I’ve always wondered how funeral home workers do their jobs while they’re shrouded in an environment of constant morbidity. Somebody’s got to do it, right? Embalmers, morticians, and funeral directors are the ones who spend time with the deceased making them look as presentable as possible for their last viewing.
It seems as though a plethora of creepy stories would come out of their occupations and you’re right. Reddit has put together some creepy stories from actual funeral home workers, and these are their stories.
1. CORPSE SITS UP ALL BY ITSELF
“My neighbor awhile back before I moved was a mortician. One night he had a body he was preparing for a very early morning wake or service (whatever was going on, it was unusual, and it required him to work into the wee hours of the morning on this particular corpse).
So as he’s working on it, he turned his back to grab some tools or supplies, and the angle he was standing at with regard to the corpse left the body visible just out of the corner of his eye. As he was looking down at whatever tools he was getting, in the corner of his eye he saw the body slowly start to sit up. His fight/flight instinct immediately kicked in, and he ran to the stairs as fast as he possibly could, but he was so clumsy trying to get up the stairs he tripped and was pretty much crawling and clawing his way to the top.
He was just near the top before his senses finally came back, and he knew it was rigor mortis. He collected himself and started to laugh at how absurd it all was. He had been doing this for 15 to 20 years at that point, and he had never had a freak out like that before where instinct overtook knowledge and experience. He actually sheepishly admitted he had to go clean himself because he had soiled his pants in the panic.”
2. DEAD MAN HOLDS ON TO MEDICAL TECHNICIAN
“I used to work in tissue recovery. My least favorite part was prepping a donor for recovery, as it included shaving the arms/legs. Once, we had a donor who was very freshly deceased. I held his hand to shave his arm, and his fingers curled around my hand as rigor mortis set in.
That was exceptionally creepy.”
3. CORPSES MOAN AND GROAN AS THEY ARE MOVED
“If corpses have a lungful of air, then moving them causes it to release. When the air travels through their throat, you get some minor vocalization, but it’s usually just a liquidy gurgle. It still gets me sometimes, though, if I’m working alone.”
4. LIGHTS FLICKER EVERY TIME A NEW BODY IS BROUGHT IN
“I’m a nurse, and the only place I’ve ever seen the lights flicker is just outside the morgue. They are fine almost all of the time but when we bring a body down the lights always flicker. Really creeps me out.”
5. A DEAD BODY SHIVERS IN THE PRESENCE OF A LIVING ONE
“I was filling out paperwork over one of the bodies while working late when it shuddered. Never saw that before or after, no explanation.”
6. FUNERAL HOME LIGHTS GO ON AND OFF BY THEMSELVES
“I’ve only experienced something one time and that was around 10PM, after two years with no activity at the location. I had turned all the lights off in the chapel, and when I went to check the casket door, the lights turned back on. I was nowhere near the switch.”
7. CEREMONIAL DOVES ARE DEVOURED BY HAWKS
“I’m a funeral director/embalmer and I have seen… just so many bad funerals. One that really stood out was the time that a family released doves in a rural cemetery, after being told not to, and a hawk ripped one to pieces.”
8. A WOMAN WITH A GLASS EYE REQUESTED IT BE LEFT OPEN FOR HER SERVICE
“I was a part-time funeral director’s assistant. We once had an elderly woman with a glass eye who requested it be kept wide open for the service. Gave me a hell of a fright when I saw her in her casket.”
9. MAN HAS HIS DEAD DOG WAITING FOR HIM AT FUNERAL HOME
“My mother worked in a funeral home. One day, she was asked to go up in the attic to look for some old records, and came across a baby coffin. She went to move it with her foot, and could tell it wasn’t empty. Immediately went back downstairs and asked the director about it. Apparently it’s a client’s embalmed dog that’s being stored until he dies, so that they can be buried together upon his death.”
10. IDENTICAL TWIN SHOWS UP TO FUNERAL IN THE SAME OUTFIT AS HIS DECEASED BROTHER
“My mom works in the funeral business. Sometimes I would come to work with her and help her set up the chapel for a service. One service in particular was of a little boy who drowned. His parents dressed his identical twin brother in the same outfit as him for the funeral.”
11. FUNERAL WORKERS DRESS AS CLOWNS FOR A FUNERAL
“We had a dead clown one time. This person was buried in full clown costume with makeup and all. At the family’s request, the funeral directors were clowns too. They supplied costume and did our makeup. Family and friends had one teardrop painted on near the eye.”
12. FUNERAL TECH IS ASKED TO CLEAN EYES THAT AREN’T THERE
“One of the creepiest for me was having to clean a gentleman up…I was supposed to clean his eyes, as well. Opened those up only to see two empty sockets. No eyes. Apparently, it was a post-autopsy embalming.”