Death Row Execution – What Actually Happens?

By Nick Hadji 12 months ago

1. The Prisoner Is Granted A Final Meal And To Speak With The Prison Chaplain

Image Source / FOX 10 PhoenixAny prisoner preparing for their execution is granted a last meal. This can be anything they demand, no matter how outrageous it may seem. A lot of the time, final meals are more on the junk food side, such as pizzas and burgers, or may be decadent requests like steaks. The prisoner is also then given the option to have a final conversation with the prison chaplain.Original content sourced from

2. The Prisoner Is Moved From Their Cell To Death Row

Image Source / The New York TimesPrisoners facing execution will need to be officially placed on death row, the cells inhabited only by those who are facing the end of their life and prison term. This move will need to be done in preparation for the upcoming execution, and these death row cells are under 24 hour surveillance. They're also extremely close to the execution chamber itself.

3. On The Day Of The Execution, TV And Audio Systems Are Tested For The Broadcast

Image Source / NBC NewsExecutions are broadcast on closed circuit televisions and through audio systems. This is so those who need to witness the execution can do so via television and audio. On the day of the execution, these systems need to be checked to make sure the execution will be broadcast successfully.

4. The Chemicals For Lethal Injection Are Fetched

Image Source / Outsourcing-PharmaOn the same day, prison staff will go to (what is described as) secure storage, where the chemicals for the lethal injection are stored. These needed to be checked and prepared on execution day to make sure everything is in order.

5. The Lethal Injections Are Prepared

Image Source / BBCThree drugs are used for lethal injections, all of which injected into the prisoner's body. The drugs are midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride. There should be enough of the drugs to make two sets of nine syringes each. These will then be color-coded: red for the ones to be used, and blue for the backup set in case the first set is compromised. Witnesses are also present to watch the syringes being filled.

6. On Execution Day The Execution Team Arrives

Image Source / Mississippi TodayA prison system will have a waiting area for execution teams to be used on execution day. The execution team, appointed by the state, will be taken to the waiting room, and their identities are only known by those for whom it's absolutely necessary.

7. The Prisoner Puts On Their Execution Clothing

Image Source / Manchester Evening NewsThe prisoner will need to be changed and dressed for their execution clothing. Often this will be another set of normal prison clothes and will usually be cotton, such as a plain cotton shirt, cotton trousers and then socks and cloth shoes.

8. Official Execution Witnesses Are Escorted Through

Image Source / The New York TimesThe official execution witnesses will then report to the state prison and be escorted through the official prison checkout. They will then be taken to their waiting area, where they will remain until it's time for the official execution. When this time arrives, they will be escorted to the witness area.

9. A Lethal Injection Recorder And Emergency Medical Technician Go To The Execution Chamber

Image Source / WikipediaThe lethal injection recorder is a member of prison staff who is tasked with monitoring the injection process, as well as ensuring the execution team remains anonymous. The recorder will go with an emergency medical technician into the execution chamber to prepare. This preparation also includes checking the phones in the chamber are working.

10. Medical Staff Go To The Capital Punishment Garage

Image Source / Medical Examiner-CoronerThe prison will have a capital punishment garage, which is where the medical examiner will have their medical vehicle stored in wait. This is where the body of the prisoner will be taken after the execution, and a member of the medical examiner's staff, as well as a doctor, will go to the garage while preparations are being made.

11. Family Members Of The Victim And Official Witnesses Will Be Moved To The Waiting Area

Image Source / Victorville Daily PressIf the prisoner has living family members, they may be present for the execution. If any family members of the victim are there, they will be escorted with the official witnesses to the waiting area in the prison to make sure they're now ready for the imminent execution.

12. A Team Will Go To Collect The Prisoner From Their Cell

Image Source / Tampa Bay TimesAn extraction team will then go to the prisoner's cell in order to collect them. When doing so, they will request the prisoner approach the cell door with their hands through the bars so they can be handcuffed. Once done, the prisoner will be instructed to move to the back of the cell and place their hands on the wall. If the prisoner refuses to come willingly for the execution, they will be removed forcibly from the cell.

13. The Prisoner Is Put On A Gurney And Restrained In Order To Be Transported

Image Source / TRT WorldOnce removed from the cell, whether peacefully or forcibly, the prisoner is then placed on a gurney and restrained to it in a led-down position. This gurney will then be escorted and pushed into the execution chamber for the IV lines to be fitted.

14. IVs Are Secured Into The Prisoner

Image Source / LADbibleDuring the IV placement, the state's attorney as well as the prisoner's attorney should both be present in the execution chamber, until the IVs are fully secured. These fluid lines are placed in the prisoner's arms to prepare for the lethal chemicals. During this time, any family members as well as the witnesses will be taken to the official witness rooms.

15. The Prisoner's Arms Will Then Be Taped To The Gurney

Image Source / Otago Daily TimesOnce the IVs are secured in place, the same team will tape and secure the prisoner's arms to the arm supports of the gurney. The arms will need to be secured so that the hands are palm up, in the usual way for an injection. The two attorneys are then moved out of the execution chamber and to a witness room.

16. The TV And Audio Systems Are Activated

Image Source / SoapboxieOnce all the witnesses have been placed in the correct viewing areas, including the two attorneys from the execution chamber, the closed circuit television and audio systems which were checked earlier will now be activated to begin the feed.

17. The Blinds Are Pulled Back And The Execution Chamber Is Revealed

Image Source / New York MagazineIn the witness rooms, blinds will have been pulled over the viewing window up to this point, to shield the preparation events taking place in the execution chamber. At this point when the execution is ready to begin, the blinds will be opened, revealing the execution chamber.

18. The Commissioner Of The Department Of Correction Is Contacted To Check For Last Minute Reprieve

Image Source / BBCThere was a reason that the phones needed to be checked earlier during the preparation phase. This is because there is always a chance a last-minute phone call will be made to stay the execution. The Department of Correction commissioner will therefore need to be contacted at this point to check whether there is any last-minute stay of execution.

19. The Prisoner Will Be Given The Opportunity For A Final Statement

Image Source / All That's InterestingIf there is no official reason to stop the execution, it will then proceed. After the check is made, the prisoner will then be given the opportunity to speak their final words. Some prisoners may choose to say nothing, others may make big speeches. They might express guilt over what they did, or they may maintain they did the right thing.

20. The Execution Begins, And The Start Time Is Recorded

Image Source / New York MagazineAfter the prisoner's statement is officially complete, the execution begins. The lethal injection recorder (the attendant responsible for monitoring the process) will note down the execution's start time after the signal is given to begin administering the first dose.

21. The First Syringe Is Inserted, Then The Second

Image Source / The Marshall ProjectThe first syringe is the midazolam. After the start signal is given, the executioner places the first syringe into the line. The plunger will be pushed at a steady pace. Two syringes in total of midazolam will be used, fed into the line and into the prisoner's arm. The purpose of the midazolam, and the reason it's inserted first, is to put the prisoner to sleep.

22. A Saline Solution Is Then Flushed Through The Line

Image Source / News-Medical.netThe IV line then needs to be flushed and cleared of midazolam before the next drug can be administered. This is therefore done with a saline flush after the two injections of midazolam have been given. This is also a key point for checks to be made. If the executioner feels resistance on the plunger, they pull back. The line is supposed to fill with blood, so if it doesn't, the executioner will no longer use that line. This may then mean the process needs to be restarted with the other line in the other arm, and using the backup blue-coded syringes.

23. The Prisoner Is Then Checked To See If They're Conscious

Image Source / Voice of AmericaBecause the purpose of the midazolam is to put the prisoner to sleep, the prisoner needs to be checked to see if they are still conscious and if the midazolam has worked. The purpose of giving the midazolam and putting to sleep is to make it so that the prisoner doesn't feel any pain caused by the lethal injection of the remaining chemicals.

24. Physical Touch Is Necessary To Check For Consciousness

Image Source / NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death PenaltyChecks are necessary because prisoners can actually appear unconscious even though they can still fully feel everything going on. Checks might include brushing a hand over the eyelashes of the prisoner, physically grabbing and pulling on their shoulder, and calling their name. A witness will also watch this 'checking' process and document it.

25. When The Prisoner Is Deemed To Be Unconscious, Four More Syringes Are Inserted (Separated By Another Saline Flush)

Image Source / Death Penalty Information CenterIf the prisoner is still responsive, the backup set of midazolam will be ordered to be used through the second IV line to try again. When the prisoner is confirmed to be unconscious, the executioner will be ordered to administer the second, and then third drugs. The second drug is vecuronium bromide, designed to paralyze the muscles. This is followed by another saline flush before the third drug is given: two syringes of potassium chloride. This final dose is designed to stop the prisoner's heart.

26. The Blinds Remain Open For Five Minutes After The Complete Lethal Injection

Image Source / Las Vegas Review-JournalFollowing the successful insertion of all three drugs, the viewing blinds remain open for five minutes. During this time, the prisoner shouldn't be reacting to the pain of death, as the successful input of the midazolam means the prisoner shouldn't feel or react to anything. When the five minutes have passed, the blinds will close and the TV/audio feed turned off.

27. A Physician Will Enter The Chamber To Check Whether The Prisoner Is Dead Or Still Alive

Image Source / New York MagazineAfter the blinds have closed, a physician will enter the execution chamber to confirm the death. They will examine the prisoner's body and pronounce the time of death, or they will confirm they are still alive if that is the case. If still alive, the execution would have to be attempted again.

28. The Death Will Then Be Announced To The Witnesses

Image Source / AZCentralWhen the death has officially been checked and confirmed, it will be announced to all the witnesses, stating the prisoner's name and confirmation that the penalty has been carried out. Witnesses will then be asked to exit, where they will be escorted out of the prison. The commissioner will then also be informed of the prisoner's death.

29. An Extraction Team And Medical Staff Will Then Remove The Restraints And Body

Image Source / British GQThe extraction team will then remove the restraints on the prisoner's body, freeing it from the gurney. The medical examiner team will then remove the body from the execution chamber and take it to the capital punishment garage, where the medical examiner's vehicle will be waiting for the body.

30. The Burial Arrangements Will Then Be Made

Image Source / The Journal.ieBurial arrangements will then need to be made for the body. The prison chaplain should be informed about any necessary arrangements. Often, prisoners may not have family members, however. If there is no family member to claim the body for funeral, then a pauper's burial will be arranged by the prison warden (which means a basic state-funded cremation or burial).Warning: graphic descriptions and photos ahead!

So that's what happens with the injection, but what about the electric chair? 1. The Prisoner Is Prepared For Execution Day

Image Source / AP NewsThe usual routine is carried out for a prisoner on death row for their execution. They will be granted a final meal of their choice, offered the opportunity to speak with the prison pastor and eventually escorted from the cell when the time for execution arrives. The electric chair is not the sole method of execution these days, but it is one known option.

2. The Witnesses Are Brought In

Image Source / New York MagazineEvery execution is required to have witnesses, even if family members are present as witnesses. Executions are always viewed through a viewing window and broadcast through screens and speakers (as usually happens with the lethal injection). Witnesses will be escorted through the prison to the viewing room.

3. The Prisoner Is Shaved

Image Source / Encyclopaedia BritannicaIn order for death by electric chair to be more successful, the prisoner needs to be shaved. This only needs to be done on the places the electrodes (the electrical conductors) will touch the body - namely, the legs and the head. The reason for shaving is to reduce resistance to electricity that hairs might cause.

4. The Prisoner Will Be Strapped To The Chair

Image Source / BBCThe prisoner will need to be strapped firmly in place to the chair. For electrocution, the chair is in an upright position, and not a led-down gurney like with the lethal injection. The prisoner is bound in an upright sitting position, with thick belt straps put in place across the chest, groin, legs and arms.

5. There May Be Violent Movement Of Limbs During The Electrocution

Image Source / Encyclopaedia BritannicaThe reason that the prisoner needs to be strapped down so tightly into the chair is because of the potential for limbs to flail violently. This is why so many straps are needed in various places. The movement of limbs can be so severe it can even cause dislocation.

6. A Wet Sponge Is Placed On The Head

Image Source / BiolindoA wet sponge is used to better conduct electricity and make for a quicker, less painful death. The sponge needs to have the right amount of moisture to efficiently conduct the current - if it's too wet, it could risk short-circuiting the current. And if you're a fan of the movie The Green Mile, then you'll know what happens when a dry sponge is used...

7. A Metal Skullcap Fitted With Electrodes Will Be Pulled Onto The Head

Image Source / History TodayThe target of electrocution is directly into the head to hit the brain. This is why a type of skullcap is fitted and pulled over the prisoner's head with the electrodes attached. The scalp should cover all of the head as well as the forehead. The skullcap should be pulled over the sponge so the sponge is between the cap and head.

8. An Additional Electrode Is Placed On The Leg

Image Source / Simple WikipediaIn order to give a better chance to have electrodes working in all the right places, an additional electrode is moistened with jelly made to better conduct electricity and then attached to the shaved portion of the prisoner's leg.

9. The Prisoner Is Blindfolded

Image Source / UnsplashThis is done for two reasons. It makes it easier and less personal on the executioners turning on the electric chair, that they don't have to meet the eyes of the person they're killing. For the prisoner, it means they have a moment of security in not having to look at their killers, and not having to watch as the chair is switched on.

10. The Execution Team Withdraws To The Viewing Room

Image Source / NPRThe team of people responsible for fitting the prisoner into the chair now need to withdraw. Only the executioner themselves should remain. The team withdraw to the viewing room to observe the execution carried out. This is also viewed by the witnessed who were gathered.

11. The Warden Signals For The Execution To Begin

Image Source / WikipediaWhen the moment has arrived, the warden will be the one to give the signal. They will let the executioner know when it's time. The executioner needs to wait for the official signal before they can pull the lever to begin the electric current.

12. The Lever Is Pulled

Image Source / NBC12When the signal is given, the handle is pulled to connect the power supply. The electric current will be a jolt of between 500 to 2000 volts. The duration of the voltage will be about 30 seconds, during which time the prisoner will be seen being electrocuted and - if successful - killed.

13. The Prisoner's Body Is Literally Cooked

Image Source / Electric Chair DeathsThe electric current heats the body and internal organs so severely that it is literally cooking the body. In worst cases, the body can even catch fire completely in response to the current. Witnesses to an execution by electric chair have even reported a sound like bacon being fried.

14. And It'll Smell Like It, Too

Image Source / WBIR.comYou can only imagine the horrible sicky smell of burnt flesh that must fill the small execution chamber. If the sounds are like frying bacon, then it must smell like the body being cooked, too. Especially if the prisoner catches fire, the smell of burning must be overpowering.

15. The Prisoner's Eyeballs May Actually Pop Out

Image Source / FacebookAnother reason the blindfold may be needed. Not only can the prisoner's eyeballs pop out from their head due to the surge of electricity, but they could completely come out of their socket and even rest on their cheeks.

16. Or Their Eyeballs Could Even Melt

Image Source / WikipediaOr maybe all of the above. Because of the insanely high temperatures that are forced into the body and heating everything up from the inside, the eyeballs could even melt as well as pop from the head. You'd think a blindfold would make no difference if this is the case!

17. Their Hands Might Grip The Chair

Image Source / Science Museum Group CollectionThis could be completely involuntarily if the current surge causes such violent movement of limbs, but in a lot of cases, the hands can be seen gripping the arms of the chair while strapped in as the current flows through.

18. Some Skin May Even Burn Off

Image Source / Getwell Urgent CareWith such high temperatures, and especially ones so high to potentially melt the eyeballs, it's no surprise that pieces of skin may actually burn off, too. The amount of heat rushing through the body will cause severe burns on the skin - and, in worst cases, strip the flesh away.

19. The Body Swells Up

Image Source / Vascular SocietyDue to the massive amount of heat, the body could also visibly swell up, too. The flesh can swell, burn and stretch to breaking point (as mentioned in the previous vivid point) so that the body is really being pushed to its limit.

20. You May Even See Smoke And Steam Rising

Image Source / Carr SubaruIt's no surprise that you'll see physical evidence of the burning, too, as well as smelling the scent of burnt flesh. You may actually see smoke and steam rising from the body as it's being pushed to extreme temperatures and 'cooked'.

21. The Skin Turns Red

Image Source / Medical News TodayIt's also no surprise the skin is going to visibly change colour - and, namely, bright red. The body is being heated to extreme conditions and as a response to the burns and high heat, the skin (even if not burned completely away) will turn bright red as well as swelling up.

22. Defecation, Urine, Vomit And Blood Are All Likely

Image Source / WikipediaYou hear enough stories about the body emptying its bowls when faced with death or moments of fear. For the electric chair, everything imaginable will often occur. This means defecation and urination, even vomiting, and visible blood and drool may be released, too.

23. The Electrons In The Prisoner's Body Will Move About

Image Source / Space.comWe've all had that weird sensation when we get an electric shock, like when you get a reaction on the car door. That weird feeling is actually the sensation of your own electrons moving about. For the electric chair, the current that moves through is the body's electrons running into each other in a chain.

24. The Current Is Then Turned Off

Image Source / Style WeeklyAfter the current is surged through the body, the lever is turned off. The body should then fall still. This is the time for the doctors to check whether the prisoner is still alive - but they will need to wait a moment for the body to cool down. They then check if the prisoner's heart is still beating.

25. If The Prisoner Is Still Alive, Another Jolt Will Need To Be Done

Image Source / NBC NewsElectrocutions may not actually be successful on the first try, which means the prisoner will need to be subjected to another round of electricity. It may not even work the second time, either. Basically surges need to be continually given until the prisoner is dead - no matter how long it takes.

26. The Prisoner Will Then Be Declared Dead

Image Source / QuoraWhen the electrocution has successfully been carried out and the prisoner is declared dead, the viewing window will be closed and witnesses will be escorted to leave. The body will then need to be removed for an autopsy and to prepare for the remains to be interred.

27. An Autopsy Can't Actually Be Performed Until The Prisoner Cools Down

Image Source / NPRAn autopsy of the body cannot be immediately carried out due to how hot to the touch it will be - and this isn't just about skin temperature, either. An electrocution heats up the internal organs, so coroners must wait until they cool. The body is so hot after electrocution that it can cause blisters.

28. Third Degree Burns Can Be Visible At The Electrode Sites

Image Source / NCBIThe burnt condition of the skin will be even more severe at the sites where the electrodes were attached to the skin. This will be on the scalp and the legs. The skin will most likely be black due to third degree burns.

29. The Brain Appears Cooked

Image Source / Scientific AmericanThe deputy chief medical examiner of Cook County reported that, with autopsy following the electric chair, the brain looks to be 'cooked' in most cases. It's no surprise when the head and scalp is the focus of the skullcap, with the electric surge straight into the head.

30. No One Is Fully Sure How The Electric Chair Actually Works

Image Source / WPTVIt's clear that the electricity kills the person, but it's more debateable about how. It's likely that the cause of death is the brain being paralysed by the electric current, or the body being thrown into cardiac arrest due to the extreme voltage. If a prisoner sets on fire during a failed electric chair attempt, it could even be that that ultimately kills them.

So, after death - what does the mortician do with the body? 1. First the body is transferred...

When someone dies, the body has to be transferred to the morticians. For example if the person was at hospital or a nursing home then body is driven to an morticians. But if the circumstances are not as clear then first the body has to be taken to the coroners before entering the morticians to discern how they died.

2. They check the body for any disease

One of the first steps after retrieving the body is to check it for anything in particular. This could be anything from a pace maker to whether the body has a disease, or whether any fluids are coming from the body. This is because depending on the body, it will have to be treated in a different way.

3. They place the body onto a tray and wheel it into the fridge

After assessing the body, it is then loaded onto a mortuary tray which can be metal or plastic, with wheels so that it can be easily transferred into the fridge. Then, the body is placed straight into the fridge as soon as possible so that it stops it from decomposing quickly.

4. The body is elevated to stop 'purging'

The head is placed higher than the rest of the body to avoid what is called in the mortician process as 'purging'. Purging refers to "leakage" from the mouth or the nose. The fluids that leak out can be for example, from blood or bile and so this is avoided where possible.

5. They remove the clothes

The clothes on the body of course have to be removed, which of course can take some work depending on how the person was dressed when they sadly died. Their clothes are carefully stored away and then they re-dress the body with a gown resembling those from hospital.

6. Then the body is cleaned

Of course another essential step is that the body is cleaned. This varies for each person depending on the state of the body. In most cases it does not require much of a cleaning process, but some bodies are more 'messy' and so the cleaning has to be more thorough.

7. Underwear is the first thing to be put on

The first item of clothing to be put on is the underwear, to make sure the body is covered. Bodies are covered as soon as possible with underwear to protect the dignity and respect of the person who is deceased and also for the sake of the mortician too.

8. They place eye caps in the eyes

When someone dies, the eyes naturally sink in leaving noticeable dents in the face. And so "eye caps" are place inside the eye to prevent this. These are just small little flesh coloured disks which are inserted underneath the eye lids.  They have tiny spikes on the outer side in order to hold the eyes closed.

9. Once in the coffin makeup is applied

This also depends on the situation. But, a little bit of makeup is often applied so that the person looks more like themselves and to add some colour back into the face. This is done mainly for the sake of the grieving family who may want to visit the body.

10. The nose and mouth are plugged

Because fluids naturally secrete from the nose and mouth, they are essentially plugged. This is done by taking cotton wadding and placing it down the throat as well as up the nose in order to prevent leakage so that the body can be preserved properly.

11. The mouth is tied shut

This point sounds a little bit strange and it is an idea that can sound shocking to those who are not inside the secrets of he mortician process. But it is delicately done by taking a needle and inserting i inside the throat first. Then the mouth is effectively sealed shut so that it cannot drop open.

12. The body is embalmed

The process of embalming the body varies massively as there are different kinds of embalming which involve different processes. But essentially, preservation fluids are put inside the body as well as colourants. This preserves the body and also makes it look a lot more normal again.

13. With full embalming all organs are removed

Full embalming is a much bigger and more complex process. Each and every one of the organs are removed (even including the brains), then they are scattered with a preserving powder and then everything is placed back inside the body in correct placement.

14. Sometimes nappies are applied

If the body looks in any danger of leaking, they the mortician will apply some kind of nappy to collect any fluid and prevent the body from leaking out. The mortician tries to prevent the body from leaking any fluid. And so if the body looks as though it may lose fluid in this way, a nappy is put on.

15. Embalming can take hours to days

As we mention previously, there are many typed of embalming and the different kinds take different amounts of time. For example some embalming takes a few hours but some can take up to a couple of days for the process to be finished.

16. Most of the job is dealing with the living

 Again, there are a lot of misconceptions about being an mortician. One of these is that the mortician is constantly around death. But actually the majority of time according to morticians themselves, is amongst the living - the families of the deceased.

17. Larger bodies are harder to deal with

According to morticians, it is harder dealing with larger bodies - the larger it is the more difficult according to some. This is throughout the entire process from carrying the body from place to place, undressing and embalming. Because each step requires more work and takes more time.

18. Moriticians get used to the smell of decomposition

One mortician had revealed that the smell of decomposition is string, but the best thing to do is not to shy away from the smell or to mask it with another. He claimed that the best thing to do is take two big inhales, after that you adjust and get used to it.

19. The body turns green

Morticians have revealed this dark secret about the realities of dealing with bodies. It is true that bodies do turn green eventually. The process of turning green always starts first around the stomach area, and then spreads to other parts of the body.

20. You don't need qualifications

It may sound strange because dealing with deceased bodies is a job very few have the capacity for. You would naturally think that it may require a lot of special qualifications. However that is no the case, you do not technically need qualifications to become an mortician.

21. Bodies are room temperature

There is a common assumption that bodies are cold. This is because a living bod is warm and so in comparison a body is cold. But, it is actually just room temperature. However of course when it is kept in a fridge the body is cold to touch.

23. Not all bodies have rigor-mortis

Rigor-mortis refers to a state when the limbs of a deceased body start to stiffen. It makes the body look and feel rigid and the body stays in the same position when moved. It does not happen to all bodies - even the majority - but with some it does occur.

24. Rigor mortis can be 'broken'

But, even when bodies do have rigor-mortis it is easily stopped it does not mean it is permanent. This happens by the mortician bending and moving the joints about for a while. The body then comes out its state rigor-mortis so that it then becomes more moveable again.

25. Being a mortician can be very messy

This again is very dependent. Because a lot of the time, the body will not be messy and the job is not messy at all.Sometimes in certain cases there is a lot of mess, which is sometimes inevitable. But, the morticians are geared up in protective clothing.

26. There is a lot of paperwork

Of course when having such a sensitive job there comes a lot of paperwork. Their records have to show the name of the deceased and their date of death as well as their age at the time of death. Also the place the body was transferred from and the date this happened. Also,, who was responsible for the transfer along with any valuables attached to the person.

27. bodies are kept at 3 and 5 degrees celsius

There is a very precise temperature that you can keep bodies at. This is between 3 and 5 degrees celsius. So the fridges are set between this temperature. Any lower and the body would start to freeze. Any higher and the body would start to decay and decompose more rapidly.

28. They form funghi if kept in the fridge too long

Morticians have revealed this secret.If you leave a body in a fridge too long, a certain fungi will grow on it. The fungus is either orange or white and not found anywhere else other than a body when it is in those conditions. Out of the fridge, the fungus does not appear.

29. It is not a 'morbid' job

It has a very morbid reputation, and it is certainly understandable why people assume that it must be a very depressing job to have. But, according to morticians they clarify that it is not in fact a morbid job. Some even go as far to say it is just the same as any normal job.

30. Trying to avoid the smell makes it worse

Morticians have claimed that the more you try and avoid the smell - the worse it us.These tricks such as playing some toothpaste under your nostrils or trying not to breathe much actually only make the smell last longer than if you just don't try at all.

31. They Use Normal Minivans

There is a misconception that bodies are collected and transported using a hearse. But these are rarely used, these are mainly for ceremonial purposes alone. So actually it is usually just ordinary mini van so that t is not obvious to the rest of the world what is happening.

32. Setting The Expression Is One Of The Most Important Things

To a grieving family, some comfort comes by looking at the peaceful expression on the face of their deceased loved one. But this takes a lot of work. The features have to be set in place it does not happen naturally which most people tend to assume...

33. Sometimes Superglue Is Used

SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB. Park Bo-ram, a funeral director, cleans the body of a deceased at a funeral home in a medical center in Seoul, South Korea, November 4, 2020. Picture taken November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran

This is a horrifying thought, to think of superglue being used on a body. But according to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, mortician Caitlin Doughty reveals: “If the usual methods of setting the features aren’t sufficient to keep the eyes closed or the mouth shut, superglue is a secret weapon.”

34. Or A Hair Tie...

Mortician Amy Cunningham revealed in an interview another method of achieving the expected look: “If you need to keep a deceased person’s hands folded neatly at their abdomen, but their arms keep falling down into the sides of the casket, you can gently bind their thumbs with a ponytail tie.”

35. Protective Caskets Aren't A Great Idea

Protective caskets are sold under the guise of protecting the body from any outside factors, for example any of the outside penetrating in such as the earth or insects. But actually, it makes the inside a breeding ground for bacteria and encourages the inside to rot away.

36. Sometimes Caskets Explode

Sometimes caskets explode. This is because of the buildup of methane gas can cause what people in the industry call “exploding casket syndrome”. The gas builds up util the pressure reaches a point where the gas will literally make the casket explode open. And so they have to be unsealed regularly.

37. Pace Makers Can Also Explode

Pace makers can cause damage to the cremation machine because of the batteries inside of them. This is why it is so important for the undertaker to make sure the remove them in the first instance so that they are not still present during the cremation.

38. They Use Rose Coloured Lighting

Morticians use rose coloured lighting to give the appearance of pinky rosy flesh, rather than grey. Which of course is partially achieved by the staining of the flesh but sometime it is not enough and so the rosy coloured lighting helps to create this illusions too.

39. One Embalming Can Generate 120 Gallons Of Waste

It sounds like a shocking statistic but around 120 gallons of waste are produced from an embalming. These include things such as blood, fecal matter, and the contents of the internal organs, as well as any chemicals that have been added which have been released from the body.

40. Everything Goes Down The Drain

What is even perhaps more shocking that realising just how much waste is produced from one embalming, is realising that it goes straight down the drain.And no, not a hazardous waste drain just the usual drain which we use daily. It is an uncomfortable thought.

41. Embalmers Are Exposed To Dangerous Chemicals

Morticians and those ding the embalming are actually at health risks because of the dangerous and toxic chemicals that they work with on a daily basis. These chemicals have been linked to health problems so they have to be very careful when handling them.

42. You Can't Be Buried Under A Tree

It is a dream of many to be buried under a tree. But it is not actually possible. A body must be buried at least four feet from a tree to protect its root system and the health of the tree. So the idea of being buried under a tree is not actually viable, but quite close.

43. Some Don't Agree With Preserving The Body

Some people and some morticians actually do not like the idea of preserving the body or embalming. One mortician thinks hat a body should look dead, rather than being falsely presented. One reason for this is to help the family come to terms with it and deal with it.

44. There Is A Tradition To Bury Children At Cost

The death of a baby or child is so tragic that it is a general rule that funeral homes will do the service at cost due to the heartbreaking nature of the case. There are also charities which work with funeral homes to provide things for free for the family dealing with their loss.

45. Breast Implants Usually Melt

If somebody is cremated with breast implants, they will melt inside of the cremation machine. Breast implants are one of those things which are often not removed, and so of course they melt down inside the cremation machine which does not cause too much damage.

46. And Other's Will Be Melted Down

Things like hip replacements etc can be requested by the family to be kept. But, this rarely happens and so instead they are melted down with other plastics and used to make things such as road signs. They are removed as they cannot be burned with the ashes due to it being plastic.

47. Some Morticians Hire Dogs

In some funeral homes they employ dogs. Therapy dogs are a great comforter and a great way for those who are grieving to cope with loss. They are the best companions and there are chemicals released when you spend close contact with a dog or animal that relieve stress.

48. They Cover The Legs Because Shoes Are Difficult To Put On

You may have noticed that morticians cover the legs of the deceased. This is because the feet often do not have shoes on. They are difficult to place on because the feet have stiffened. Although this is not the only reason, there are other things such as for religious reasons.

49. There Are More Environmentally Friendly Ways

Caskets and funerals in general as well as embalming are not good for the planet.But there are ways to make it more friendlier to the earth if that is your intention. For example if you use a rental casket the body is then buried in something similar to a cardboard box which decomposes better.

50. Don't Get Ashes In A Temporary Container

When you have the ashes returned to you, make sure you ask the crematory before the return to transfer the ashes in a plain metal or plastic container. Otherwise they give you the ashes in a container which has temporary stamped on it as a way to get you to buy a more expensive urn

51. Sometimes Denture Adhesive Is Used To Put The Skull Back Together

Once the skull has been taken apart it has to be put back together again and sometimes morticians will use denture adhesive to literally glue the cracks back together again and place the skull back as one. There are different methods to do this.

52. Sometimes Morticians Knew The Person

Being a mortician is a calling- it is a hard job anyway. Never mind if they actually knew the person. This is very hard for the mortician when dealing with a body that they had a personal connection t. Even if that connection was not particularly close.

53. They Sometimes Have Strange Requests

Families or loved ones of the deceased have been known to request some very particular and sometimes highly unusual things when they are having their loved one buried. And sometimes the deceased person has made these requests themselves, such as some insist on wearing spandex.

54. Sometimes They Have To Reattach The Whole Head

Of course people die in many different ways. And sometimes sadly the circumstanced and condition of the body is very horrifying. There are occasions where the deceased has to have their whole head reattached to their body for the embalming process and funeral process.

55...Which Takes A Lot Of Work

And this is definitely not easy to do. It requires a LOT of work - hours to be able to reattach the head back to the body and make it appear as though it was never separated in the first place. It takes a lot of equipment and time to be able to accomplish this.

56. Dehydrated Bodies Look Very Different

Sometimes bodies are extremely dehydrated- not often, but when they are it is very apparent. In fact, they look entirely different to bodies that are hydrated. But, this is reversed when the fluids are inserted into the body during embalming the body.

57. Blood Settles When You Die

Blood settles when you die and so depending on the position of the body when he person dies, the blood will settle there. This makes sense when you take into consideration of how liquids simply work but the effect when somebody has died can have a strange effect and look.

58. So It Swells Where The Person Died

For example if the body is on its side, then one side of the body swells with the blood and one side of the body sort of drains... According to morticians it can look very odd. In fact one revealed how all the blood in one mans body had gone to the side of his face.

59. Sometimes They Have To Reconstruct The Face

Again, death can be horrifying and there are lots of different ways that make the body look different in different circumstances. For example accidents may happen where damage is caused to the face. This requires the mortician to reconstruct the face.

60. And They Use Modelling Clay

To do this you would probably not guess how. But one way thy actually manage to achieve this is using modelling clay. To literally try and rebuild some of the facial features which have been disjointed or damaged in any way and make the face look more peaceful again.

61. Larger Bodies May Have To Buy Two Cemetery Plots

We have already discussed how there is a different process for different sized bodies. But it also affects the cemetery plots. If the person was larger the family or loved ones may actually have to purchase two cemetery plots rather than one for the coffin to fit.

62. During The Autopsy The Organs Are Held In A Bucket

During an autopsy all of the organs are removed from the body. They are held in a bucket to store them until the work is done on the body that needs to be completed. Because of course, the organs are needed again to be put back inside of the body.

63. That Is Filled With Cavity Fluid

The bucket where the organs are kept is filled with cavity fluid. This is a liquid which is a higher concentration of the embalming fluid that is injected into the vascular system. This means that the organs will be preserved whilst they remain outside of the body.

64. Vessels Have To Be Severed

There is a lot of gory detail when it comes to the secrets of a mortician. And as we know, lots of things from the body have to be removed, sewn, cut...and all sorts of other things. Another of these horrifying concepts is the fact that the vessels in the body have to be severed.

65. And Then They Are Tied

Then they are not just severed and left. They are tied up. This is also to stop the vessels leaking where they have been severed. By tying them up the liquid cannot escape and cause leakages which as we now know is something morticians want to prevent.

66. Then They Inject And Drain Them

Then that is not the end of that process. As with everything in the process it is intricate and lengthy. So the mortician then has to inject the vessel and then drain them. Again, this is so that the liquid from inside cannot escape through the body.

67. And Then They Are Disinfected

Then...they are disinfected after being drained. Everything during the morticians process is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Of course because the body is being preserved everything has to be as clean as possible and so even the vessels are disinfected.

68. Part Of The Skull Was Sawn Off

Part of the skull has to be sawn off so that the brain can be removed (if the body is being embalmed). This sounds horrifying but it is so that everything can be cleaned and placed back to where it was. The skull then needs putting back so that the body has a normal shape again.

69. Skin Is Pulled Back Over The Head

Then of course the skin has been cut and disrupted from he skull being sawn and the brain being removed. So the skin then needs to be pulled back over the head very carefully and attached as it was before so that it looks as though it has never been touched.

70. It Can Be Closed With A Needle Injector And Pins

Of course the skull needs placing back together. One was this can be done is using the needle injector which we have discussed previously. This essentially allows the pins to hold the skull back into place so that it can be tied down and appear as though it has not been disturbed.