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A Nova Scotia Funeral Home Cremated the Wrong Body

The funeral home apparently showed the family two wrong bodies before admitting their mistake.
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Funerals are not supposed to be described as a “horror story.”

Yet, that’s the exact term a family is using after a privately run funeral home in Nova Scotia accidentally cremated their family member’s body. On top of that, the CBC reports that not only did the funeral home burn the wrong corpse but they also showed the deceased woman’s family two bodies—one wearing their family member’s clothing—before finally admitting their mistake.


Sandra Bennett died in late December to what the CBC describes as a “longtime illness.” Upon her passing, the Bennett family brought the 65-year-old’s body to Serenity Funeral Home in Berwick where they scheduled a viewing for the next week. They couldn’t have ever known that when they showed up for the viewing they would encounter such a comedy of upsetting errors.

Bennett’s husband was the first to find out the body wasn’t of his late wife but one of a different woman he had never seen before. This happened just shortly before the open-casket visitation began and, thankfully, the funeral parlor acknowledged their screw up to the Bennett family. So, they then wheeled out the stranger’s body and brought in a new one to where the visitation was to take place, but the thing is, while this body was wearing their family members clothes, it still wasn’t Bennett.

The CBC reports that this is when the attendant had to inform the family that they accidentally cremated Bennett’s body. One of the family members, who requested anonymity, described the entire situation as a “horror story.” The CBC spoke to the son of one of the women shown the Bennet’s family and told them that while his mother wanted to be cremated, they accidentally embalmed her.

On the funeral home’s website, first found by the CBC, they state that their cremation procedures make it “next to impossible” to pull off what they did to Sandra Bennett.

“All reputable cremation providers use rigorous sets of operation procedures and policies to maximize their level of service, which minimizes the risk of human errors,” reads the FAQ section of their website. “It is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time; so many crematories will only cremate one body at a time. Even if there is more than one retort, there are labels that are used to make sure it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

The lawyers for Serenity Funeral Home have said they’re giving no comment at the moment. An investigation by the Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is underway.

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