Embalmers, morticians, and funeral directors spend much of their time surrounded by death and dying, and in the process, they have collected some pretty ‘out there’ stories. From unexplained causes of death to bodies discovered in conditions that most of us would never even begin to imagine, their stories are enough for anyone to rethink a career in the field!
When a Reddit user posted the question, asking what the craziest cause of death morticians had encountered, the answers were far worse than anything we could have imagined!
“My ex was a cop, he got called to a suicide by chainsaw, they arrived after the ambulance so were spared having to see the scene. Apparently the guy just started the chainsaw and let it fall back into his head.”
“The undertaker conducting a funeral service at a church where I was organist told me that he had to prepare a woman for viewing at a wake who had been killed by a gargoyle falling from the tower of an old church and making a direct hit. Apparently, it did extensive damage – the kind that took him several days of reconstructive preparatory work.”
“My mom works in the transplant field, and two of my aunts are in medical. One Christmas I was home, they were passing around the table a pic on their phone of this guy on the autopsy table with his a*s rotted off to the bone. Turns out he was a paraplegic in a nursing home. The nurses just neglected cleaning his a*s for so long that it rotted off and he couldn’t feel it, and it wasn’t discovered until he was on the table (how!!). I got pissed off because they were debating if they should report it. Like f*ck yes you should, you’ll be in one of those homes soon so you should really give a damn about the treatment.”
“My dad’s a police officer, not the same, but there was a guy that was running from the cops and jumped off an overpass to try and get away. He ended up being decapitated by a spiked fence that was below.”
“In school, we actually did dissection on human cadavers. One cadaver had a pair of hand-cuffed hands tattood on him that said ‘when this convict dies, send him to heaven because he has already been through hell.’ We had a student that had been a mortician in St. Louis and with a career change was becoming a doctor. He had embalmed that cadaver. No family would claim him so they sold him to our school.”
“Am both paramedic and mortician, so I’ve seen some real doozies. One of the most bizarre was the fellow who, upon autopsy, had his cause of death declared as electrocution, despite the fact that the abandoned farmhouse he was in hadn’t had electricity in decades. Lividity and decomp both supported the conclusion that he died where he was found, so it wasn’t a body dump, but there was no possible way for him to have been electrocuted there.”
“My dad did autopsies for a while. Said the worst was a little girl who’s charred in the fetal position. Supposedly when her house caught fire she crawled under the Christmas tree, which then turned into a furnace.”
“Not a mortician, but I used to read Death Certificates for my job. The weirdest and most puzzling one was a man in his late 60s who died of a pulmonary embolism as a result of crushing his own penis in a vise. I’ve tried to think of ways it could have happened accidentally (naked woodworking?) or what his thought process could possibly have been even if disordered.”
“Mortician here. The most fucked up case I ever handled was an elderly woman and her 40-something son. They lived in the same apartment and he cared for her 24/7 because she was paralyzed from the neck down. He had a heart attack and collapsed, dead, beside her bed. After about 3 weeks the landlord became suspicious when the rent had not been paid and found them. It gives me nightmares thinking about that poor old woman laying there starving to death while smelling the stench of her dead son. Her cause of death was ‘inanition’ which I had to google.”
“I came across one death certificate that said they died of ‘nothing serious.’ Given that that’s the condition in which I currently identify myself, I’m not sure if I should change that. Another one was written as ‘self-murder.’ Lastly, there was a guy we had buried, pretty normal and all. A few months later we received his hands from the FBI. No explanation, of course.”
“A friend from work was in the army. They were on field exercises in Germany. An artillery piece failed to fire. A gunnery sergeant bent down to eyeball something on the gun. It went off. The recoil of the big gun decapitated the Sgt. Immediately. A human line was formed to look for the head. A soldier finds it some distance away. Holding it up by it’s hair, the soldier yells ‘Capt. Look what I found.’ Soldier was given a general discharge.”
“Motorcycle accident with rider having no helmet. Had no head. Wandering the ditches to find the head at the butt-crack of dawn. Not finding it, still walking and looking, and you start seeing things in that odd dusk. Thinking you might trip over a detached head in the ditch. Other responders eventually figure it out: head was pushed down into the body. Noped right out of that career.”
“Not a Mortician or EMT/Cop/Fire etc. Just a Dad who chaperoned his 15yo kid for their class tour of the local county Sheriffs Dept Forensics department. Kids were morbidly curious at why this car with front end damage and no back windshield was in the warehouse. Tech offhandedly said a guy committed suicide by kicking out the back window, tied a long rope to a tree, ran the rope through the empty window, tied it around his neck, then floored it across this field, decapitating himself when the rope snapped taunt.”
“My one uncle is a funeral director out in a community with a lot of Amish and Mennonites. There was an Amish father who accidentally killed his son when they were tilling the field. The father’s one request was that he be allowed to bury his son himself after the ceremony. That really f*cked my uncle up.”
“We once had a lady that came in looking like she had died in a war. Burn marks, lacerations… what I imagine it looks like if you get hit by a grenade or a mine. I asked the ME, and apparently she had been discharged from the hospital earlier that day for a hip replacement. They had given her a bottle of oxygen and strict orders not to smoke. Well ol Mrs Joe Camel sits right down on her sofa on her porch at home, plops the oxygen tank down next to her, and – oxygen tubes still in her nose – lights up her very last cigarette. Boom.”
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