The 13th Floor

GRAVE ROBBING FOR MORONS: Is This Creepy VHS Footage for Real?

“This Video is for Fun.”

Thus reads the unofficial cover art for this notorious half-hour video, allegedly sourced from a VHS tape in the late 1980s or early 1990s, then dubbed and re-dubbed for circulation and sale among bootleg collectors, often (literally) under the table at horror conventions and through mail-order tape trading communities. It’s often sold in a video compilation with three other gruesome home videos under the title ENSURING YOUR PLACE IN HELL (I’ll discuss that one in a later article).

The title GRAVE ROBBING FOR MORONS was added after the fact, and the source of the original footage — as well as the identity of the young man in the video — remains unknown, even roughly two decades later.

The narrator, whose name is given as “Anthony,” spends most of the clip’s 26-minute runtime holding what appears to be an actual human skull. He goes into graphic, grisly detail about his two (to date) grave-robbing ventures, and the various “souvenirs” he’s supposedly acquired from the disinterred corpses, with the apparent goal of selling human skulls to shops which deal in occult merchandise.

The narrator also seems to have a severe speech impediment, and his commentary occasionally lapses into lengthy stuttering episodes, Also, he may have several accomplices: a man he addresses as “Gino” can be heard asking him questions off-screen, and a few other first names (or nicknames) are dropped as well.

“Anthony” also offers an extremely chilling piece of advice to aspiring grave-robbers: “Never leave witnesses.”

At one point, he also reveals his intention to raid the crypt of legendary illusionist Harry Houdini — and while he may indeed be one of many perpetrators who have vandalized Houdini’s grave, the coffin itself remains sealed.

Several true crime, weird news and horror sites have featured, discussed and analyzed this video: horror journalist Josh Millican recently showcased the footage on Horror Freak News; it’s been discussed in depth on the YouTube channel Scare Theater; and the folks at renowned paranormal site/channel Planet Weird have posted an email address for anyone with information about the identity of “Anthony” and his alleged accomplices.