N. 7th St. (Delavan, WI.)

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Directions: Take Highway 11 (Walworth Ave.), through the city of Delavan. Where Highway 11 & 50 seperate, take a left onto N. 7th St. The cemetery will be at the end of the street.

Back in the 1800's, the term "The Circus is in town.", ment something different to the people of Delavan. From 1847-1894, over twenty-six different circus' called Delavan, home.

Employees of the various circus' not only "wintered" in the area, they bought houses, raised families, and eventually died as citizens of Delavan.

The local cemeteries of Spring Grove, and it's neighbor, St. Andrew's holds the final remains of over 200 former circus employees (everything from owners & managers to clowns, acrobats, and everything in between).

How can you tell which graves belong to circus employees, and which ones belong to the "average" Delavan citizen? Graves of circus employees, are marked with a metal oval sign. The sign reads "Circus", with the picture of an elephant on it.

  • The spirits of former circus employees are said to move around the cemetery, at night. Everything from ghost clowns, and acrobats, to phantom horses, have been seen inside the cemetery gates.

  • The spirit of Joseph McMahon (see below) has been seen haunting the area around his grave.

  • Joseph McMahon was the owner of the Sands & Astley Circus. On April 2nd, 1897, McMahon was shot and killed in Witchita, by a deputy sheriff, from Taylor County, Texas. The deputy mistook a sudden move by McMahon of putting his hand on his hip (some say he was actually
    reaching for a handkerchief), as a reach for a gun.

    As for the other spirits that roam the grounds of the Spring Grove Cemetery, some also met with violent fates (accidents, fights, etc.), which might be a reason they are still earthbound. Then again, maybe these spirits just continue to do the work they loved to do when they were still alive.

    ....Circus Grave Marker.

    ....Grave of Joseph McMahon

    Joseph McMahon's grave can be found behind the Civil War Memorial
    (not sure of the section number).