Halloween is a great time of year to see how imaginative people are with decorating their houses and lawns to portray their creativity. And we all love to see a fake dead body hanging from a tree or disembodied on the lawn. But just imagine for a moment that it’s not a fake prop, rather an actual dead body. This is the stuff of which nightmares are made of and what psychiatrists live for. We’ve put together a list of 9 real dead bodies (all equally horrific) that have been mistaken for Halloween decorations.
1. Three boys hang themselves.
William Anthony Odom, Caleb Rebh, and Brian Jewell were all teenagers that were trying to add an extra spook factor for Halloween, which ended lethally. Brian Jewell on October 1990 was working on a Haunted Hayride event in Lakewood, New Jersey. He was acting a victim hanging from the gallows and recited a chilling speech to the passers-by. He had a noose around his neck which wasn’t loose enough, eventually choking him and leaving him dead.
It was only six days later that 15-year-old Odom also died hanging from a noose — after just playing with a decorative noose which choked him to death.
A decade later, 14-year-old Rebh would face a similar death as Jewell. He and his mother went to a Haunted Hayride to find him a job. He wanted to impress everyone, so he wanted to act as if he was hanging from a noose. There was a skeleton initially, but Rebh threw it and took its place. He eventually slipped and started choking, but the audience took the display as just good acting. (Source)
2. Dead woman body hanging from fence turns out to be actually real.
The folks from a Ohio town were shocked to hear that a dead body that was hanging from a fence wasn’t a Halloween decoration, rather the actual dead body of 31 year-old Rebecca Cade. Donnie Cochenoeur was a suspect, but was recently found not guilty by the court. (Source)
3. Dead body decoration on porch turns out to be the real deal.
Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed was an elderly 75-year-old man who left his neighbors in fright with a dead body prop on his porch. They were impressed of his “decoration” but couldn’t seem to see him around to ask him where he had purchased it.
It wasn’t until 4 days later when someone realized that their was something strange about the body and called the cops. It turned out that this supposed “decoration” was lifeless body of Mostafa, slowly decomposing after he had been killed by a gunshot to the eye. (Source)
4. Dozens drive by actual deceased women in a tree.
In Delaware, a 42 year-old woman hung from a tree as dozens drove by. What they didn’t know was that the “impressive” corpse was an actual dead human body until the next day. On October 25th, 2005 a women committed suicide by jumping to her death from the tree. Because of the proximity with Halloween, everyone mistook her corpse as a creative Halloween prop. (Source)
5. The real reason Poltergeist was cursed.
After a few months of its initial release, the curse of the Poltergeist movies have been one of the most talked stories in Hollywood. Even though the Poltergeist movies weren’t specifically Halloween themed, the horrific on and off-screen events are worth mentioning on this list.
In 1982, just after a few months of the release, Dominique Dunn (who played the older sister) was strangled to death by her boyfriend. In 1985, Julian Beck (who played the bad Spirit) dies of stomach cancer. In 1987, Will Sampson (who the good Spirit) of Poltergeist II died after a heart-lung transplant failed to take. And in 1988 Heather Rourke (who played in all 3 franchises) dies of septic infection.
People die, but this many from the same franchise is a little bit off. It was later revealed by other cast members that real human bones were used as props. (Source)
6. Actual mummy found on set of Six Million Dollar Man.
In 1976, the Nu-Pike Amusement Park in California was being used for an episode of Six Million Dollar Man. In a scene filmed in the “fun house”, the producer saw a prop hanging from a rope in the corner which he didn’t think fit in well with the scene. While the crewmen attempted to move the body, a human arm bone popped out.
A medical team was called in the examine the mummy, which dated back to 1924 and belonged to the outlaw James McCurdy. (Source)
7. Man buried alive during fake buried alive stunt.
“Amazing Joe” Burress gathered his friends and family to perform a death-defying stunt of being buried alive. He jumped into a plastic coffin wearing handcuffs and was slowly lowered into a 7 foot deep grave. The remainder of the hole was filled up with concrete.
While filling up the concrete, the coffin had collapsed which ultimately left Burress dead . Although his body was cleared, the hole was kept as a prop just in time for Halloween. (Source)
8. NY Morgue technicians stage photo shoot with cadavers.
Mortuary technician Kaihl Brassfield was caught taking pictures with real life cadavers in a Brooklyn morgue. He and along with some other colleagues took Polaroid photos with different body parts. Someone used these photos to blackmail Kaihl, and when he stopped paying, the photos were sent to management.
Probably the most unsettling part is that he didn’t limit himself to just Halloween, but did it throughout the entire year – for a long time. (Source)
9. Over 100 brains disappear from University of Texas, Austin.
Over 100 brains that were stored in formaldehyde went missing from the University of Texas that were a loan from another University. They believe that someone had stolen them for Halloween pranks and decoration, stated Professor Lawrence Cormack. (Source)
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