advised.
"Howdy Folks! You like blood? Violence? Freaks of nature? Well then, come on down to Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen. See the Alligator Boy, ride my famous Murder Ride. Most of all, don't forget to take home some of my tasty fried chicken!"
Captain Spaulding[src]
"Goddamn, motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit."
Captain Spaulding[src]
"Well, I'll tell you what, Ski King. Why don't you just take your Mama home some chicken and then I won't have to stuff my boot all up in your ass!"
Captain Spaulding[src]
"If you're gonna start the killing, you best start it right here. Make sure I'm all the way dead, because I'll come back and make you my bitch!"
Captain Spaulding[src]
"1. Fuck yo mama.......2 Fuck yo sister.......3 Fuck yo Grandma........(Shoots Little Dick Wick)................MOST OF ALL FUCK YOU!...(Shoots Killer Karl three times)."
Captain Spaulding[src]
"Don't we make ya laugh? Aren't we fuckin' funny? You best come up with an answer, cos I'm gonna come back here and check on you and your momma and if you ain't got a reason why you hate clowns, I'm gonna kill your whole fucking family."
Captain Spaulding[src]
"Where the hell you goin'? Damn it. Don't you never turn your back on a fuckin' clown when he's talkin' to you!"
Captain Spaulding[src]

External Links[]


  1. Adoptive brother.
  2. Daughter.
  3. Wife.
  4. Adoptive son.
  5. Stepson.
  6. Stepson.
  7. Father-in-law.
  8. The Devil's Rejects Official Website (discontinued)
  9. Serial Killer Calendar
  10. Spaulding indicates that he took over the place the same year that John Wayne won an Oscar. Wayne won an academy award for True Grit in 1969.
  11. EW.com; "Horror icon Sid Haig; actor from House of 1,000 Corpses, dies at 80"; Romano, Nick. September 23rd, 2019.
  12. TMZ; "'House of 1000 Corpses' Actor SID HAIG DEAD AT 80"; September 23rd, 2019, 6:39 AM PT.