Graveyard Shift

14 People Who Were Found Living with Dead Bodies 

Carly Kiel
Updated March 22, 2020 2.2M views 14 items

This list of stories about people found living alongside the dead bodies of their relatives or friends is shocking proof that some people just can't let their loved ones go. It's straight up unnatural - but these news stories about people who keep dead bodies come out time after time. Many involve spouses unwilling to let go, but others involve panicked murderers and many sad lonely people who just want someone to sit next to them. The list includes people living with deceased wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, mothers, sisters, and brothers, but - happily - no strangers. Keep your eyes on the people closest to you.

Carl Tanzler is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 People Who Were Found Living with Dead Bodies
Photo:  Florida Keys--Public Libraries/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Though married with children, radiologist Carl Tanzer fell in love with raven-haired tuberculosis patient Elena de Hoyos in April 1930. He was convinced he had been dreaming about her for decades, and he gave her many gifts. He tried to save her with several unorthodox methods, but she eventually perished in October 1931 at age 22. Tanzler designed and built her a crypt, and he sat by her coffin every night to talk to her.

Then he took her body out of the crypt, tied her body parts together with piano wire, fitted her with glass eyes, made her a wig of human hair (her own), and covered her skin with wax. In time, she looked perfect. For the next seven years, he played music for her at night and slept beside her.

Tanzler was eventually arrested.

Woman Makes Boyfriend's Corpse NASCAR Buddy

When 67-year-old Charles Zigler passed in December 2010, that didn’t put an end to his TV-watching days. His longtime girlfriend, Linda Chase, kept his mummified corpse propped up in a living room chair, glassy eyes trained on the fast cars going in circles on the screen. When police discovered Zigler’s body in 2012 - 18 months post-mortem - Chase admitted she had been cashing his social security checks. “I’m probably going to prison,” she said.

Man Turns Wife's Corpse Into Real Doll

After Le Van’s wife passed and was buried in 2003, he began sleeping on top of her grave every night. When the weather got nasty, he dug a tunnel down to the casket so he wouldn’t get rained on. In November 2004 - more than a year later - he finally dug up the body and took it on home. To keep his wife’s corpse nice and fresh, Van molded her skin with plaster and clay and dressed her up. In 2009, he reported that she slept on the bed with him.

Legally Blind Brooklyn Hoarder Unknowingly Lived With Her Son's Corpse

“It’s like some reverse Psycho scene,” an unnamed law enforcement official told Fox News after a woman in Brooklyn was found living with her son's corpse in September, 2016. The woman, Rita Wolfensohn, a legally blind hoarder, may not even have been aware her son passed in her house.

The remains were discovered by Josette Buchman, Wolfensohn's sister-in-law, who found what was described as a "completely intact" human skeleton wearing jeans, socks, and a shirt, lying on a mattress, surrounded by clutter. The state of decay indicated the man pass maybe 20 years prior.