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Family Breaks Museum's 800-Year-Old Coffin

They lifted child into it for a photo

(Newser) - And this is why you should always pay attention to those signs in museums asking that you please not touch the exhibits. A family visiting England's Prittlewell Priory Museum recently broke an ancient coffin when they lifted a child over a barrier and into it to take a photo,... More »

No One Knew Body in Coffin Wasn't Grandma— Except Little Kids

Adults thought Val-Jean McDonald's body looked odd but didn't say anything

(Newser) - With eight sons, more than 20 grandkids, and nearly two dozen great- and great-great-grandchildren, it wasn't surprising there were lots of attendees at Val-Jean McDonald's funeral after her death in December at the age of 81, the New York Times reports. What was surprising: Not a single adult... More »

Family: Wrong Woman Was in Casket at Grandma's Viewing

And no one seems to know where Virginia Gray's body went

(Newser) - When Virginia Gray's grandkids went to Horton's Funeral Home last Friday to pay their respects to the DC matriarch, who had died at the age of 83 in mid-February, they were prepared to say their final goodbyes, News4 reports. But although her family recognized the clothing on the... More »

Family Fears It Buried Pregnant Teen Alive

Relatives say Nelsy Perez, 16, had bruises on her fingers as if she had tried to escape

(Newser) - If you suffer from taphephobia , you may not want to read on. The family of a pregnant teen in Honduras who died and was buried yanked her body out of her tomb a day after the funeral, convinced she was still alive, the Guardian reports. The incident reportedly happened in... More »

Man Hit With Reburial Fee After Floods Unearth Wife's Coffin

Richard Lee files suit against funeral home after wife's casket floats out of vault

(Newser) - Richard Lee got a disturbing call last week that was quickly followed by even more disturbing news: The coffin of his wife, Carolyn, buried in 2007, had floated to the surface after intense flooding in Houston , the Houston Chronicle reports—and to rebury her, Lee would have to pay a... More »

Wreck of WWII 'Flying Coffin' Bomber Found in Italy

The aircraft appears to have lived up to its nickname

(Newser) - The World War II-era B-24 aircraft was so stiff, heavy, and hard to control that its American crews dubbed it the "flying coffin." Not only was its only exit hard to reach at the tail—leaving many trapped before being able to parachute out—but it was intended... More »

Woman Finds Wrong Body in Mother's Casket

Daughter believes she was cremated in Ottawa by mistake

(Newser) - A Rhode Island woman wants answers after discovering the wrong body in a casket that should have contained her mother, who died unexpectedly while on vacation in St. Maarten. Lisa Kondvar, of Warwick, and her family discovered another woman's body in the casket at a New Jersey funeral home... More »

Oswald Brother Furious About Coffin Sale

Coffin should have been destroyed, not sold, brother says

(Newser) - Lee Harvey Oswald's brother says he bought the pine box the presidential assassin was buried in and a funeral home had no right to auction it off earlier this month. The coffin—which was replaced when Oswald was reburied in 1981—fetched $87,469. But Robert Oswald says it's not... More »

Oswald's Coffin Up for Auction

Funeral home hoping to get thousands for battered old coffin

(Newser) - A funeral home is selling off maybe the creepiest piece of Kennedy memorabilia ever: the coffin Lee Harvey Oswald was originally buried in. The coffin was dug up in 1981 to settle a dispute between Oswald’s widow and brother over whether a lookalike Russian agent had been buried in... More »

Prince Charles Pushes Woolen Coffins

It's a greener way to go!

(Newser) - Prince Charles—who recently stressed the value of woolen clothes for sustainable living —believes the material is perfect for sustainable dying as well. The prince asked for a selection of woolen coffins, which are reinforced with recycled cardboard and can feature a personalized embroidered nameplate, to be displayed prominently... More »

Woman Hides in Coffin to Escape Police

Nicole Kelly decides she can't go to jail, so she finds another tiny spot

(Newser) - From the brilliant criminals department: Upon arriving at a correctional facility after being arraigned on two outstanding warrants, a Philadelphia woman decided she "just couldn't do this," wrestled free, and ran away. A still-handcuffed Nicole Kelly, 19, managed to shake the authorities who chased her, ducked into the... More »

Jack Nicholson Wouldn't Mind Being Eaten by Vultures

Actor, 72, mulls Native American 'sky burial'

(Newser) - At 72, Jack Nicholson has been thinking about death, or, more particularly, burial arrangements. One option he finds appealing, he tells German TV, is a Native American practice that would leave his body to the vultures. “I liked the nature of the Indians who haul their bodies up into... More »

Wal-Mart Enters Coffin Biz

Funeral homes face competition from discount caskets

(Newser) - America's leading big-box store is now also a pine box store. Wal-Mart has started selling a range of discount coffins on its website and plans to expand its death products to include pet urns and memorial jewelry. Prices start at just $895 for a steel coffin. Funeral home owners say... More »

Media Lose Interest in War Dead: Only AP Shoots Coffins

Photo ban lifted, but photographers aren't bothering

(Newser) - Back when George W. Bush was president, the media made a big fuss about the administration’s refusal to allow the press to photograph soldiers’ coffins, saying it hid the true cost of the war. President Obama lifted the ban in April, and the media flocked to snap shots of... More »

Jackson May Be on View in Glass Coffin

Funeral promises to be extravagant event

(Newser) - Michael Jackson’s funeral could be as lavish as one of his concerts. His body will reportedly be transported in a horse-drawn carriage, and he could be on view in a glass coffin. “The glass casket idea would create so much public interest it would take time to organize,... More »

Should We Allow Coffin Pics?

(Newser) - President Obama is reviewing a media ban at Dover Air Force Base, where dead soldiers arrive in flag-draped coffins, but "in truth, it's not an easy issue," John Barry writes in Newsweek. There is widespread support for raising the ban "as a way of reminding the... More »

Final 'Green' Frontier: Cemeteries

Increasingly popular embalming- and casket-free option freaked locals out

(Newser) - As the green movement contemplates the afterlife, more funeral directors are seeing demand for a sendoff without the embalming and sturdy coffins of traditional burials, the Wall Street Journal reports. Natural burials won't necessarily put funeral directors out of business: Yes, simple shrouds are available, but so is a $300... More »

Fans Get Prime Seats for Eternal Extra Innings

Logo coffins, urns make case for 'long-term' devotees of Sox, others

(Newser) - Die-hard baseball fans can now continue showing their team pride even in the afterlife. A Boston-area funeral home is offering its first-ever Red Sox casket, emblazoned with the team’s logo and accented with baseball-bat-type wood. “It's really a beautiful thing,” the funeral-home director, a Sox fan himself,... More »

Thais Take Coffin Naps to Fix Karma

$5 buys a few minutes in monastery's gaudy pink boxes

(Newser) - As Thailand's economy slows and its government falters, growing numbers of deeply superstitious citizens are jostling into a pink coffin to "die," the Telegraph reports. At about $5 a head, monks in a monastery outside Bangkok officiate over the "dead bodies" in the coffins, before ushering in... More »

Lost Coffins Remain Part of Katrina's Legacy

(Newser) - Louisiana is still finding coffins displaced by Hurricane Katrina three years on, the Wall Street Journal reports. Katrina and Rita moved 1,500 bodies from their resting places in the state's swampy south, where floating coffins during floods have long been part of local folklore. Hundreds remain unidentified, and they... More »

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