“Green-Wood is turning into an amusement park,” a commenter wrote on our site back in October when the historic cemetery opened its gates to runners for one day while Prospect Park was closed. And now, it seems, at least one person is trying to further that perception.
Matthew Eck, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as a “Visual Artist, Curator, Extraordinaire,” sent us these photos of a person dressed up as a clown, carrying balloons, who he says “is definitely haunting” the cemetery. He adds:
I work nearby in Industry city and there have been a lot of rumors about the clown this summer…. and yup… they are true. He was loitering around a lot of gravestones nearby 34th and 5th ave… kinda by a little lake. 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…..
If you’ve been following “clown sighting” news recently, you’ll be familiar with a rash of spottings in Staten Island that took social media by storm — turning out only to be a publicity stunt — and another seen around England last year.
Whether this is another stunt or another person seemingly just looking for attention — and perhaps the photographer himself is involved in some way? — the venue for the spectacle seems like a poor choice, and one that could receive some significant backlash should a stunt be revealed.
In addition to concerns with allowing runners to use the cemetery for a single day, people have called the use of Green-Wood as a venue for organized events like concerts and other performances disrespectful. Two years ago, a petition was started to address the issue, noting that those who are interred here would “mind that folks are walking, eating, drinking, and sitting on their graves,” adding that holding events on the grounds “is an outrage and such a disgrace.”
At the time, Green-Wood responded by noting their respect for those buried there, and their pride at working at such a historic place:
Most of the gravestones you’re speaking of are over a century old and among some of the most beautiful in the cemetery. However, there are a few more recent burials near that area, and to your point, we will think about roping them off for next year’s concert. Of course, regardless of the dates, everyone is very respectful of the stones and the memories of those interred beneath them.
We’ve reached out to Green-Wood to see if they’ve heard anything about this clown, but have yet to hear back. And as yet, #greenwoodclown is not a thing.