Ask a Mortician: Is the Funeral Industry a Horrible Pyramid Scheme?

Did you know that about 15% of the American funeral industry is run by large corporations? "Death is a for-profit business," explains our favorite mortician, Caitlin Doughty. Corporate structure sometimes means a funeral director will try to "upsell" products to grieving families. Caitlin's advice: "Know what services you… » 8/29/13 5:10pm 8/29/13 5:10pm

Ask a Mortician: What Should I Do With My Cat After She Dies?

In the latest episode of Ask a Mortician, our favorite deathxpert, Caitlin Doughty, discusses a subject many of us have had to or will have to tackle at some point: the death of a pet. What are your options when a cat dies? You don't have to let a veterinary clinic take over. You can opt for burial, cremation or… » 3/05/13 5:20pm 3/05/13 5:20pm

Ask a Mortician: Can You Wear Artificial Nails in Your Coffin?

In the latest edition of Ask A Mortician, our death-obsessed buddy Caitlin Doughty answers questions about artificial nails, mortuary eye caps, Mozart's corpse and getting away with murder. » 1/11/13 5:15pm 1/11/13 5:15pm

Our Favorite Mortician Pleads: Talk to Your Children About Death

In light of recent horrifying events, Caitlin Doughty of "Ask a Mortician" fame offers up some advice about how to speak with children about death. When Caitlin was eight years old, she saw a child die right in front of her. She believes that parents and guardians should be honest about death, and offer simple… » 12/17/12 5:50pm 12/17/12 5:50pm

Ask a Mortician: How Do I Donate My Corpse to Science?

In the new installment of Ask A Mortician, our death-obsessed friend Caitlin Doughty explains that you can't really give your body to science. But you can offer yourself to a medical school. Also, if you want your skull to be a showpiece on someone's mantle someday, there's some advice about that. And be sure to… » 11/27/12 4:20pm 11/27/12 4:20pm

Death and Candy: A Special Halloween Edition of Ask a Mortician

Happy Halloween! Our favorite mortician, Caitlin Doughty, would like to talk to you about the morbid origins of the holiday. As you munch on peanut butter cups, consider death, Samhain and bonfires. And follow Caitlin on Twitter! » 10/29/12 7:00pm 10/29/12 7:00pm

Ask a Mortician: What's the Difference Between a Traditional and a…

Did you know that it's practically impossible to put a naked corpse in the ground? Most cemeteries won't allow it. Our favorite mortician, Caitlin Doughty, explains the difference between traditional burial — the one with the embalming and coffins — and natural burial, which is, you know, natural. Tune in for the… » 10/16/12 5:15pm 10/16/12 5:15pm

Ask a Mortician: Do Funeral Homes Dissolve Bodies in Acid?

Hey looky here, it's a new episode of "Ask a Mortician," in which our favorite death-obsessed lady, Caitlin Doughty, explains what happens during liquid cremation — alkaline hydrolysis, to be exact. In sounds kind of fancy: There's a silk bag involved! » 8/30/12 4:45pm 8/30/12 4:45pm

Ask A Mortician: Can a Casket Explode?

In this episode of Ask A Mortician, our favorite death-obsessed lady, Caitlin Doughty, explains the magic of decomposition, and how, if you want to, you can turn a dead body into an explosive device. » 6/19/12 6:15pm 6/19/12 6:15pm

Also, we neglected to post this episode from earlier this month, in which Caitlin discusses corpse poop, so we are…

Our Favorite Mortician Does Not Care for Zombies!

This week, our pal Caitlin returns with episode six of Ask A Mortician, and declares: "Here's the thing about zombies: I don't care for them." Special guests in this clip include a vulture, a puppet, some maggots and Caitlin's mom. » 3/08/12 4:10pm 3/08/12 4:10pm

Our Favorite Mortician Reveals What Happens to Corpses in Space

This week, our pal Caitlin gets some help from Mary Roach, author of Stiff, as she talks about space burials. We also learn the best way to cremate someone who is obese, and whether or not it's cool to ask a funeral director for a lock of hair from a deceased loved one. Pour yourself a cup of tea and get comfortable:… » 1/17/12 6:10pm 1/17/12 6:10pm