Have you ever wondered what your own funeral will be like, or who might turn up? Well, a curious Brazilian man has faked his own death to find out.
60-year-old Baltazar Lemos from Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil announced his death on social media and set up a hoax funeral for his friends and family.
Lemos, who frequently conducts funerals, recounted that he had been upset after conducting a service for someone with just two people in attendance as compared to the ones where hundreds were present.
Lemos decided to pull the hoax to see who would show up. Unfortunately for the 60-year-old Brazilian, his funeral produced similarly disastrous results to that of the fictional paleontologist.
Lemos posted a seemingly innocent and cheery photo of himself on his Facebook page, sharing ‘prayers and good vibes with everyone’.
After Lemos’s post, his nephews rushed to the hospital only to find out that the man hadn’t been admitted to the hospital.
Concerned friends became distressed about his passing – including his wheelchair-bound octogenarian mother – and started to pay tribute to him and his life. Many commented on the post to ask about the details of his death and the cause, but no further information was given.
The funeral and wake details for a ceremony commemorating Lemos’ life were soon posted to the Facebook page.
Friends and family soon gathered to pay their respects to the Brazilian at a chapel in his hometown of Curitiba. But no sooner had the ceremony started that Lemos’ voice started bellowing out from the speakers, detailing his 60 years of life.
Those in attendance were in shock and tears started pouring from many people’s eyes. The mourners thought that Lemos had recorded the tape before his supposed death.
Alter doors then flung open and Lemos’ friends and family were confronted by the man. The mourners were aghast and confused, as tears continued to pour from many of those in attendance.
The hoax funeral didn’t appear to have the results Lemos was expecting. As he tried to explain what had happened, and why he wanted to fake his death, the congregation who had been sorrowful over his passing were now incandescent with rage and started to accuse him of cruelty.
If it was any consolation for Lemos, more people showed up to his funeral than the two old college friends who gathered for Ross Geller’s wake.
Lemos told Brazilian outlet 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 also apologized for his antics. “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 apologize to these people.”
Social media users quickly learned of the disastrous funeral.
One wrote: “You got what you wanted Baltazar, to draw attention. In all the groups of event photographers, people are talking about your ‘death’. Everyone was mourning. What a ridiculous joke! I think you should take a picture with everyone who mourned your supposed death. I don’t know you personally and I hope I don’t ever meet you.”
Another of his friends told Otempo: “I’ve known him since 2001. I thought the story was horrible. I spent one day sad and the other very indignant. For me, he died on the 17th [the day the fake death was announced], when I found out everything. It was in very bad taste.”