The 7 Worst Things That Can (And Did) Happen at a Funeral

#3. Cremate the Wrong Body


While a missing body at the funeral is a pain in the ass, they generally tend to turn up since they're usually right where you left them. Except when someone lights them on fire.

Like misplacing your keys and then finding out someone else in the house reduced them to ash, occasionally funeral home workers will mix up bodies and put one in a casket while they cremate another, which is the exact opposite of what was intended. It's like a hilariously morbid episode of Three's Company that haunts the nightmares of all involved. So like most episodes with the Ropers.

The spinoff is a great idea! But let's call it "The Ropers" instead of "Sea Hag and the Goblin."

So how do you mix up bodies? How did Aurelie Germaine Tuccillo end up cremated when her family had been expecting to bury her, and someone else end up in her casket? Pop culture assures us that funeral homes, such as those in Six Feet Under and Phantasm, are nothing if not zany and full of homicidal dwarves. The funeral home in question only issued a statement of regret and condolences regarding the "incident," so we're forced to assume the workers got loaded the night before and played "Spin the Cadaver" and lost track of who was who in the fray.

#2. Beat Up the Corpse


There's some saying or other about beating dead horses, but we've been advised to avoid pissing PETA off. So instead, let's focus on what happens when a random drifter happens upon a funeral and decides to duke it out with the dearly departed in what would be a hilarious scene in a Will Ferrell movie yet in real life was probably just horrifying. Really, there's no reason to laugh.

Back in 2007, Timothy Cleary, out for a stroll, made his way to the Harvest Baptist Church where a funeral was taking place. I like to think he saw the open casket and thought something along the lines of "holy cow I'm insane!" then burst into a wind sprint and leapt on the corpse before raining down blows. Mourners, not fans of Will Ferrell-style comedy, then attacked Cleary and pulled him off the dead man before calling 911.

People actually ask him to come and beat up corpses.

Turns out Cleary didn't know the deceased and police weren't readily able to come up with a reason for the attack. Likely the responding officers were too busy trying to decide whether or not Cleary was batshit insane or simply crazier than a shithouse rat.

#1. Piss Off Minority Mourners


If you feel like oppressing a minority, timing is always essential. For instance, if you feel like raiding a gay bar, don't do it on the day of Judy Garland's funeral. Back in 1969, that's exactly what happened at the Stonewall Inn, and it led to a historic riot. On the surface, rioting is never a good thing, especially one as violent as Stonewall. But we can always get behind a bunch of homophobes getting their ass handed to them by guys they nicknamed Nancy in high school.

Judy Garland, who you may know as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and possibly as numerous dudes who dress up as her, became a gay icon through some means Wikipedia has been unable to explain to us. Shortly after her death, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular New York gay bar, intent on rounding up some lesbians and cross dressers because in the 60s, those were apparently the worst things happening in New York.

Actual photo of a 1960s gay bar. It was a very colorful time.

Instead what happened was a mob formed as the cops waited for backup and as quick as a lesbian can style her mullet, shit got decidedly real. While cops brutalized the people they had taken into custody, the crowd, which had grown to around 500 people, threw down. Bottles flew along with bricks, fists and fabulous shoes. Many cops had to give up beating on people with their clubs and simply run away while others barricaded themselves in the bar.

In interviews after the fact, participants expressed that it was a combination of the loss of Judy Garland and the desire to not be beaten mercilessly that triggered the event. Hard to say which one of those two was more at the forefront in the minds of those present. The fact that Garland's death had anything to do with the riots that most historians credit with the entire gay rights movement is both remarkable, and the second example that New Yorkers take the deaths of actors extremely seriously.

Check out more from Fortey, in The 8 Most Insulting Attempts to Raise Money for a Cause and 12 'Sexy' Ads That Will Give You Nightmares.

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