Having unexpected guests at a funeral is quite common. Just like wedding crashers, these strangers turn up to the funerals of people they do not know.
The reason these 'funeral crashers' go to random wakes can vary, including having some weird and wonderful reasons for crashing a day of mourning.
For example, Teresa Doyle is a serial funeral crasher, as reported by The Metro a few years back. She made headlines by turning up at strangers' wakes in Slough, enjoying the free buffet, and taking anything else she fancied home in a Tupperware box.
At the time, her neighbour said: “Theresa has been doing this for about 14 years now, but the bizarre thing is, she gate-crashes people's funerals and then is completely brash about it.
“When she arrives at the funeral, she changes into sombre clothes, goes to the wake, helps herself to the food, bringing it back and putting it in her freezer.”
Father Noel Connolly of the Holy Redeemer Church – which is said to be her favourite venue for funeral crashing – added: “She is a Catholic woman and she is convinced she needs to go to as many Masses as possible.
"She has been coming and going since I have been here for the past 14 years. I can’t exactly say ‘you can’t come here’.”
It begs the question, why do people do this? Are they hungry, or just plain bored? The Mirror looks at the different types of funeral crashers, with some more frowned upon than others.
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One user on Quora said: “The irritating crashers are the ones that go for the free funeral reception food and drink after the service. In some towns and cities, funeral directors have actually sent other funeral homes descriptions of a certain character who routinely shows up to eat and take food home.”
Then there’s the funeral crashers you can’t help but feel sorry for, the user continued: “The sad crashers are the people who are lonely, vulnerable and just want to be part of a community. Even for a short time.
“Still others do it to be reminded of their own mortality. I personally consider that reason a great one. Memento Mori or 'remember that you must die' becomes very real and that reality of death helps you to live a better life.”
The topic of funeral crashers is clearly of interest, as it's even being made into a Hollywood blockbuster with Ryan Reynolds, Mark Wahlburg and Ben Affleck being considered for the main role.
It’ll be all about Bill Edgar, a 53-year-old from The Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, who was once a private investigator, and is now a funeral crasher. A standard day at work involves Bill ‘divulging in dead clients explosive secrets to their families during burials and will readings’ – guess he’s not there just for the buffet, then.
Sometimes, it’s not always drama like the movies though, it’s actually not unusual for unwanted or unexpected guests to attend funeral, and it can cause some ‘serious tension’ says Sarah Jones of Full Circle Funerals.
She said: “Funerals usually take place in public spaces, so it is really hard to restrict people attending. People have different attitudes to people attending unexpectedly – or that they are less familiar with.
“We need to calmly and gently try to do what our client would like us to without causing offence or a commotion.”
So, it seems like funeral crashers really are a thing, there’s even a movie being made about it. Questions behind the real reason why may always remain unclear, but there’s surely got to be some innocence behind it. Or maybe they just want a few free sausage rolls.
For funeral notices in your area visit https://funeral-notices.co.uk/
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