Clown-related viral marketing stunts: they have to stop. Back in March, we as a city dealt with the Staten Island Clown, who obviously turned out to be the brainchild of a small-time film production company. Last year, Northampton, England dealt with a similarly terrifying weirdo, who dubbed himself “Spot” and, until June, maintained a Facebook page.
But now, in what has officially gone too far, somebody’s dressing up like a clown and wandering around Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery.
A cemetery. An active, working cemetery where people are still buried. This is really, really not okay.
We learned of the existence of Green-Wood clown from a tipster named Ryan Jackson, who emailed us the above photos. As you can see, they depict a boor with no sense of taste or decorum wearing a clown suit and toting balloons through a damn cemetery.
“I saw a post in South Slope News about the Greenwood Cemetary Clown,” Jackson wrote to us, referencing this excellent piece from a full five days ago. “I seen him too and I want to share an image with you. This was from a week ago. He was near a lake. I took this from far away, I was not interested in getting closer. He seemed very happy at the cemetery, he didn’t like that I spotted him.”
South Slope News wrote that it received the pictures from a fellow who describes himself on Twitter as a “visual artist/curator.” He told South Slope that the clown is “definitely haunting” the cemetery, adding, “He was very timid and ran away whenever I got closer. I did find a Build a Bear bag nearby where I found him that had a womans umbrella and a bag of fritos [sic]… very strange.”
Yeah. It’s a head-scratcher, for sure. There are also some *vErY sPoOky* YouTube videos, uploaded by someone calling himself “Bruno Leo” who hasn’t uploaded anything else:
Leo adds, in the first video’s description:
REAL video! He is real and is freaky as hell! I would not dare get any closer, he seemed to gravitate towards the mausoleums by the lake in Greenwood Cemetery. I found a blog on him from several years ago…
When the Brooklyn Eagle asked around, most of the Green-Wood grounds staff seemed unaware that there’s a tacky weirdo on the loose on their grounds. (A Green-Wood spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Voice.)
Our own tipster, Ryan Jackson, swears up and down that he’s not part of the stunt. But he lives nearby, he adds, and sometimes walks to Green-Wood’s lake to cool down. He spotted the clown on July 7, he said. ” I was talking to my mother on the phone when I saw the clown. I told her I have to go and I took some pics and then I got out of there. I have never seen anything like that. The clown didn’t want to get close with me and I didn’t want to get close to it either.”
Understandably. Jackson had his own theory about who’s behind the greasepaint.
“I think it is definitely a hoax or something,” he tells us. “My opinion, he is a fucking asshole who probably is promoting something. I didn’t see anyone with him though. He may be just crazy.”
All good options. We’ll keep you updated.
Update, 2:52 p.m.: We’ve received the following statement from Richard J. Moylan, Green-Wood’s president. He seems unamused:
Green-Wood staff has no information about this individual and has not seen him nor have any lot owners or visitors reported a sighting. When and if he is spotted, he will be immediately escorted from the premises.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 14, 2014