Fake News: Funeral Home Employee NOT Cremated By Mistake While Taking A Nap

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Nope, a funeral home worker in Huntersville, North Carolina by the name of Kenneth Brooks was not accidentally cremated after taking a nap on a stretcher. This fake story keeps coming back alive even after being repeatedly cremated by fact checking websites.

The latest instance of the story was published on March 11th 2108 on abcnews-us.com (not the real ABCNews website abcnews.go.com) under the title "Funeral Home Employee Cremated By Mistake While Taking A Nap" (archived here). That version of the story opened:

Huntersville, North Carolina | An employee of a local Huntersville funeral home died this morning, after being accidentally cremated by one of his coworkers.

According to the Huntersville medical examiner, 48-year old Kenneth Brooks decided to take a nap on a stretcher after working for sixteen hours straight.

While he was sleeping, another employee mistook him for the corpse of a 52-year old car accident victim and carried him to the crematory.
Before anyone could notice the mistake, he had already been exposed to temperatures ranging between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and reduced to ashes.

The original March 2017 fake story was about a "Morgue employee" while a later version on an African site spoke of a "Mortuary employee". If the pattern continues we expect to see a "Funeral parlor employee", "Crematory employee" or even "Charnel house employee" story in the near future.


The website World News Daily Report which launched the original story is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. His articles are frequently copied by other fake news sites as you can see.

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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