9 Weird and Unreliable Ways to Avoid Burying Someone Alive

How can you be sure that someone is really, truly dead? Before the age of modern medicine, it was much more difficult for physicians to confirm that someone had died, and researchers developed all sorts of tests for telling living people apart from corpses. Many of these tests were pretty odd, and a good number simply… » 10/20/13 7:00am 10/20/13 7:00am

8 Ways to Keep Body Snatchers from Stealing Your Corpse

If you died in the United Kingdom or North America during the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a risk that your corpse might be stolen from your grave and wind up beneath a medical student's scalpel. But if you had enough money—or very good friends—there were ways that you could try to avoid that fate. » 10/13/13 7:00am 10/13/13 7:00am

A new scientific explanation for near-death experiences

Many people on their deathbeds report seeing a long corridor with a brilliant light at the end of it. Could it be heaven? Probably not. New research shows that these near-death visions may be linked to intense electrical surges that cause "hyper real" thoughts in our brains. » 8/13/13 12:00pm 8/13/13 12:00pm

Surprisingly beautiful photographs of decaying cans of human remains

In a warehouse at the Oregon State Hospital (originally called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) contains an unusual library, one comprised not of books, but of copper canisters of unclaimed human remains. Photographer David Maisel has photographed what is left of the deteriorating portions of the asylum, as well as the… » 6/08/13 11:00am 6/08/13 11:00am

Surprising funeral ad makes a lovely skeleton from pressed flowers

Japanese funeral home Nishinihon Tenrei wanted to create an ad that would break from the traditional funerary colors of black and white while still presenting a respectful image of their services. Tokyo-based ad agency I&S BBDO came up with this life-sized skeleton, celebrating the life of the departed through pressed… » 5/11/13 11:00am 5/11/13 11:00am

The Strangest Tradition of the Victorian Era: Post-Mortem Photography

After the invention of daguerrotype, the memorializing habits of people have changed: they've chosen the cheap, higher quality photographs instead of expensive and not so lifelike paintings. Painting dead people was common for centuries, so it's no surprise that, in the Victorian Era, post-mortem photos also came into… » 4/13/13 11:00am 4/13/13 11:00am

Spooky photographs of San Francisco's real-life Pet Cemetery

Photographer Troy Paiva photographed San Francisco's Presidio Pet Cemetery during construction on the Presidio Parkway, which meant the tiny graveyard was covered by a dark temporary roof. Paiva used the unnatural surroundings, lighting tricks, and the San Francisco fog to cast an extra-gloomy pall on this final… » 3/24/13 9:30am 3/24/13 9:30am