3 Reasons Your ‘Final Resting Place’ Might Not Be That Final
It’s probably a safe bet that you’re not of noble birth, and therefore aren’t at risk of being exhumed over some future lineage dispute. And with any luck, you’ll go your entire life without being the victim of a mysterious crime that requires dredging up your body to examine wounds or extract DNA.
But even average blokes like you and me might be rudely awakened from our “eternal” slumber for reasons outside of our control. Read below about some of the most disturbing reasons your congealed viscera may be abruptly disentombed, and watch our latest video, “If Cemeteries Were Honest,” to learn a few more gory details that those in the boneyard business want to keep buried.
You Might Get Evicted
Your family may have drained their coffers to afford a nice, private hole for you to rot in, but that doesn’t mean they own it. It’s 2023; every last morsel of real estate is spoken for by 21st century landed gentries. When you pay for a cemetery plot, you’re actually renting it, and all the caveats that come with having a landlord apply.
A stranger who doesn’t know jack about your vibe is now in charge of your grave’s feng shui — but you’re dead; who cares if they don’t weed whack the encroaching dandelions, right? Consider yourself lucky if all they do is neglect it — there’s a very real chance that they might sell it right out from under you. If a cemetery decides to divest some or all of its land to a real-estate developer, your family may be on the hook to move your deteriorating corpse to a new cemetery. Or, if they think they can get away with it, they just won’t tell anyone, and let them build a high-rise condo right on top of you.
Your Roommates Need to Get In
Let’s face it — even in the afterlife, you probably can’t afford your own place. Family plots are nice, if you don’t mind shacking up with your parents for the rest of eternity. But say you opt instead to split the bill with your significant other on one last, eternal date night. Cemeteries and funeral homes will happily sell you double-deep graves and double-decker coffins, respectively. If you croak first, congratulations: You’ve just shotgunned bottom bunk. You’ll get a brief dirt nap, until your partner shuffles off this mortal coil, at which point they’ll dig you back up and flop their cadaver on top of your skeletal remains.
Even if your body stays put for a few centuries, you still don’t get to choose your neighbors. Hugh Hefner famously shelled out $75,000 to call dibs on the plot next to Marilyn Monroe — the two had never met in life; he simply harbored a boner for her that transcended the bounds of time.
Graverobbing Is Still Alive and Well
Just because you’re not a pharaoh doesn’t mean people won’t go to great lengths to pry your prized possessions from your cold, dead hands. A two-foot high stone wall isn’t keeping Ed Gein out of your fresh grave.
Draping valuable jewelry on your dead carcass provides less security than a chain wallet at the Reeperbahn. Not to cast aspersions on all gravediggers here, but they’re the ones who know which bodies have the best loot, and have access to the machines that can discretely dig ‘em up in the dead of night. In 2011, one cemetery worker was caught steeling a Fender guitar from a dead man’s coffin after telling his co-workers, “I have to have that guitar. It's too expensive to be in a crypt.”
There’s also a thriving market for human body parts among academics and weirdos. The manager of a Harvard Medical School morgue was recently caught selling body parts, including brains, which he itemized as “braiiiiiins.” And sure, those came from above the ground. But there’s also a years-long rash of good old-fashioned graverobbing going on in the U.K. Body parts are being sold, untraced and unregulated, on Facebook goddamn Marketplace.
Watch “If Cemeteries Were Honest” above, and check out our YouTube channel, Honest Ads, where our jerk-of-all-trades Roger Horton reveals the seedy underbellies of the businesses and industries you thought you knew.