14 Funeral Service Horror Stories In Honor Of Halloween


You hear them everywhere you go… on the news, in the papers, in the blogs you read…

What are we talking about?

Funeral home horror stories, of course!

These horror stories aren’t just your average spooky tales. They’re real business blunders from real families who have had a truly horrifying experience at a funeral home. And since it’s Halloween, we figure we couldn’t find a better time to tell them!

Whether it’s poor service, disrespect, or straight up unprofessionalism, you’ll be terrified that these funeral professionals ever had the nerve to behave in these ways!

Ready to hear about some pretty terrifying  grab your (children’s) bag of Halloween candy and get comfy because you’re about to be spooked!

Ok, here we goul… we mean go!

#1 – Haunting in a hurry

“A [Funeral] Director [was] clapping his hands in a church telling people it was time to go… he had another service on the other side of town!”

– David G.


#2 – Feeling photogenic

“[A funeral director] was taking pictures of the deceased in an open casket in front of a mourning family!!”

– Bonnie P.


#3 – Sleepy directors

“Two funeral directors fell asleep in the back of the church during the service, the minister had made an announcement for the funeral directors to come forward (to proceed to the graveside for committal services of course) because the funeral was concluding. However, neither of them heard the minister since they were sleeping. The minister had to go get them. Yikes, embarrassing.”

– Crystal W.


#4- Fashionable funeral director

“The funeral director telling us that Aunt J’s sweater was too tight so he put it on and wore it around to stretch it a little. A little tacky, but the image itself is quite amusing.

– Corey A.


#5 – Pre-need “peek-a-boo”

“Our funeral director refused to tell our family how much money was in a pre-arranged funeral which was placed in a trust.”

-Curtis B.


#6 – Getting creative with the clavicle

“ I once went to a funeral home where they used clear packing tape on the clavicle incision!! Not to mention the poor embalming job…”

– Jason B.


#7 – Timing is everything

“A pre-need salesman once interrupted a 19-year-old who was dressing her stillborn son to ask if she’d given any thought to planning her own funeral.”

– Cori L.


#8 – Putting the “dis” in disrespect

“One time a funeral director was kicking the casket into the ground because it wouldn’t fit. The worst part was when the funeral director returned the necklace of my deceased friend to his mother covered in his blood. I wished I had accepted her request for me to do the funeral.”

– Brooke B.


#10 – 50 year guarantee

“My mother was told by a funeral director that my grandmother’s body would be embalmed so it wouldn’t decay, guaranteed for up to fifty years. I didn’t say anything — heck, I was only eleven. But I thought it was the best scam ever. I mean, who’s going to dig it up and check? It was, indeed, a scam. In fact, it’s illegal today for funeral directors to promise a coffin will preserve a body. But how was my stunned and grieving mother to know that?”

 – Anonymous

More spooky funeral home stories

While these aren’t real spooky funeral home accounts, these products, services and stories were enough to make us scream!


#11 – Smell ya later

There’s nothing scarier than someone who wants to smell like an old funeral home. This scent started out as a floral scent, but apparently took a turn for the worse, earning the name “Funeral Home”. If that’s your thing, you can purchase this bottle of perfume for only $10! What a steal!


#12 – Grim reaper

Have you ever noticed those guys holding a sign on the side of the road, urging you to do your taxes or buy a $5 Hot-N-Ready pizza from Little Caesars? Well, since this is such an effective type of marketing (please sense my sarcasm), this comedian gave it a try for a local funeral home (fictitious, of course). He approaches cars saying witty things like “I’m glad to see you’re not wearing a seat belt. Let me give you a business card.” It’s hilarious… yet very, very spooky.


#13 – Party time

Is it just me, or is there something seriously disturbing about this Craigslist ad? I guess they could just store the keg in the refrigerator, along with the bodies? Just thinking about this gives me the shivers!


#14 – The spookiest story of all

My mom always told me “never believe what you read on the Internet”, and for once in my life, I actually hope she was right on this one. I found this story on a Yahoo news article and creeped me out so much, I had a hard time sleeping last night! Talk about real life hauntings…

 Coming home from school and taking the long, creaky back steps to the apartment upstairs was nothing unusual for me. I preferred to take the back stairs so I would not have to pass the many caskets with their lids open just waiting to crash down upon their stiffened inhabitants. Climbing those old, swaying steps, one by one, with back pack weighing me down was such a better route than passing the “preparation” room where my father hooked tubes to the dearly departed and drained blood from their ashen corpses into a cold, steel sink that reflected every drop of life as it spilled into it. The smell of death permeated the air and the fumes of formaldehyde crushed the lungs with its sulfur scent.

Oh but home sweet home is home sweet home when this is how you are raised. As you can well imagine I’ve lived a quiet life. Halloween was an especially lonely time in my house. As a child I dreamed of having children ring the doorbell dressed in their costumes, giggling and chirping, “Trick-or-treat.” As you can imagine, I never got my wish. Would you ring the doorbell of the local funeral home on Halloween night? I know the answer.

There was that one Halloween however, when I was far from alone. My Dad had to attend to the body of a little boy that had been killed when he was careening down a hill with his bicycle, without the benefit of a helmet. He had turned, momentarily; to yell to his friends and lost control of his bike when he did so. The next thing, as I was told at dinner, “Splat, crack, his neck was broke,” reported my Dad. It was always eerie when a child died, especially one I had known. This was no different.

When my parents were engaged with television, I sneaked down the inside staircase to see John. I summoned the courage to pass the embalming room with its giant pump machine and long stainless table, slop sink, and jars of chemicals for that hardened, preserved look. I passed those caskets with the satin interiors and steel hinges. I walked right up to the kneeler in front of the casket and peered in to see John. 

Then, it happened. As if he drew life from me, slowly, I swear to you, his heart started to beat. Warmth filled his body and sunshine seemed to reflect off his face. John sat up and began to speak, asking what had happened. My own body was frozen with fear. I could not feel my legs or hear my own voice. I was more dead than John.

The next morning my mother found me wet with sweat passed out in front of John’s casket. She asked me what had happened but I dared not tell her what I saw. When she woke me I blankly stared at John’s corpse. From that moment on, only John and I knew what had happened. I never visited any corpse on Halloween again. If you are wise, you will learn from my adventure.


For more spooky funeral service stories and trends

Check out our article from last Halloween,  Walmart Caskets and Other Spooky Funeral Service Trends!

Which funeral services horror story scared you the most? Tell us in the comments below!


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  1. Brigida

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  2. Benjamin

    Samhain (Halloween) night is the night when the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest. It doesn’t surprise me that the number #14 story happened the way it did that night.

  3. Funeral Blog. The official blog for the funeral & cemetery professions. » Blog Archive The Funeral Profession: Expectations Vs. Reality

    […] be because of our country’s negative feelings towards death. Or, it could be because of all the horror stories we read about on the Internet of funeral homes misplacing bodies, scamming innocent families and who knows what else. But in the […]

  4. David Smith

    Ms. Penrose,

    Funeral Confidential is an ebook describing how the largest company in the death care industry, Service Corporation International, has preyed upon the grieving for profit.

    Funeral Confidential describes how I was trained to sell death care services and deceive and exploit customers after the death of their loved ones.

    Although Funeral Confidential describes my experiences with SCI, as the death care industry has changed from family run businesses to conglomerates the business has followed the time share industry putting commissions before compassion and earning before empathy. More damage is done with deceptive sales techniques than any other type of swindle as customers are not protected by consumer protection organizations that are funded by the very companies they are supposed to protect consumers from. A burial/funeral is a final sale; there are no returns nor exchanges. The damage done at a time when customers are overwhelmed and grieving creates an immediate jeopardy to their health and financial wellbeing.

    Seniors represent the largest growing demographic and have a vested interest in protecting the wealth and dignity they have spent a lifetime accumulating- they should not be preyed on for profit.

    Below is the link to Funeral Confidential



    David Smith

  5. Rilee Chastain

    Thanks for sharing this David, we’ll defintely check out Funeral Confidential!