Most of us have wondered about how people might react when we died, but misguided Brazilian bloke Baltazar Lemos actually followed through on the daydream and faked his own funeral.
It didn’t go well.
Baltazar, himself a funeral celebrant, decided to stage a phoney funeral in his home town of Curitiba, Paraná, to see who would turn up.
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The 60-year-old started by posting a photo of himself at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo, implying that he was there for a routine appointment. But shockingly he went on to follow it up with an announcement that he had passed away.
He wrote: “At the beginning of this sad afternoon, Baltazar Lemos left us. More information coming soon."
He had let no-one in on on his bizarre hoax – not even his wheelchair-bound mum, who is in her eighties.
Matters were made worse after relatives rushed to the hospital, asking for more information, only to be told that Baltazar had never even been a patient.
Baltazar then updated his Facebook page with details of his “funeral,” leading confused and unhappy family and friends to post dozens of responses.
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When the mourners actually arrived at the chapel to bid farewell to their friend, a further shock was in store.
As the ceremony started Baltazar’s voice emerged from the PA system, talking about his life and his experiences.
People at first thought that he had prepared the recording before his death, and many of them wept to hear the dead man speaking to them “from beyond the grave”.
But then, to their shock, Baltazar suddenly emerged from behind a door.
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He told local news site Otempo: “I had the idea five months ago. I wanted to make it look like I really died. People interpreted it in their own way. The truth is that I wanted to know who would come to my wake.”
He apologised for the upset he had caused, saying: “I didn't tell anyone, because I hoped it would work out. I had no intention of hurting, offending, or causing any harm to anyone. I truly apologise to these people."
One of his friends told the news outlet: “I've known him since 2001. I thought the story was horrible. I spent one day sad and the other absolutely furious. For me, he died on the 17th [the day the fake death was announced], when I found out what really happened. It was in very poor taste."
After news emerged of the bad-taste prank, many social media users compared Baltazar’s misguided hoax to a stunt pulled by super-nerd Ross Geller in US sitcom Friends, That didn’t end well either.
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