This Is Really Weird!

A fake or phony funeral is a ploy used in fiction and in real-life to deceive people. The perpetrator's reasons for the deception are both varied and sinister.

I thought it would be fun to digress a bit on this page and consider a truly bizarre topic. Have you ever thought about the things people would say at your own funeral? Most often after someone passes to the "Great Beyond", only good things are said about him.

I guess what I would really like to know is what people are thinking about me? Not what they say. Or maybe I don't want to know. Both fictional and real-life phony funerals have been attended by the supposedly deceased in an attempt to discover just that.

Real-life Phony Funerals

As recently as 2007 Allison Matera faked her demise and showed up at the funeral masquerading as her sister. Over 200 years ago "Lord" Timothy Dexter wondered what people would say about him after he died. So this is not something new. It is just creepy.

The reasons for staging a bogus funeral vary from financial to avoiding jail-time.

  • Bennie Wint thought he was wanted on drug charges.
  • Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", believed he was a wanted man for possession of marijuana.
  • Corey Taylor wanted to get out of a cell phone contract.

Fictional Phony Funerals

There have been numerous fictional characters who have staged their deaths to avoid a calamity. In the play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet fakes her death so that she does not have to marry Paris.

Even Tom Sawyer appears at his own memorial service in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. And, of course, James Bond's death is staged in the film "You Only Live Twice".

More Reasons

Collecting a life insurance policy's death benefit is probably the most common motive to fake a death. Even securing a life insurance policy on a non-existent person, then staging a funeral has been tried.

Obtaining an additional "personal day" off of work by fabricating a funeral, I suspect has been attempted.


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