The Eerie Story of El Payaso Torpedo and His Alleged Haunting of Arena México
It’s officially spooky season and we’re celebrating by looking back at some of our cultura’s most eerie, hair-raising tales. While you may have already heard of the Chupacabra or La Llorona, you may be less familiar with one of the Arena México’s most chilling ghost stories.
As legend goes, El Payaso Torpedo may still wander through the arena’s halls, meaning the “cathedral of lucha libre” might be haunted. Is your interest piqued? Get your popcorn or Hot Cheetos out because we’re going in:
As explained by TikTok storyteller @caws_steven22, El Payaso Torpedo’s tale is one of lucha libre’s most spine-chilling ghost stories. Notably, El Payaso Torpedo was a clown who performed in Mexico’s Atayde Circus in the 1970s— not a lucha libre wrestler. Still, he put on shows at Mexico City’s Arena México, which is widely known for its lucha libre events.
So what allegedly happened in the clown’s life that could make him still haunt the grounds of the arena? Here’s everything to know about his reported apparitions.
According to legend, El Payaso Torpedo still haunts the halls of Arena México
As per the Tomás Montero Archive, the Atayde Circus was founded in 1888, becoming one of Mexico’s most important shows. It became the country’s most famous circus, bringing together clowns, acrobats, comedians, and more.
The circus’s clowns in the 1970s were especially memorable, including names like Bellini, Pirrin, Paquin, Pelusa, Farolito, Centavo, Juaco… and yes, Torpedo.
According to the archive’s recollection, the clowns’ “classic, comedic entrances were accompanied by ‘pagotes’ and ‘tozudos’ — epic characters made of rags and cardboard.” They also played characters like “crazy painters” or “the chicken.”
As X user @josepumasanchez noted, the Arena México was the “official house” of the circus.
Torpedo, plus other clowns like Centavo, Tornillo, Chuchin and Juaco, were little people who found work within the circus. While not much is known about their working conditions or personal matters, according to legend, Torpedo’s life ended in tragedy.
As per TikTok account @caws_steven22, “El Payaso Torpedo was one of the most loved characters” in the circus. The clown also found unwavering “support” from his fans who attended the shows.
However, El Payaso Torpedo allegedly only had eyes for one person — a female trapeze artist who also worked in the circus. According to X user @josepumasanchez, the trapeze artist was “beautiful,” and the clown often “gifted her chocolates and roses.” As per the tale, “he fell deeply in love with her.”
However, legend has it that once the woman realized his interest, she told him: “I would never like someone like you.”
As the story goes, El Payaso Torpedo took his own life in the Arena México soon after.
Here are some of the clown’s sightings recorded in the Arena México
Lucha libre professional wrestler Nitro spoke to Lucha Central about ghost apparitions at Arena México, and he didn’t disappoint.
The wrestler revealed to the outlet that he has heard of El Payaso Torpedo sightings, saying the clown’s “essence somehow walks through the corridors.”
“In 1975, when the Atayde Circus appeared, [Payaso Torpedo] was in love with a trapeze artist,” Nitro described. “So whenever she finished her act, he gave her a flower or a detail.”
However, the wrestler said that things took a turn once Torpedo “followed her everywhere, which caused the young woman a lot of annoyance.”
Once the trapeze artist said she “would never notice someone like him,” everything changed. The clown fell into “depression, which led him to suicide,” Nitro described.
So what about Torpedo’s apparitions today? According to Nitro, “Before long, people said they heard the dwarf laugh out loud or cry bitterly at the back of the side of the preferred area.”
Adding, “There were even those who said they had seen him wandering the hallways carrying a rose in his hand.”
TikTok account @crismc_wrestling also spoke about El Payaso Torpedo’s apparitions at the Arena México, describing, “Arena México’s luchadores have said they have heard laughs and crying [onsite].”
The TikToker also said that famous luchador, El Eléctrico, once spoke about seeing the clown while practicing in the arena.
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