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Extraordinary Things to Put in a Coffin

Most of us think we know exactly what goes into a coffin, but some people take something extra with them. They say that you “can”t take it with you’, but these people did.

Humphrey Bogart had a gold whistle that had been given to him by his wife, Lauren Bacall, buried with him. The whistle had the message, ‘If you want anything, just whistle’, engraved along the barrel. The 19 year old actress was trying to get a start in the profession when she married the 45 year old star. It was love at first sight for the two of them and it lasted a life time.

Humphrey Bogart

Lauren Bacall

Barbara Cartland was buried in a pink chiffon gown which was in keeping with her normal style of dress. The British romantic novelist died just before her 98th birthday. She was one of the world’s most successful authors and she sold more than a billion books in thirty-six different languages.

Dame Barbara Cartland

Bela Lugosi was buried dressed in the same black cape that he had worn in so many films in his role as Count Dracula. This Hungarian actor is best known for his starring role in Bram Stoker’s vampire story. He died on August 15th 1956 while on stage. It is said that he died clutching the script to ‘The Final Curtain’.

Bela Lugosi

Walter Raleigh was buried with a pipe and a box of tobacco. The adventurer and explorer brought tobacco to Europe from the New World (America) in the late 1500’s. Raleigh was executed at the Tower of London for treason and his embalmed head was presented to his wife before his body was buried.

Walter Raleigh

Frank Sinatra was buried in a blue suit with a flask of his favorite tipple, ‘Jack Daniels Whiskey’ and a roll of ten dimes placed there by his daughter. He died may 14th 1998 from a heart attack. His final words which were heard by his daughter Nancy, and his wife Barbara, were, ‘I’m Losing’.

Frank Sinatra

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  1. Alexa Gates

    On April 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm


    wow! My uncle was buried with a hershey’s chocolate bar.. my other great uncle was buried with wiskey :) Lol… i wish my great grandma would have been buried with her school diploma..it ment a lot to her. and.. my grandpa (the one who recently died) was going to be buried with a phone.. but my grandma got scared that he would find a way to call her and talk to her :)

    Great article

  2. louie jerome

    On April 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm


    Alexa, that’s really interesting. You should write an article about it….it’s not just famous people who take something special to them with them. I can just imagine your grandma worrying in case he called her!

  3. Ruby Hawk

    On April 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm


    That is very interesting. I hadn’t heard any of it before. My daughter-in-law laid her favorite antique quilt over my late husband in his coffin. I thought that was the most thoughtful thing she could ever do.

  4. Judy Sheldon

    On April 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm


    I wonder what the dimes were for; pay phones in heaven?

  5. Dee Huff

    On April 19, 2008 at 4:04 am


    Very interesting list of stuff. I like the gold whistle with the engraving on it. I wonder if Walter Raleigh was a nicotine addict?

  6. Gerlaine

    On April 19, 2008 at 8:10 am


    I have seen people buried with Millions of dollars, gold bullion, stuffed pets and many other outlandish things.

  7. Lucy Lockett

    On April 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm


    I wanted my mum to wear the crucifix I had given her but it had disappeared from her belongings before I got there! Funerals can bring out the worst in families.

  8. Anne Lyken-Garner

    On April 20, 2008 at 8:38 am


    Great article, although, I don’t think I want to be buried with anything. I’d rather my loved ones kept them to remind them of me, or to give to younger people in my family.

    Alexa’s grandma is funny.

  9. mwestport

    On May 15, 2008 at 1:40 am


    My Aunt Mary Mama, a pack of Lucky Strikes. She needed a lot more than one pack but she’ll have to get by with just the one. And yes they put in a zippo.

    I will need a Stumbleupon button.

  10. phyllis

    On May 16, 2008 at 9:31 am


    My Dad was buried with his American Legion cap and his WWI service medal, I wish we had not done that and had these precious reminders now!

  11. npaug10

    On May 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm


    I placed a picture of our daughter’s graduation in my late husband’s pocket just before they sealed his casket. He passed away this passed summer and only 3 weeks before she graduated from UCLA. Hope he’ll keep that picture forever.

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