According to the '90s classic "My Girl" or HBO's Six Feet Under, those who handle the bodies of the recently deceased seem to work with the dead like it's no big deal.
Talk to actual morticians and funeral home employees, and it's not much different, actually; some things that would traumatize the majority of us are simply shrugged off - even if there's no explanation for the innumerable creepy things that happen when you're alone in a quiet room with a dead person.
Let's take a virtual dive into some surprising morgue stories as funeral home employees and all who work with the dead reveal what happens behind the scenes.
"It's Just A Prank, Bro!"
"One time I had prepped this man. I came into the prep room to do some laundry and things. As I walked passed him, I noticed a small piece of lint in his ear from the towel I used to dry him off. I took my gloved pinky and kinda swiped it out. I proceeded to fold some towels. The next thing I know I felt something touch my ear, near the ear opening. It felt just like someone stuck their finger in my ear but there was no one around. The next day I was looking through the obituaries (i read the obituaries of the cases i work on) and sure enough this man had one. It mentioned how much of a prankster and fun he was. I guess I was his last prank."
Some Beguile Morticians By Their Lashes
"One instance spooked me bad. My coworker and I were given notice to move a body out and clean the room for its next occupant. We got up there, got the woman's body out of the bed and on to a gurney, and went around making sure the various apparati around the bed was dormant (nurses job, but we were told to always check.) I go stand at the foot of the gurney to direct it when my coworker squeaks "... Dude ... She's ... awake ..."
Lady was blinking, rapidly, over freaky, glassed over, dead eyes. Anyone who has seen a dead person's eyes after death knows what I'm talking about - there is clearly no life left in the body. We both freaked the fuck out and screamed for the nurses, who came running. They called code whatever, thinking she might be waking up ... My coworker and I just backed up, flattened ourselves against the windows, and watched the ruckus.
Woman was stone dead, no breathing, no heartbeat, no brain activity, nada. None of the nurses or the doctor could or would tell us why the woman was blinking several hours post mortem."
Yes. You Poop. And You Also Mess With The Lights
"Nurse here. I've seen my share. People poop themselves when they die. Before we take bodies down to the morgue we always have to clean up the poop. Also bodies stay warm for a long time. That was really surprising the first time I did post-mortem care is that an hour later the body was still really warm. And the only place I've ever seen the lights flicker is just outside the morgue. They are fine almost all of the time but when we bring a body down the lights always flicker. Really creeps me out."
Another worker adds: "When I would present with a specific body to high school students, a single light would frequently flicker during my talk. What's weird is, that light never flickered any other time and it would only flicker when I presented with a specific body. I never told that to the students I was presenting to, and always played it off as no big deal. Secretly, it always kind of creeped me out and made me wonder why."
Forgotten Babies In Bins
"The place I work has a small area in the fridge to place newborns. It's up in the corner on a little shelf. Normally there is a clear plastic bin with a few blankets in it. The infants are usually extremely premature so its hard to notice them bundled up.
When someone brings a body to the morgue a sheet is supposed to be filled out. Someone brought an infant and didn’t fill the sheet out. Over the next several months it started to smell extremely bad. The entire area was cleaned out but the smell remained. It wasn’t until someone checked the bin that they found a decomposed infant.
I am so glad I didn’t have to see it, but knowing what it smells like makes me sick."