standard No ‘Clowning’ Around: Green-Wood Cemetery Staff Not Impressed By Latest Publicity Stunt

Chauffer Joe Buccinna and security detail vow to protect the cemetery from "clowns" and other pranksters (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Chauffer Joe Buccinna and security detail Louis Lebron vow to protect the cemetery from “clowns” and other pranksters (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Consider them unamused.

Green-Wood Cemetery staff are on the lookout for a performance artist dressed as a clown roaming their hallowed grounds. The activity is likely a misguided publicity stunt, the staff claim.

“Probably some guy trying to make a name for himself,” said Louis Lebron of the grounds’ security detail. Lebron didn’t believe the sightings at first, until he saw photographs taken by supposed “witnesses” (though these individuals, Lebron advised, may also be involved with the antics).

Greenwood Cemetery (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Green-Wood Cemetery (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Chauffer Joe Buccinna surmised that more than one individual was involved.

“They likely enter in normal dress,” Buccinna said, “but change into the clown costume once they’re inside. Another person being involved would explain the photos.”

Similar incidents have turned out to be publicity stunts in Staten Island and as far away as England.

Ascertaining the individuals involved is a difficult task: anyone can enter Green-Wood Cemetery, on foot or in a vehicle. Admission is free and searches are only made on a discretionary basis. While a record is kept of commercial vehicles and trucks entering the premises, the license plates of regular visitors are not.

Even with rumors and blog posts surfacing, some of staff members were still not fully aware of the activity.

“First I heard about it,” said Theresa LaBianca, Green-Wood’s archivist.

Greenwood Cemetery With One World Trade Center in the distance (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Green-Wood Cemetery With One World Trade Center in the distance (Photo by Matthew Taub)

Rules posted at the entrance to Green-Wood Cemetery explicitly forbid activities such as jogging, biking, and eating. While there is no specific prohibition about wearing a clown costume, the directions admonish visitors to “be respectful of funeral services and those visiting loved ones.”

Unfortunately, such commons sense is not always followed.

“This guy’s not the first clown we had, technically,” Buccinna recalled. “I remember two idiots who jumped into the lake.”