Cell phone video captured an eerie scene at a Victorian Era cemetery on Chicago’s North Side earlier this month: a clown breaking into a cemetery and then waving very, very slowly to passers-by.
Julia Graham and her husband spotted a strange figure in shiny pants scaling a 7-foot-tall fence at Rosehill Cemetery around 10 p.m. while they were driving by one evening, CBS Chicago reports. At that point, the cemetery had been locked up for the evening. Her husband snapped a photo.
“When we get closer, we realize it’s a clown, which is super weird,” she says.
The couple realized it was a clown staring right at them and waving. They pulled out a cell phone to capture the bizarre scene. Rosehill Cemetery didn’t offer comment to CBS on the clown, but said it hasn’t noticed any vandalism in the cemetery since it heard the report.
Rosehill Cemetery is the final resting place of many notable Chicagoans, including retailers Richard Warren Sears, Aaron Montgomery Ward, John Shedd of the Shedd Aquarium, and Vice President under Calvin Coolidge Charles Dawes.
That’s because the graves of legendary Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse, Oscar Mayer, ad exec Leo Burnett, Shedd Aquarium founder John Shedd and two retail giants – Richard Warren Sears and Aaron Montgomery Ward – sit yards away from a planned nature preserve. The 20-acre wooded site neighboring Rosehill Cemetery on the North Side will open to the public next summer.
Clowns have been creepy since basically forever, but clowns doing bizarre things have been going super #viral in the last year. Last October, a clown (or clowns) carrying balloons in California’s Central Valley blew up on Instagram and achieved urban legend status just in time for Halloween. Last summer clowns popped up in a cemetery in New York during daylight hours as well. Graham hadn’t heard about these clowns but she thought such stunts disrespected the dead.
“I just think it’s creepy and wrong,” Graham says.
Here’s the newscast that contains the cell phone video from Graham:
Someone’s clowning around in Green-Wood Cemetery.
A prankster dressed as a scary clown, holding a fistful of pink balloons, spent last Wednesday hoofing it through the historic Brooklyn graveyard before mysteriously vanishing over a hillside.
“I was just walking through the cemetery, and I saw this really creepy clown,” said Matt, who didn’t want his last name used. “I did a double take.”
The red-wigged, ghoulish jester – who wore a polka-dot jumpsuit with multicolored shoes – circled a mausoleum on the west end of the sprawling cemetery before wandering off among the aging headstones.
The bizarre scene, first reported by South Slope News, was captured in a pair of YouTube videos posted by a user named Bruno Leo.
“What the fuck was that?” the cameraman says as he follows the clown around the corner of the mausoleum. “Oh, my God.”
Creepy clowns have become a popular prank in recent months.
A dead ringer for horror author Stephen King’s character Pennywise terrorized a small English town for weeks late last year until a local reporter unmasked him as a 22-year-old filmmaker.
A Staten Island production company pulled a similar stunt in March, sending a silent Bozo into the borough to drum up publicity for an upcoming movie.
Regardless of who is behind the new graveyard gagman, officials at the hallowed grounds aren’t laughing.
“Green-Wood staff has no information about this individual and has not seen him nor have any lot owners or visitors reported a sighting,” cemetery president Richard Moylan said in a statement. “When and if he is spotted, he will be immediately escorted from the premises.”
So far, no one has come forward to claim credit for the buffoonery.
Both the clown and Matt were surprised to see each other, said the witness, who works nearby.
“I was, like, totally freaked out,” Matt said.