Something Off About That Picture
A young man is dropping off groceries at the house of an eccentric old lady when he notices an old photo that makes the hair on his arms stand on end. The photo's normal enough--a young boy in his Sunday best--but something just seems off. He asks the old lady who it is.
"Oh," she replies, trying to stuff a cat in the dishwasher "isn't that beautiful? You can hardly tell he's dead."
While most folks today are too squeamish to take more than a glance into the casket during a funeral, in the late 19th through early 20th centuries someone dying meant it was time to break out the camera for a family photo. The practice was known as memorial photography.
And, while it all sounds like the set-up for some terrifying practical joke on the photographer, there was actually a somewhat reasonable explanation for the practice. The process used to take pictures back then was expensive enough that it was a once in a lifetime (er, or shortly after a lifetime) thing for most, and required people to sit perfectly still for a couple minutes for it to turn out properly. And if there's one thing dead people are good at it's sitting still.
So, the bodies were dressed and propped up, with their eyes held open. And in case they still weren't giving off that lively "I'm not a corpse harnessed to a chair" vibe, some color was added to the faces in the photo. And just look what they could do with special effects in those days!
Some photographers also offered to add stink lines, but it never really caught on.
Eventually the practice of memorial photography went out of style, maybe because picture-taking became more affordable and didn't have to be reserved for special occasions such as death. Or, possibly everyone just sat up all at once and said, "Wait, what the fuck are we doing?"
The Corpse in the Carpet
You can find this tale of ill-advised interior decorating on angelfire pages across the web lumped in with old chestnuts like "The call is coming from inside the house!" According to the story, somebody finds a beautiful old rug in an alley, takes it home and finds something horrifying wrapped inside (what some call "the Taco Bell burrito scenario"). Variations of this one include bodies being found in discarded refrigerators or wardrobes, but the message remains the same; don't do your home decor shopping anyplace that smells of crackhead urine.
In 1984, three Columbia University students found a rolled-up carpet on the sidewalk and decided to drag it back home (we assume they were mainly looking for something to absorb vomit and Doritos crumbs, rather than accessorize their milk crate furniture).