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Man built fake graveyard to scare away homeless, used real tombstones

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   May 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM   |   Comments

May 20 (UPI) -- One man in Houston, Texas, was so fed up with people littering, loitering and sleeping in his front yard that he built a "scarecrow graveyard" to keep them away.

The unnamed man put an iron fence around his downtown Houston property and placed three tombstones, rejected by a local monument company, in the corner of the yard.

This week he discovered the discarded grave markers were inscribed with the names of actual deceased people. The names of Johnny Mack Chappell, Dee Brown Hancock and Sandra Ruth Howen appear on the memorials.

The property owner told local station KTRK that he regrets the fact that the memorials are for real people.

Wayne Chappell, the brother of Johnny Mack Chappell, told ABC News that the family is tickled by the news of the fake cemetery. “He would get his friends and have a beer party next to it or something,” Chappell said of his deceased brother.

Chappell added that his brother, who died in 1986, would have befriended the vagrants. "You’re kind of underneath the highway there. That’s always been the hobo area," he said. "I can understand wanting to clean up your area. I’m just curious what [the property owner] might have done to help the vagrants."

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