If you’re at a funeral, you would think the worst has already happened: the loss of a loved one. But a series of funeral mishaps throughout history have proven that things actually could get worse.
During William the Conqueror’s funeral in 1087, his corpse’s bowels burst. The gas exploded over the crowd and “an intolerable stench assailed the nostrils of the bystanders.”
In 2021, a man led police on a 45-minute car chase in the San Diego area. He eventually pulled over in a residential area in Chula Vista and fled on foot—directly into the Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, where a funeral was already in progress.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, her royal horses bolted, abandoning the queen’s coffin midway through the procession. When it became clear that the horses wouldn’t be returning, Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s grandfather, suggested the Royal Navy use ropes to pull the gun carriage the rest of the way. They did, the funeral was saved, and a new tradition was born.
An exploding corpse, a 45-minute car chase, and a horse-related mishap that led to a royal tradition are only a handful of funerals gone wrong that Justin Dodd covers in this episode of The List Show. Here’s hoping the next funeral you attend is a little less eventful than these.
Subscribe to Mental Floss on YouTube for new videos every week.