It’s safe to deduce that mortuary work is certainly a specialised field. Even the simple thought of being surrounded by death all day is enough to make some people shudder. Somebody has to do it, though, and thanks to all of these hard-working morticians, embalmers, and funeral directors, we have some terrifying tales to share.
“I used to work in tissue recovery. My least favorite part was prepping the donor for recovery process, 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.”
“I was filling out paperwork over one of the stiffs all by myself while working late when it shuddered. Never saw that before or after, no explanation.”
“(My mom who worked in a funeral home) 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 mans embalmed dog, that’s being stored until he dies, so his dog can be buried with him.”
“We had this house call one time. The lady was dead a while. On the couch all bloated as hell. When we started moving her, the abdomen busted. I had goo and maggots all over my leg.”
“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.”
“I one time picked up a lady who had been dead in her recliner chair for 4 days in mid july. I think her skin turned purple if I remember correctly, and when we went to get her off the recliner and onto our cot, something on her leg ripped and all the puss/blood started looting out in a stream on the carpet. It sounded like someone was peeing on the carpet, and the smell was terrible.”
“I interned at a funeral home/crematorium in high school (I was goth, it was the perfect street cred internship). The funeral home owner was a nice guy, Phil, with a PH, and he always introduced himself that way. He had a family and was married, great sense of humor, bright personality, almost bubblely.
About 8-9 months after my internship ended Phil was forced to stop working. He had began (according to him) to find worms inside people. Long, white, wriggling worms, thousands of them filling people’s bodies. He had called the CDC, local doctors, hospitals, other funeral homes on the west coast, no one else had found the worms. But he began to find them inside every person he worked on. He talked non stop about the worms, first to his family, then to the families of clients, then to strangers. He had a total breakdown after autopsying a young boy somewhere between 6-8 years old who was almost entirely worms, again according to PH.
After the breakdown Phil was pushed out of his business and it was sold to a national chain. About six months after being forced out Phil killed himself. While I never got to read the note itself, his wife later told me that he had written about being able to feel the worms inside himself and not being able to stand it. He had begged his wife in the note to follow him and to also kill their children as when he looked at his sons all he could see were the worms inside them.”
“My neighbor a while back before I moved was a mortician. He had a body he was preparing for a very early morning wake. 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.”
“If a corpse happens to 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.”
“We had a dead clown one time. This person was buried in full clown costume with makeup and all. The whole family was clowns, all the friends were clowns. And at the familys request, the funeral directors were clowns too. They supplied costume and did our makeup. Family and friends had 1 tear drop painted on near the eye. Definitely my strangest.”
“I had just started my shift and was using a restroom in the back. When I came out, I heard what sounded like a girl sobbing and the sound of feet shuffling around on the floor. The floor was kinda gravely and had a distinct sound if you scooted your feet on it. The sound was coming from around a corner that led into a small room where we would store embalmed bodies ready to be delivered to their respective funeral home.
I figured someone was upset and crying. So I kinda snuck in, still hearing the sobbing. When I peaked around the corner, the room was empty. No living person in there. I noticed that there was only one body in there as well. A young girl. She shot herself in the side of the head. I wasn’t scared per say, but I’m pretty sure you could audibly hear my heart beat.”