This Unassuming Graveyard Outside Of Chicago Has A Dark And Tragic History
You wouldn”t expect to find a mass grave outside Chicago holding the remains of 86 clowns, acrobats, strongmen, and other circus performers. Yet these poor souls really do reside here, and they met their ends in a tragic accident on the rails outside of Hammond, Indiana. Many of them died instantly in what was soon discovered to be a completely preventable accident.
In the early morning hours of June 22, 1918, the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus troupe was headed by rail to Hammond, Indiana, when technical difficulties forced the conductor to stop the train.
It”s believed that many were killed on impact. Those who managed to escape the wreckage watched in horror as the train”s kerosene lanterns ignited what was left of the two trains.
In the aftermath of the crash, the Showmen”s League of America purchased 750 plots in Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
Today, an elephant statue marks the mass grave of these circus performers.
(via Cult Of Weird)
What happened to these folks really is a tragedy. I can”t imagine a worse fate than being trapped in burning wreckage, but we can at least hope that most of the victims died without suffering.
For more chilling real-life tragedies, follow the links below.