Recently, Reddit user u/MRhands123 asked, "Morticians of Reddit, what is the creepiest experience you've ever had?"
Out of morbid curiosity, I read the responses and just had to share them with you all.
Note: Some submissions came from this other Reddit thread.
Warning: Some of these stories may be a little graphic and disturbing.
1. "The first time I had a full autopsy to embalm, I didn't know they cut open the skull, and the back of this dude's head fell out while I was washing his hair."
3. "The creepiest thing I've heard from a dead body is the moaning. When you're moving or manipulating them, leftover air in the lungs gets pushed out and can cause them to sigh or groan."
4. "My ex–in-laws were in the death business. They told me a story once about the county attorney whose wife passed away. The family was very wealthy, and she had a mouth full of gold fillings. The attorney demanded that my in-laws retrieve the gold from her mouth. This required using a dental drill to drill down her teeth and dig out the gold. My ex–father-in-law complied with the attorney’s wishes but was physically ill about having to do such a needless thing."
5. "I was a student at the time, but my first-ever bloater was brought in, and once we 'popped' him, his insides were outside and everywhere."
6. "On my first night shift, I thought the staff was messing with me because I kept hearing what sounded like breathing. A fresh body was brought in and was releasing gas. I’d never dealt with anyone dying within the hour being brought in, so it was scary hearing this body 'breathing.'"
7. "I work with the dead (procure eyes and corneas for transplants). While I was working on one guy at the medical examiner's office, they brought in another guy whose cats had eaten his face clean. Just his face, nothing else. It was a sort of decaying (but still somewhat normal-looking) dude with a bright, Halloween-looking skull picked clean."
8. "My most bizarre experience was with a guy who had drowned and was dead on arrival and locked up in the cabinet. A tapping noise started coming from him. It turned out to be a crab that had made itself at home inside him, and when it got cold, he wanted out."
9. "I was an EMT who got access to a bunch of places and experiences. I was hanging out in the morgue, picking the brain of the guy on the graveyard shift. A corpse sat up on one of the gurneys mid-conversation. I went pale. The guy just looked at me and said, 'They do that sometimes.'"
10. "You ain't experienced life until you see an over 2-week-old decomposed body that's been in the heat. I didn't know maggots could be so big. A colleague who had a person who had passed away six weeks earlier said it was mostly liquefied."
11. "A lady I work with used to pick up the bodies for the coroner. One time, they had to collect a woman who'd been lying in a very hot attic apartment for a couple of months. All of her liquids ran out onto the floor and dried, and when they tried to pick her up, she started coming apart like an overly tender turkey. Her coworker sent her to the van to get more bags, and when she got back, he had finished bagging the lady."
12. "The thing that always spooks me is when I'm raising an axillary artery. The site that we look for is the area directly distal (toward fingers, away from body mass) to the armpit. There are a lot of tendons and such in there as well. When you're holding the person's arm up, digging around near the tendons, sometimes their arm will move. It happens a lot, but I still get momentarily terrified when the dead person 'grabs' me."
13. "The worst experience by far was the human soup guy. Apparently, this elderly gentleman passed away while having a bath...with the water still running. He was living alone in the house with very little family. I don’t remember how long he was in the bath before someone found him. My dad went to pick up the body and it was human soup. The hot water constantly running and the amount of time caused his body to turn to mush. He said the smell was the worst he ever smelled. He got back to the office later that day, and his boss told him to throw away his suit and he’d buy him another!"
14. "I worked in a mortuary for a few months because I needed a job and it was at night. My job pretty much was to check in the bodies as they were brought in and put them in our cold storage room. One night, they brought in two bodies, back-to-back, from a convalescent home. I didn't have time to put the first away yet, so I put it off to the side while I signed in the new delivery. The people left, and I went back to the first body and noticed that it wasn't exactly as I'd left it. When I left it, the body was flat on its back, and when I got back, it was sorta scrunched up. I backed the hell out of the room and just sat down."
"The mortician came out and saw me pale as a ghost. I told him what happened and he laughed. He then proceeded to explain to me that sometimes the body will curl up after death because of rigor mortis, and after that's done, it'll go back to being limp. He proceeded to tell me that some cases are so bad, the bodies sit straight up. He ended up putting the bodies away and I spent the rest of the night freaked out."
15. "I transported a 60-year-old woman to the morgue after a severe car accident. She had run into a large tree head-on at 75 mph. Her face was mashed in completely. After they X-rayed the body, they found a tube of lipstick in her brain. The cause of death was putting on makeup while driving."
16. And lastly, "A family of four died in a car crash, and there were two younger children (ages 9 and 12). I was breaking the rigor in the 9-year-old boy's arm. As you know, when you bend the arm, sometimes the fingers will squeeze shut. The thing that got me is, I could have sworn the boy squeezed my hand before I even touched his arm. It made me jump pretty good."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.