Gandini’s Circus

79
City/Town: Edmond
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: 1900's
Year Abandoned: N/A
Status: AbandonedGutted
Photographer: Cody CooperMichael SchwarzMary Evans

Heading down busy Kelly Ave in downtown Edmond, passing an Arby’s and a gas station, you wouldn’t think anything of the obscure dirt road blocked off by a yellow fence.

At first you may just notice a barren field and nothing else, but it doesn’t take long to realize the full history of this strange, abandoned plot. Concrete foundations checker the tan grass while rusty metal poles protrude out of the bushes and trees. There are several houses that have

long since been vacated and later vandalized by passers-by. Further into the acreage, hidden behind some thick brush, you’ll start getting an idea of what this place used to be.

Gandini’s Circus went on for some time between the 1900’s and 1930, touring across various parts of the states. Fragments of the circus still linger around including 4 or 5 trailers where the clowns, acrobats and animals were housed. Even the cages, large and small, are still there– discarded when the circus apparently disbanded. Although many of the trailers are burnt from the inside out by either arson or a terrible accident, you can still find fliers, popcorn bags and soda cups along with assorted pieces of memorabilia throughout the area.

What makes the area so spooky is not the place’s background, but it’s lack of obvious history. I’ve tried to search the Internet for information on the circus but could only find a few pages vaguely relating to what it was. Digging through the ashes in and around the trailers I was able to find a few old fliers in tact that shed some light on the place, but still not enough to make this area any less frightening.

The real scare comes at night, walking through this barren place, maybe tripping over an old cougar cage or deflated clown ball, when the full scope of what ‘haunted’ really boils down to. Afterall, there may be nothing more dreadful than a haunted circus burned to the ground. A place does not necessarily require ghosts to be haunted, but if it’s scary enough, maybe we’re the ones who create them.

-Written by Robert Cole

Pulled from here

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Chelsey West
Guest
Chelsey West

Also there are old trailers in the back in the woods, where me and my friends have found circus tickets and old notes and pictures.

Magdalena
Guest
Magdalena

I have been to the 'haunted circus,' as I was introduced to it by my teenage daughter.

Note: in Edmond there is no Arby's on Kelly. There is an Arby's on Santa Fe and one on Broadway. Furthermore, Kelly doesn't go through downtown Edmond.

super woman
Guest
super woman

i am not gonna lie this place is pretty cool, we visited this circus yesterday but we did not find any fliers or tickets or old pictures and i am extremely interested if seeing these…. where might i find them(in the house, in the blue trailer, in the white truck or where???)

Huskybaseball
Guest
Huskybaseball

I visited this place today, after my friend told me about it. I went with a few friends and walked around, looking at all of the old abandoned stuff. It was awesome, and I'm definitely going to go back when it isn't raining to introduce more people to this awesome, hidden place, knowing that they never realized it was there when they passed on the common edmond street.

Huskybaseball
Guest
Huskybaseball

Also, the picture from the google shot up above shows a big building in the middle, and another smaller building to the north. Neither of those are there now. The house farthest east, and the big building to the west, closest to the 5 trailers, are the only buildings still standing.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

As soon as the weeds die out, we hope to go back and get some photos of the flyers and tickets… We were only here for a short time, and didn't get to explore the whole area. If you have photos you want to share, you can post them in the forum!

Dustin Welch
Guest

The Circus is called Cylde bros shriner circus and the hagen bros were also there!!!! Was running in 1955 to about 70 ish!!! I can tell by the pop top RC can I found there they stopped making them in like 1973.
https://digital.library.okstate.edu/oktoday/1950s/

Page 8 has an add for the Hagen bros circus!!!

greeneyedbosoxlover
Guest

The Clyde Bros. Circus was started in 1943 by Howard W. Suesz. By the early 1950's the show was playing a number of United States Shrine dates, and by the mid-1950s began playing a number of Canadian Shrine dates. Both indoor and tent dates were played. In 1949 Suesz started a tent show called Hagen Bros. that was operating until 1961. There was no connection to Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. However in 1960 the Clyde Bros. Circus had to change its title to Rex Bros. Circus for it's Canadian dates due to competition from the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus that also… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Actually, they quit making pop-top cans in the early 80s, not the early 70s.

kim
Guest
kim

I grew up in edmond, we could hear the lion and elephants at night. we used to sneak in the back way and watch animals and "smoke" dont thing its hauntd, just old place in middle of town…look around and you will find popcorn bags and fliers

Sanyben
Guest
Sanyben

Thank you for sharing that link! The story was fascinating!

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

I have plenty of pictures of this place and am hoping to find out a little more about the history of this place. I will try to submit them to you soon! This is a really interesting place!

Nikole Sturm
Guest
Nikole Sturm

wow, the pictures take of the vehicles outside are pretty cool. i've passed that area several times and had no idea that was there. you guys rock 😀

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

So how exactly do you get there?

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

If you think this place is pretty creepy and cool now, the first time I saw it, I was 15 years old and am now 27. All of the original trapeze was there and all of the buildings were still there. The water and feed troughs were there and alot of the old flyers were left on the ground. All of the cages were there and chains for the animals were all original and left abandoned. The entire place looks so different from what it used to look like. I really regret not taking any photos of the dead circus… Read more »

saranearguthrie
Guest

I was there this morning and while it was neat and creepy it was not as wonderful as i had hoped. Too many kids have torn the place apart. There was a weird bone in one of the trailers. I was thinking maybe a cow but realized…. there's no cows out there. :p

Kendon
Guest
Kendon



That link is a youtube video of a guy that did a short movie at this location. The video is not about the circus but it captures a lot of great scenes of what the circus kind of looks like today!

bob
Guest
bob

a group of 4 friends of mine went last nite about midnite. they say ITS NOT EMPTY! they kept hearing metal and rustling far away getting closer. as they slowly made their way out they turned around and saw a big dark figure of a person that started running at them very quickly, and chased them to the gate. the figure never yelled nor had a flashlight like a security gaurd or cop would have done. someone or people live their. if u have been there you will know there isnt anywhere to take residence. we plan on another trip… Read more »

Luke
Guest
Luke

A few months ago, I went out there with three friends and the same exact thing happened. My friend said she heard something behind us and a tall, completely black figure ran at me from the trail leading to the big pavilion. On my first trip there I also heard a sound like rusty metal scraping together. And on my second trip, another friend of mine saw the figure walk out of the trailer with the metal bars in it and just stand and look at him.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

It was homeless people. They love in those trailers out there

brett
Guest
brett

i am fixing to make a trip out there i will post when i get back

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

Where exactly is it as? I live in edmond and want to go but i cant find where it is? Thanks!:)

H_O_O_P_S
Guest
H_O_O_P_S

did you ever find it? if not let me know and i will get you the location 🙂 this is brett that was my old screen name on here

Elyse Pruet
Guest
Elyse Pruet

Does anyone know how to contact the owner of the land that Gandini's is located on? I'm doing a circus themed photo shoot and was wondering…….If any of you know that'd be great.. Thanks.

macfurdith
Guest
macfurdith

Pictures of the found memorabilia would be very cool. None of the pictures posted here indicate "circus".

Dillan
Guest
Dillan

Went 3 months ago and although there really wasn't anything left, I managed to find a circus ticket. Pretty cool.

Micah
Guest
Micah

I went yesterday and there was an abandoned house, rain shelter, 4 trailers and a huge chunk of metal that I assume is a collapsed water tower. You have to walk through the tall grass across the field, you can see foot trails where others have been exploring. Try again.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Any idea on what the address might be ?

Kelsey
Guest
Kelsey

I used to live in one of the surrounding neighborhoods near the "abandoned circus". I was around 6-7 years old and would go outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids between 5-6 PM and would wait to hear the lions roar. I was told that it was an old circus training ground and they would hold lions and tigers and other animals there to train them. It sounds strange, but my parents have heard it as well. I don't know if anyone has any information on this or not. I actually went out there when I was about 17… Read more »

ShawnMC13
Guest
ShawnMC13

Someone please let me know how to access this or get ahold of the land owner. I'd love to go treasure hunting there, thank you!

Jackson
Guest
Jackson

its freaking stupid. i just went and thought id see ya know like some burnt animal cages and cool stuff noting that it was like a haunted burnt down circus and it was nothing like that… it was more like a dump site for old nasty stuff people had discarded. just letting everyone know before they head out there expecting some awesome haunted thing.

JACKSON
Guest
JACKSON

its freaking stupid. i just went and thought id see ya know like some burnt animal cages and cool stuff noting that it was like a haunted burnt down circus and it was nothing like that… it was more like a dump site for old nasty stuff people had discarded. just letting everyone know before they head out there expecting some awesome haunted thing.

Ariana
Guest
Ariana

would love to go see this haunted circus. i'm trying to study up on the paranormal and circuses are an all time fave of mine. will check it out one day

Kaylee
Guest
Kaylee

I went out there with a few friends for a photoshoot not too long ago. We ended up taking the actual photos in the house that are in the pictures above, but after some exploring, we found the actual circus trailers. You can see the old paint on the outside and even get inside the trailers. It was super creepy, but definitely looked more like an abandoned circus than the house above. You guys should revisit and explore some more! There are a lot of neat things out there.

@Heather2K15
Guest

hi my name is heather… me and my aunt tried to find the ruins but couldnt locate it. could you help us?

anna
Guest
anna

I dont know if im actually going to get a reply back but its worth a shot… Hi, my names is Anna, im an ubran explorer, ive lived in oklahoma all my life and when i came across this story it made me want to explore this site and see it for myself. The whole point of me replying to your post is to ask you a question or two. My first question is over getting into the circus, was it easy to get into or did you and your friends have to sneak around to get in? and my… Read more »

anonyous
Guest
anonyous

Jorge Barreda owns it. He lives if florida and currnetly has 4 elephants.

Chandra
Guest
Chandra

How can I contact him?

gmc bum
Guest
gmc bum

wow i used to hang out here with friends and smoke weed during the early 90s …it used to have many more bulidings and lots of old cages and circuis stuff had a few cars and trucks a few big rigs even had a 1966 mustang that was complete sadly as young teens we just vandalized it ….. most scary was the phone was still on the wall it didnt have a dial tone but had an open signal ( for those of you whom dont know it still had a post and a ringer ) …. as a kid… Read more »

Cliff
Guest
Cliff

Just went there tonight. Pretty creepy to say the least. One concerned me most was the trails and trash out there. It was farely obvious that there are transients living out there. I did however do some recording and heard a unexplained voice on my cell phone. What is weird to me is that a circus packed everything up and shut down.

Circus Kid
Guest
Circus Kid

THE DEFINITIVE BRIEF ANSWER – Gandini's Circus couldn’t make it thru the Great Depression. The assets were bought up by Howard W. Suesz in 1943 and a new circus was formed – CLYDE BROTHER’ CIRCUS. There were no Clydes. The production company operated inside (arena) and outside (tent) shows. In the late 40's / early 50's the tent show was called HAGEN BROTHERS (again, no Hagens). The Hagen show played up to the early 60's. Howard Suesz focused almost exclusively on the Shriners Organization. By the mid 50's the circus was playing a number of Canadian Shrine dates yearly. In… Read more »

Sanyben
Guest
Sanyben

I'm glad you are so educated on this! I just came across it while googling abandoned places in Edmond OK hoping to find out some information about a home my daughter & I saw that looks totally abandoned in town. This has been very fascinating! Do you think Jose's son may have sold some of the items which used to be there in an attempt to clear the debris from the land? It would have made a cool museum!

Micah
Guest
Micah

Very well done, sir. The only real information I could get about this place was from my girlfriends father, who grew up in Edmond through the 60s and 70s. The only information he could give me was that the Alvarado family, owners of Alvarado's restaurant in Edmond, were involved in the circus and that was the site where the circus would house/train animals during the off-season, as well as practice circus acts. One of the Alvarado sons actually died during a circus act where he was performing trapeze over a den of lions. He fell, was injured, and the lions… Read more »

Circus Kid
Guest
Circus Kid

After Robert Lacy and William Jack and Howard Suesz got out of the Circus business, the animals were dispersed. Jose Barreda and his family kept some of the animals and the property was deeded to Jose and his wife Anna in November of 1978. He deeded it to his son Jorge and his wife Lou Ann in October 1991. Jorge is still the owner and lives in Bradenton, FL. He still works with animals. It is a large tract of land. You can see it on the County assessors website and observe changes since 2003. The taxes are always paid.… Read more »

Cook Llink
Guest
Cook Llink

I'm trying to find out which circus our family was a part of. Does any of your memorabilia have names associated with it? Our family was from OK, so checking with those based in OK during the 1910-1950's or so. Their last name was Cook.

Circus Kid
Guest
Circus Kid

The only name I new it by was Clyde Brothers Circus. There are numerous Circus history website you can research that may give you an answer.

Circus Kid
Guest
Circus Kid

The son that died was Jse Barreda Jr. He was a award winning tightrope walker and and tragically he ended his own life. He went by the name Chino.
You may be right about the restaurant name. I thought it was Alcapulco's.
His father was the lion trainer. He was from Peru.
Chino and his brother worked with several animals. Chimps, Bears, etc.
Chino's mother had been a trapeze performer. I think she was from Argentina.

College junkie
Guest
College junkie

Hi I am giving an informative speech for my class at Rose State, is there anyway you could tell me more? I have so many questions! I tried to find a phone number or email for the last known owner of the company/land, but came up empty handed, no such luck. I would even be interested in speaking on the phone if your up for it. Thank you so much for the information. I hope to hear from you soon.

Busdvr118
Guest
Busdvr118

I have seen that there are signs on the gate now that say "NO TRESPASSING" AND "PRIVATE PROPERTY". I have lived in Edmond most of my life and never knew about this until a short time ago.

natsuki
Guest
natsuki

Nothing creepier than the prospect of bumping into the ghost of a clown!

Annabelle
Guest
Annabelle

Pretty cool place, only downside, the bats there scare the hell out of me!

Doug
Guest
Doug

Driving north down Kelly in the early 70's you would see some of the animals out grazing, specificallt the elephants and Camels. Pretty cool place to drive by back then.

Sanyben
Guest
Sanyben

So maybe he used some of the equipment which was left there to transport them to Florida?

trackback

[…] to this circus, a major turn in his hobbies developed. After exploring the Gandini’s Circus (Click to see Circus Here), I began searching for abandoned locations throughout Oklahoma. Coming across many unhelpful and […]

trackback

[…] to this circus, a major turn in his hobbies developed. After exploring the Gandini’s Circus (Click to see Circus Here), he began searching for abandoned locations throughout Oklahoma. Coming across many unhelpful and […]

trackback

[…] Kelly Avenue, you’ll eventually run across a plot of land that houses an abandoned circus called Gandini’s Circus? Apparently, it’s also haunted, but I haven’t had the time to run out there and check for […]

trackback

[…] Kelly Avenue, you’ll eventually run across a plot of land that houses an abandoned circus called Gandini’s Circus? Apparently, it’s also haunted, but I haven’t had the time to run out there and check for […]

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

In 1976 I was in the 5th grade at Ida Freeman Elementary off 2nd and Kelley. One of my friends was named Jimmy Barrada and he told me that his parents were in the circus. As I remember, he said his father was a lion tamer and his mother was a tight rope walker. I moved after that year and never saw Jimmy again. I assumed the circus had moved out of Edmond.

It was nice to see this article and take a moment to remember a friend from my youth.

Chandra
Guest
Chandra

Do you know how to contact the owner? I want to see if I can take my boyfriend out there for his birthday he loves this stuff

cayetastrophy
Guest

Be sure to notice that this is PRIVATE PROPERTY and it is illegal to trespass. Went by today to see if I could get a
look and was stopped by the big No Trespassing signs…bummer.

Dan
Guest
Dan

This place is haunted, I used to kick it there all the time with a group of good friends and that all changed when we had this creepy night. We were in the main house talking and out of no ware we hear a clown laugh. We looked around thinking some one was playing a trick on us. No one else was around but us we all stated to freak out a little. We stated to head to are cars when we heard the laughing again, all of us booked it as fast as we could. The laughing got louder… Read more »

Law513
Guest
Law513

Howdy, Im told this place is Haunted, my family is in the hole paranormal thing, I would like to snap some shot's so if the ower to contact me I would be thankful.

josh
Guest
josh

If info is correct about location property has been bought and developed

Swagilichous
Guest
Swagilichous

I like writing random things on the Internet

Henry Kissenger
Guest
Henry Kissenger

Prove it

April
Guest
April

Does anyone know if I can take a group to explore with complete respect of the property the grounds? I lived in Edmond my entire childhood and never heard of the circus. I know where it is located but just thought it was an abandoned housing area.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I have spent the last year trying to reach someone about the property. The gentleman who the property was left to after the circus left town now lives in FL, and I believe his family now maintains the property.

Swaggy C
Guest
Swaggy C

I explored this place with a friend last year. Most of it has been taken down, mainly trashed out small house and burned up old touring van are what remains. It is in the middle of residential area and modern homes can be seen bordering on three sides. There were some concrete pads with rings bolted to the floor to house the elephants at one time. There were a few trailers there that are pretty destroyed as they were mostly wood originally. There is some cool painting on the sides of the trailers, there are multiple coats of paint peeling… Read more »

Denise
Guest
Denise

who do i need to contact to get permission to investigate?

Henry Kissinger
Guest
Henry Kissinger

Bozo the clown

Megan
Guest
Megan
Megan
Guest
Megan
trackback

[…] traveling acrobats, clowns and animals.  They apparently trained right here in Edmond.  You can learn more about it by clicking here.  They even have pictures taken by folks much braver than […]

Guest400
Guest
Guest400

I work for the City of Edmond and the lions, tigers, elephants and other animals were there through 1988. We had a key to the gates as we had to have access to electric lines and meters. In the early mornings you could hear the roar from the lions.

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