The headline for this article might seem bizarre, but that is exactly what the amusement park chain, Six Flags, is asking people to do next week. The annual Six Flags 30-Hour Coffin Challenge is to take place at various parks starting this coming Sunday and Monday. You can read about it in this article from the Burlington (NJ) County Times.
According to the article the Six Flags 30-Hour Coffin Challenge started at the St. Louis, Missouri, park for its 30th anniversary celebration. It has proved so popular that it is being done at all locations this year as a prelude to the Halloween holiday.
Again, according to the article, contestants “will lay in fully-covered wooden coffins for 30 hours, but they’ll have brief bathroom and phone breaks every three hours. They will be required to eat their meals in their coffins, receive unannounced visits from Fright Fest freaks and have to endure challenges involving live critters like snakes, skunks, and spiders.”
The article points out that over 6,000 contestants applied for the five available spots at one of the parks. It also notes that the most common reason for people applying to do this is “to overcome something difficult and prove to themselves or someone they love that they can do it.” Other reasons given for registering for this task include experiencing a crazy adventure, Halloween passion, to win money, and to take a break from children and spouses.
The above linked article also points out that first alternate, Ashley Allen, is a Halloween fanatic who is a studying mortuary science at Mercer County Community College. Allen, who originally went to school to study culinary arts is now looking forward to her career in the mortuary industry. She is quoted in the article, “It’s sad to say, but people are dying. It’s a part of life, but I love helping people out when they’re sad.”
Funeral Director Daily take: My mother used to say, “To each their own.” That meant that each person has their wants and desires and, while maybe different from our own, they certainly have a right to follow their own wishes.
That being said, I cannot think of anything farther away from how I want to spend my free time than laying in a closed casket for over a day. It certainly does not excite me. I’m pretty sure that while Ms. Allen, if she is fortunate (her probable choice of words, not mine) to be selected, is in the casket, I’ll be spending that Sunday at home doing yard work and watching Vikings football!
On a more serious note, funeral directors and morticians have worked very hard to have the professionalism of their work recognized. We’ve came a long-way from the days of the “Boot Hill” western characterized person who is rubbing his hands together at the time of a death. Sometimes you just wonder what these types of events do to set back that professional image that we are trying to present.