The Tragic and True Story of the Haunted Illinois Clown Graveyard
When you think of clowns, the hope is that you'll associate that with laughter and happiness. In the case of the Illinois clown graveyard, the opposite is true. It's the story of a tragedy that took the lives of 86 entertainers late at night on June 22, 1918.
It's known as the Showmen's Rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. It is here where you will see lots of elephant and faceless markers to remember the nearly 100 that lost their lives in a train tragedy.
The accident actually happened in Indiana when the train containing the circus performers had stopped for maintenance. An empty military train was following behind and the reports say the conductor had fallen asleep and missed all of the warnings of a stopped train ahead. The collision of the trains resulted in 86 deaths including elephants.
Illinois Haunted Houses lists the clown graveyard among its haunted places as visitors have reported strange sightings and sounds. Fright Find adds this chilling mention of what eyewitnesses have reported there:
Chief among the disturbances is the sound of elephants crying in the distance even though there are no elephants buried on site. An Oak Park Police Officer once reported the actual ground beneath him vibrating as if an elephant were physically trampling past him.
Is the clown graveyard haunted? Does that even matter? With a great tragedy like this, it is a land full of sadness and the memories of the lives of showmen lost more than 100 years ago.