Incidents of people faking their own demise are understandably rare because of the fear linked to death. The rare ones tend to be related to criminal intent most notably to escape justice. However, there are those who do it for kicks!
She couldn’t resist attending her own memorial service!
Here’s some advice for anyone considering faking their death: Skip the memorial service. A Florida woman made a total fool of herself in 2007 when her ruse ended with her attending her own memorial service in New Port Richey after faking her death!
As it turned out, Allison Matera wanted to separate from the church community but couldn’t figure out a way to politely tell her churchgoing friends that she wanted out. So, instead, she told her choir she was dying of cancer.
She kept the ruse going for almost a year. For a while, she would give them updates on her “treatment”. When she stopped going to church, Matera told everyone she had given up and was was checking in to a hospice to die.
Finally, she phoned the pastor, posing as a nurse, and informed him of her “death” on January 18, 2007. But in a dumb twist of events, she appeared at her own memorial service at church, pretending she was ‘her sister’.
Choir members called the police for help, and when deputies went to Matera’s apartment she confessed the hoax, saying she needed to separate from the church community.
Humourist took joke about his death too far
Perhaps one of the most hilarious and dramatic incident of faked death and phony funeral happened in 1980, when a well-known humorist and film maker named Alan Abel reportedly ‘died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 50’.
As the story went, he was scouting locations for an upcoming film in the mountains of Utah when tragedy struck. As it turns out, it was all a joke! The professional prankster hired a dozen friends to help him carry out his joke.
All this was orchestrated to see if he could fool the biggest and most respected newspapers in the world into printing his obituary. And print it they did.
Alan woke up the following morning to find his death notice printed in the Times for the world to see, and after a few giggles, he turned up at his funeral and held a press conference to announce that he was still alive and the whole thing had been a scam. It didn’t end here.
The joke backfired on him! Because of his highly publicised death, his credit cards were cancelled, his bank accounts frozen and even when he showed up at the bank in person, they pointed to the Times obituary as evidence that he was in fact dead!
Man fakes death to judge popularity but only mum attends his funeral
A 45-year-old Bosnian man wanted to find out how loyal his friends were (he obviously had his doubts) so he faked his own death and arranged own funeral.
On the day of the funeral, Amir Vehabovic hid in the bush to count the attendees after inviting all his friends. It would have been great if hundreds turned out to bid a fond farewell to a departed friend.
Or perhaps it would have been okay if dozens came. Or at least a couple. Apparently, not even a couple. Only one person turned up for Amir’s funeral, and that was his mother.
This would only be kind of crushingly depressing, if Amir hadn’t actually staged his death just to see how popular he was! Angered, he sent an angry letter to all his mates.
“I paid a lot of money to get a fake death certificate and bribe undertakers to deliver an empty coffin,” he wrote. “I really thought a lot more of you, my so-called friends, would turn up to pay your last respects!”
‘Dead man’ angry after some family members skip burial
Chinese man, Zhang Deyang, 66, decided to stage his own funeral. He took a handon approach and did what nobody gets an opportunity to do; arranged it himself.
He did this, apparently, because he was wondering how many people would turn up given that he had never married and had no children. There was a particular reason for his concern—in Chinese culture, the dead are said to have needs, and their graves are supposed to be visited regularly to ensure those needs are met.
In the event, 40 invitees turned up at the funeral, along with several hundred others. Yet he wasn’t happy: 20 relatives and close friends didn’t show up. “I can’t believe so many relatives and friends don’t care about me,” he said while struggling to explain to perplexed mourners what he was doing at his own funeral .
Pensioner thanked mourners for attending phony ceremony
In 1997, Serbian pensioner Vuk Peric posted a fake death notice in local newspaper, and sent invites to his funeral. He wanted to see how many people would attend his funeral in the event he died.
On the material day, he sat and watched the event from a distance, eventually emerging to reveal that he was, indeed, alive. He thanked the mourners for attending.