The world’s weirdest burial requests: from Father Christmas outfits to beloved poodles

Name: Burials.

Age: The practice is thought to be about 100,000 years old.

Appearance: At ground level, anything from a simple gravestone to a grand mausoleum.

And below ground? Up to you – when you get buried, you can decide what you want to go in there with you.

Why would I want to be buried? You wouldn’t, unless you were dead.

So it’s some kind of final request. Exactly – anything you want, bearing in mind it won’t matter to you at all by that point.

What sort of thing do people ask for? It depends. Countdown’s Susie Dent, for example, told the podcast Where There’s a Will, There’s a Wake that she would like to be buried with all 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary.

I hope she has her own set, because a new one costs nearly 900 quid. I’m sure she does; she’s the queen of Dictionary Corner.

Either way, that would take up a lot of room in the coffin. Any other ideas? In an earlier episode of the podcast, Carol Vorderman eschewed a burial altogether, asking instead to be set alight and pushed into a harbour.

Is this a Countdown thing? Not at all. Bob Mortimer expressed his desire to be put in the bin, “just as if I was a black bag of rubbish”.

It’s one thing to make bizarre requests on a fun podcast about death and quite another to go through with it in real life. Well, a recent survey of funeral directors revealed a variety of odd burial requests, including a farmer who wanted to be laid to rest in a hay-lined coffin.

I’m allergic to hay. Well, in this scenario, you’re dead.

Even so, it’s my special day. Someone else asked to be buried in a Father Christmas outfit, complete with beard.

That’s like saying Santa Claus is dead. Listen, I’m not endorsing the request, just passing it on.

Most of these death wishes seem like a lot of extra trouble for the funeral directors. They certainly present challenges. One family requested a costume change between the funeral and the burial, so that their loved one could rest in peace more comfortably.

I hope they charge more for that. Another woman insisted on being buried with her dear poodle.

When did the poodle die? The poodle was still alive.

Do say: “She was demanding in life and continues to be so in death.”

Don’t say: “We’re going to need a bigger hole.”

The Guardian