Planning a funeral but not sure enough people are going to show up? Rent a Mourner, a service that hires people to cry at funerals, might be able to help.
U.K.-based Rent a Mourner charges £45 an hour to get a small crowd to attend a funeral service and have them cry during it. The company has 20 people for hire and claims it has attracted 52 bookings in the U.K. since it began early last year.
“Our staff will meet with the client beforehand and agree on ‘the story’, so our staff will either have known the deceased professionally or socially,” Rent a Mourner founder Ian Robertson told The Telegraph. “They will be informed of the deceased’s background, achievements, failures, etc. so they can converse with other mourners with confidence.”
Apparently, the practice of having fake mourners is popular in parts of Asia, which is where Robertson got the idea.
“We were actually inspired by the market growth in China,” Robertson said. “The Middle Eastern way is to provide wailers — crying women — as opposed to the quiet, dignified methods we use.”
Rent a Mourner plans to expand its service because it has not been able to meet demand. Robertson said he has turned down more than 60 requests to date because the funerals were too far away.
Mourning family via Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock