From Dr. Frankenstein's making of a monster, to Norman Bates cross-dressing as his long-decomposed mother, tales of the psychotic forming relationships with the dead is common territory in the world of film. However, when these narratives cross over to reality, shit gets extremely disturbing pretty damn fast.
Each of the four characters in this list formed shocking and intense long-term relationships with the deceased. Hold your breath...
The Grieving Husband
Grief turned into obsession for Vietnamese Le Van, who lost his wife back in 2003 and then proceeded to spend every night for 20 months sleeping on top of her grave. Dedication which slightly wavered after too many cold nights in the rain, Le Van concocted a plan to dig a tunnel from his house to her grave, where he could continue to sleep next to his beloved without being continually drenched.
A plan which wasn't long-lived, perhaps because of all the other graveyard corpses getting in the way, Le Van instead opted to dig up the body and return her to the home she once shared with him and their children. He then wrapped her body in flesh colored paper and crafted a clay mask to cover her face, which he then decorated with an attempted depiction of her features.
Seemingly ignoring the vow 'Till Death Do Us Part', in 2009 the local council attempted to intervene and re-bury the now very-decomposed body, but Le Van simply refused. Unsurprisingly, the guy still remains very, very single.
The Mad Scientist
Another case of grief turned obsession, however this time with a sinister twist. German radiologist Carl Tanzler, aka Count Carl von Cosel, had been plagued with visions of a dark haired beauty, destined to be the love of his life, for years. So, when meeting the Cuban-born Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, he fell for her instantly.
Unfortunately for Tanzler (and Hoyos), his love died of tuberculosis in 1931. He had the corpse buried in an expensive mausoleum and, unbeknownst to her family, he was the only one with the key. He visited her resting place nightly for two years but, like Le Van, became irritated with the lack of intimacy such visits provided. So, he decided to steal the body.
Placing her corpse into a toy wagon, he transported Elena to a make-shift laboratory where he set to work restoring her body to life. Tying her bones back together with coat hangers, Tanzler also gave her glass eyes, a wig made from her own hair (given to him by her mother), stuffed her chest and abdomen cavities with rags and replaced her skin with wax and plaster of paris. He also liberally sprayed the doll-like cadaver to mask the stench of decay.
Oh yeah, and he stuck a paper tube in her vagina so he could continue to have sex with her. Nice, huh?
Tanzler was tried for 'wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization.' Apparently the prosecutors were amazed with his sheer dedication to a mad cause - he actually asked for the corpse back during the trial!
The Eerie Family
At 111 years old, Sogen Kato was once celebrated for being oldest living man in Toyko. That was, until congratulating officials turned up at his house in 2010 and discovered his body had actually been decomposing in a bedroom for the last 30 years.
Kato's mummified remains were found covered by a blanket and dressed in underwear and pajamas. The newspapers found in his bedroom dated back three decades, which indicated that his death had occurred at some point in November, 1978. His granddaughter reportedly told an acquaintance:
"My grandfather shut himself in a room on the first floor of our home 32 years ago, and we couldn't open the door from the outside. My mother said, 'Leave him in there,' and he was left as he was. I think he's dead."
According to his family, Kato had voluntarily confined himself to the room with the aim to become a living Buddha. However, the family must have discovered his body at some point and the fact they then lived with his remains for so long, acting as if nothing had happened, is pretty f*cking creepy.
The Disturbed Landlord
Alan Derek got a bit of a shock when a council official visited his home in Bristol, England back in 2002 and uncovered the corpse of his old lodger sat on the living room sofa. Derek had apparently totally forgotten it was there.
The pair had met in the local pub a decade earlier and Derek had offered him a place to stay. The arrangement was all fine and dandy until returning home one day to find his lodger had died. Too scared to tell the council about the incident because he wasn't technically allowed to have a subtenant and worried they'd cut off his benefits, he simply turned the sofa around and continued with his life.
According to the official:
"When we went into the lounge the body was totally decomposed. It didn't even look like a human being - it just looked like a pile of earth with bones sticking out. The flat was in an absolutely terrible state. It was disgusting."
The council had originally been sent to the home after neighbor's filed multiple complaints about the stench. Described as the most 'peculiar case' Bristol's council had ever come across, Derek continued to deny any knowledge of his decomposed lodger who'd been keeping him company for the last ten years.
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