Who Is the Hunchback of Bernal Heights, and Why Is He Ringing Church Bells in the Middle of the Night?


For the last few nights, the mild-mannered residents of Precitaville have been tormented by the sound of the bells from St. Anthony’s Church on Cesar Chavez Boulevard tolling in the late evening hours.

It happened for the first time last Friday night at around 9 PM, and it was sort of cute at first — except to Neighbor Dan, who has a little baby who was trying to sleep:

Then, on Saturday night, the bells began to ring at about 3:30 AM, when just about everyone was trying to sleep:

Neighbor Rusty revealed himself to be a true postmodernist, because he initially thought it was just a simulacrum:

But no, it really was the bells from St. Anthony’s, really ringing at 3:30 AM, and making a really unholy amount of noise.

Last night, it happened yet again. But this time, your Bernalwood Eyewitness News Team was ready with a camera crew and mobile data uplink. Let’s go to the video, recorded on Precita Avenue, Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 9:37 PM:

Arrrgh! The ringing! THE RINGING!!!

Neighbor Loring was officially no-longer-amused:

Your Bernalwood Eyewitness News Team also obtained this EXCLUSIVE Dropcam security camera footage, which shows the perpetrator in action:

But why? Why is this happening? St. Anthony’s Church has been an excellent neighbor and a pillar of the Precitaville community for decades, so why have they suddenly unleashed their covert Quasimodo on the sleep-challenged citizens of North Bernal?

We suspect it is accidental, but we hope to have some answers soon.

UPDATE, 5:09 pm, May 11: The folks at St. Anthony’s just returned our call, and they are very apologetic. Apparently, there was a power outage at the church a few days ago, and something must have messed up the settings for the bells, which are operated by a robotic Quasimodo. Father Moises Agudo asks for your patience and your indulgence while he tries to sort things out.

13 thoughts on “Who Is the Hunchback of Bernal Heights, and Why Is He Ringing Church Bells in the Middle of the Night?

    • I called St Anthony’s today Monday and just got a voicemail response. I left a detailed message,so hopefully they will fix the nighttime call to mass.

  1. I LOOOOVE the bells. During the day. And in the last few days, the St. Anthony’s bells have been especially joyful. Really lovely. BUT nobody loves them in the middle of the night, PLEEEEASE no more.
    Dear St. Anthony, can you please stop the bells that ring in the middle of the night at your Church in Bernalwood?
    Daytime: awesome. Nighttime: not awesome.

  2. 9:37p and 3:37a. Seems like their timer is 9 hours and 37 minutes off as they normally ring at noon and 6pm. Well, that explains it.

  3. I called the church. They confirmed it is a glitch in the bells’ programming system… they think it might be due to a recent power loss. Good news: they are working on it and hope to have it done by tonight, so we won’t have glorious bells waking Bernalwood up in the middle of the night anymore! 🙂

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