Tales From The Undertaker

Tales From The Undertaker



Once, we went to collect a body from an old folks’ home. As it was a shared room, the dead person was in one bed, and someone was sleeping in the other. When we were called, we arrived quickly, and when I went to move the body onto our stretcher, it started coughing,” says an employee who transports bodies to the funeral home.

An employee told us that one time, when they went to close a casket, they found two metro passes in the dead person’s pocket. He kept them, and then felt so guilty that he said an “Our Father” and two “Hail Marys” for the deceased every time he used them.



February 1901 Ottawa Citizen

The recurring fears of employees include:

– that the body moves.

– that the body “breaks.”

– getting the wrong body.

– getting stuck to the body when they use glue.

– positioning the body wrong and having it fall down in the middle of the service

Not every funeral home makes up the bodies before the funerals. Sometimes they simply clean the body up a little, glue it shut, and dress it up.

“Once, there was a 90-year-old lady whose family wanted to bury her in the wedding dress she wore when she got married in her twenties. In those cases, we cut the clothes and place them on top of the body. We at least try to get the sleeves on to make the body look like it’s dressed.”



Clipped from

  1. The Gazette,
  2. 12 Jan 1927, Wed,
  3. Page 1


Funeral parlors can be so full of feelings, energies, spirits — and whatever else we believe in — that some find it necessary to “cleanse” from time to time.

Cleansing rites can range from the classic — like burning sage — to the more obscure —like leaving glasses of water to absorb energies. Some even hire specialists or members of religious orders to help.

“We don’t recommend bringing animals or small children to funeral parlors because they perceive more things than we do,” explained one employee. She said that dogs will sometimes start barking at nothing. Or at least nothing any human can see.



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 03 Apr 1906, Tue,
  3. Page 3

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming — The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place – Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top —- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

Dead Ringers –To Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don’t say at a Funeral— Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home — Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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