Pennywise, is that you?
We’ve all heard revolting and downright horrifying urban legends about funeral homes. I mean, after all, they really are creepy places full of dead bodies being worked on out of sight from public eye. It’s natural that there are tales of gore in that particular businesses. There are even a few funeral homes horror flicks out there (I’m partial to I Am Not a Serial Killer, personally). Then again, horror films are usually a great exaggeration of real life.
For almost every single mortician, it is just a job, albeit a morbid one. Hey, you’ve see Six Feet Under, right? Like with any job, things can go wrong at anytime ― especially when there are machines involved. One funeral home has a little oopsie this past September… and it landed the business in international news.
The Red River
Last month, residents of Baton Rouge, Louisiana noticed red liquid coming from Greenoaks Funeral Home and onto the streets. The bloody leakage only lasted for about twenty minutes because Baton Rouge officials were very quick to respond to the issue.
The city said a stoppage in a line had caused the blood, which was mixed with the embalming fluid containing formaldehyde, to leak from a tank that is behind the building.
Fortunately, Baton Rouge officials said none of blood mixture had reached the city’s sewer system.
Jessica Koth, public relations manager for the National Funeral Director’s Association, said these leaks are “very unusual.” And added that it’s the first one she’s heard of in 11 years at the agency.
Koth said embalming fluids are typically not dangerous to the public, because the chemicals like formaldehyde “inactivate those germs and pathogens.”
Contain and Control
“We sent out both our sewer inspector and our environmental specialists to take a look,” Adam Smith, with the City of Baton Rouge Department of Environmental Services, told WBRZ. “We determined that it wasn’t a sewer issue and that it was an issue on private property.”
The funeral home, which is newly owned by Dignity Memorial, has since apologized “for any inconvenience this may have caused visitors to our cemetery.”
“As soon as we noticed it, we were able to immediately stop the leak, clean and disinfect the area,” they added in a statement sent to The Advocate.
However, it should be noted that the funeral home did not hold the correct permits for operation.
William Daniel, director of city-parish environmental services, said his department has increased its outreach to funeral homes in order to check and permit their sewage systems more efficiently.
“We’ve moved them to the top, and we’re going to be reaching out to all of them to get a permit,” he said. While frightening, it was lucky that more of the “fluid” didn’t escape.
The incident will surely hurt the funeral home’s business. An snafu like this is a good reminder to be aware of your surroundings. Without concerned citizens catching this, who know how bad it could have been.
As everyone is gearing up for Halloween, FAKE blood might be a fun thing to decorate the outside of your house with. Or just tell this story to scare little children.
Check out more info here.
SHARE this with your horror loving friends.