Every state has its folklore, tall tales and legends… but sometimes there is a darker story- a tale not so much told, as whispered. 

Welcome back to another recap of the Quibi exclusive series, 50 States of Fright, where creators Yoko Okumura and Sam Raimi take you on a trip to every state in the United States and share a terrifying tale from each state. In this second installment entitled America’s Largest Ball of Twine, we see newly single Mother, Susan, (Ming-Na Wen) and her young daughter Amelia (Thailey Roberge) on a road trip. Along the way they stop in a little town in Kansas to see the world’s largest ball of twine. Sounds boring, I know, but it really draws Amelia in. 

Things kick off with Susan and Amelia in the car. We learn in a conversation between the two that because of her husband’s recent death Susan has decided to move, probably to make a fresh start. Despite this choice- and Amelia’s obvious resentment regarding it- Susan has tried to make the best of things with a cross country road trip. Then Susan sees a pretty dated sign for the world’s largest ball of twine. She decides its a good enough reason to stop and stretch their legs.

Susan has to practically drag Amelia out of the car but eventually the girl decides to play along. While Susan deals with some good, old fashioned, small town racism, Amelia wonders towards the ball of twine. While she examines the ball, a voice over an intercom gives a brief history of the ball of twine. “…Started by Greg Cawker back in 1954, it weighs almost 20,000 pounds and stands at 14 feet tall…Mr. Cawker, a doting father, created the ball as a memorial to his two children.”

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Just then Amelia hears something. Whispers, moans, whatever you wanna call it, its implied the noise is coming from the ball. It becomes obvious when a stray bit of twine grabs a hold of the headphones Amelia was using. She chases the headphones as they somehow are dragged along the curvature of the ball. She then pauses when she hears something again. So she decides to press her ear against the ball of twine. As soon as she does, several sets of hands reach out from the ball, grab a hold of Amelia and drag her into America’s largest ball of twine. 

Her absence is quickly noticed by Susan. Bored by the town’s sheriff (Karen Allen) and her not so witty banter, Susan wonders over to the building where the ball of twine is being held. With no Amelia insight Susan, understandably, begins to worry. She begins to search the area, asking random people nearby if they’ve seen the young girl, until she has no choice but to ask for the sheriff’s help.

At the police station, Sheriff Stallings is suddenly acting as narrator by recalling Amelia’s disappearance to an unseen person. The way the sheriff tells it is that Susan reacted as any mother would. This is true, as we see later Susan is trying to organize a search party to look for Amelia at the police station. The sheriff on the other hand? Cool as a cucumber oddly enough. This calm attitude quickly annoys Susan, who tries to leave but is stopped when sheriff Stallings claims she has an idea.

So Susan patiently waits in an office, sneaking a glance as the sheriff discusses something with two other officers before returning to Susan. Almost right away the two officers grab Susan while the sheriff gets all cryptic on us, “She’s not just yours anymore. She’s changed. And if you ever want to see her again, you’re gonna have to change too.” Stallings then unhinges her jaw to pull something out her mouth. It looks like a tiny ball of twine. Although it appears to be moving. It’s pulsating. Almost like it has a heartbeat.

Stallings shoves the twine into Susan’s mouth. The twine appears to crawl down her throat, causing Susan tremendous pain. As she falls to the ground, she catches the officers off guard and quickly attacked the men with a nearby mug. Susan does the same with sheriff Stallings. This results in a cut on her face. But, instead of torn skin and blood like you’d expect, there is twine. The officers are made of twine.

50 States of Fright: America's Largest Ball of Twine shows the sheriff is made of twine.

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Susan quickly runs from the office into a nearby closet. Here is where she pulls out that nasty twine thing from her mouth and she finds an ax. She bursts out of the closet and immediately begins attacking any nearby officer. Soon enough, she’s running along the empty streets of the town until she reaches the ball of twine. This is where a good chunk of the town appear to be standing guard between Susan and the ball. But Susan remains undeterred. She charges to the townspeople.

Just then it switches back to Sheriff Stallings answering questions. It appears that she is trying to fudge the story of Susan and Amelia by explaining it away as a misunderstanding, “You know how kids are. We figured she just wandered off…Lucky for us the whole town got involved.” Boy, did they.

With ease Susan chops through several townsfolk before finally making it to America’s largest ball of twine. Once the building’s door is barricaded, Susan begins furiously cutting away at the ball of twine. Eventually, she’s actually able to walk into the mysterious ball. Inside there is a devilish red glow, tons of body parts, and, of course, Amelia. Almost as soon as the mother and daughter reunite the opening Susan cut open begins to close. Susan tries to reach the hole before it closes. Alas, it’s no use. Susan reluctantly settles into her fate, tightly embracing her daughter with tears streaming down her face. And the ball of twine? It sealed itself up. It was as if there was no hole at all.

Meanwhile, Stallings continues to lie about what happened to the mother and daughter, “Amelia actually hadn’t gone anywhere…Susan ended up finding her where she had been left– America’s largest ball of twine. It was a heartwarming reunion….Last I saw, they were happily driving off to their next destination” This answer doesn’t impress whoever is questioning the sheriff. “So, how do you explain the dozens of missing people cases in this area?”

Rather than answer the question the sheriff offers up something better. A tour; a personal tour of America’s largest ball of twine. 

Check out 50 States of Fright exclusively on Quibi. A new episode drops every weekday!