Do you ever think about what you’d like to be buried with? A photo that’s near and dear to your heart? A love letter? An important memento that you could never part with and that will be with you forever?
Throughout history, people have been buried with things they wanted to take with them to the afterlife. Read on to learn about the things 10 famous people wanted to keep with them for eternity.
1. Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
This famous composer was responsible for the timeless songs in musicals like West Side Story and On the Town. Bernstein was buried with a piece of amber, a lucky penny, a baton, and a copy of Alice in Wonderland. A copy of Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony also went along with Bernstein, as he idolized the Austrian conductor.
2. Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)
The famous actor was cremated, but his remains were interred with a gold whistle that he had given to his wife, Lauren Bacall, years earlier. The whistle is inscribed with the words, “If you want anything, just whistle.”
The line is a reference to a film Bogart and Bacall starred in together, 1944’s To Have and Have Not. The actual lines from the film are, “You know you don’t have to act with me. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” But that’s a little too long to put on a whistle, don’t you think?
3. George Burns (1896-1996)
The comedian, actor, and singer had a long and impressive career that spanned generations. One constant in almost every photo of George Burns? A cigar in his mouth or in his hand. When he died at the age of 100, Burns was, unsurprisingly, buried with three cigars in his pocket.
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4. Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
The British writer responsible for James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and loads of other classics really did love chocolate. Dahl was buried with some chocolate, a bottle of Burgundy, pencils, a power saw, and even some snooker cues.
5. Harry Houdini (1874-1926)
The most famous magician/escape artist of all time died at the age of 52 after suffering a ruptured appendix. Houdini was buried with a packet of letters from his beloved mother. The daredevil’s casket is one that he used in his underwater act.
6. Bela Lugosi (1882-1956)
The man who will forever be known as Dracula was actually buried in his full Dracula costume, cape and all. Lugosi tried to escape his association with Transylvania’s creepiest resident, but he was never able to, going on to play similar characters until the end of his life.
7. Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
The artist and filmmaker was buried with a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume—seriously. Maybe it’s not so weird, as Warhol himself said, “I really love wearing perfume. Sometimes at parties I slip away to the bathroom just to see what colognes they’ve got. I never look at anything else—I don’t snoop—but I’m compulsive about seeing if there’s some obscure perfume I haven’t tried yet, or a good old favorite I haven’t smelled in a long time. If I see something interesting, I can’t stop myself from pouring it on. But then for the rest of the evening, I’m paranoid that the host or hostess will get a whiff of me and notice that I smell like somebody-they-know.”
8. William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)
Burroughs wrote some of the most controversial and celebrated novels of the 20th century, including Naked Lunch and Junkie. After he died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas in 1997, the Beat Generation writer was buried in his native St. Louis with a loaded .38 revolver, a sword cane, a fedora, and a marijuana joint.
9. Ronnie Van Zant (1948-1977)
The singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd died at the age of 29 when the plane carrying band and crew members crashed in Mississippi. Van Zant is buried in his native Florida with a black hat and his fishing pole.
10. Bob Marley (1945-1981)
The Jamaican reggae legend died of cancer at the age of 36 and was buried with his red Gibson Les Paul guitar, a bible, and some marijuana.
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