1The man who scattered a friend's ashes at the opera
A matinee show at Lincoln Center in New York was canceled after a bereaved audience member sprinkled his mentor's ashes into the orchestra pit at intermission.
The Met's performance of Guillaume Tell was abruptly cut short after Texan Roger Kaiser scattered the ashes in the Met's orchestra pit. Before the event, the opera buff posted to social media expressing his eagerness for the show. “I am excited,” he wrote on Facebook, and “Next Saturday: #NYC #LincolnCenter,” on Instagram.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said that although the act may have violated city code, there was no criminal intent. “I don't think he had any reason to believe what he did was wrong,” Miller said.
2The Cubs fans who scatter the remains of their loved ones at Wrigley Field
The Chicago Cubs have made to the World Series, and the organization is reminding fans that they are not allowed to scatter ashes at Wrigley Field.
Brooke Benjamin, a funeral director with the Cremation Society of Illinois, said that she is aware that people distribute the ashes of late Cub lovers there, and says there are "pounds and pounds of cremated remains at Wrigley.”
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said, “We do not allow the scattering of ashes at Wrigley Field, and there are no exceptions for anyone.” That's not necessarily true — after the 1983 death Charlie Grimm, the Cubs former first baseman, and manager who helped lead the team to pennants in 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945, the team arranged for his ashes, and later, those of his widow, Marion — to be spread at the ballpark.
Still, Benjamin urges loved ones to take pause. “Do you really want strangers spilling beer and treading upon your dad's mortal remains?"
3The band that packaged its new album with the remains of a deceased member
When Don Joyce, a member of the experimental music collective Negativland died in 2015, his bandmates were determined to find a way to incorporate him into the release of their new album. They did — mail-order copies of The Chopping Channel come with a plastic bag containing 2 grams of Joyce's cremated remains. While supplies last, of course.
“The entire genesis of scattering Don's remains in this way is truly based on his own approach to art: It was his life, 100 percent, full stop,” bandmate Peter Conheim said. “Of all the artists I have ever known, no one I've encountered has breathed his or her entire life through art practice as Don did." As far as the legalities of shipping cremains go, “we're winging it,” he said.
4The actress who took Timothy Leary's ashes to Burning Man
Actress Susan Sarandon opened up about her trip to Burning Man on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2015. The star, who has been candid about her experiences with psychedelics, took friend and LSD guru Timothy Leary's ashes to a temple she and a group of people had built there. When Kimmel asked if she smoked his ashes, Sarandon responded that, no, in fact, she drank them. “We diluted them for a toast at the end of the day,” she explained.
5The author whose remains were shot from a cannon
The ashes of "gonzo journalist" Hunter S. Thompson were blown into the sky amid fireworks in 2005 as friends and family bid farewell to the writer.
The 15-story fireworks tower was modeled after Thompson's logo — a clenched fist, made symmetrical with two thumbs, rising from the hilt of a dagger. "He loved explosions," explained his wife, Anita Thompson.
The private celebration included rock bands and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself at the age of 67. Actor Johnny Depp, who portrayed Thompson in 1998's Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, foot the $2 million bill for the party.
6The woman who scattered ashes while on a ride at Disneyland
In 2007, a woman was seen scattering ashes into the water of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.
Anaheim police decided not to take a report because they lacked a good description of the female suspect and the evidence was dumped into the water, but within hours of the incident, columnists and bloggers who track news at the park said they received word from Disneyland employees that the woman DID scatter human ashes.
Park guests occasionally ask if it's okay to do (it never is), and those that don't ask, sometimes take matters into their own hands. David Koenig, the author of Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland, said the Haunted Mansion had been the site of at least one previous ash scattering. An employee recounted the case of a small group of visitors who arrived at the Haunted Mansion and requested a little extra time for a quick memorial service for a 7-year-old boy who had died. Later, ride operators spotted one of the same guests throwing a powdery substance off her "doom buggy." The ride was shut down, and the employee discovered "a smattering of gray dust, like ash," according to Koenig.
7The comic book that was printed with the ashes of a Marvel editor
Before he died in 1996, Marvel writer and editor Mark Gruenwald requested his ashes be poured into the ink used to print the comics he loved. His wish was granted, with the release of the Squadron Supreme trade paperback.
In 2016, his remaining cremains were scattered over a statue of Captain America that stands in the fictional birthplace of the character, Brooklyn. Widow Catherine Schuller-Gruenwald spread “two scoops of Gru” at the base of the 13-foot-tall statue following an unveiling ceremony in the park nearly 20 years to the day after her husband's death. “With his extra ashes we dusted two scoops of Gru on the top of the sculpture,” Schuller-Gruenwald said, adding that her late husband “threw himself into his work, literally.”
8The Star Trek cast member who was launched into space
Beam him up! The ashes of actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original Star Trek, were launched to space in on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2012.
The cremains were flown under an agreement between the spacecraft's builder, private rocket company SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) and Celestis, a company that books memorial spaceflights to "launch a symbolic portion of your loved one's ashes into space," according to its website.
SpaceX's Falcon 9/Dragon flight launched 1,014 pounds (460 kilograms) of cargo for the The International Space Station, including food and supplies for the crew, student-designed science experiments, computer equipment and commemorative souvenirs like mission patches and pins. The secondary payload carried the remains of 308 people, including Doohan and Mercury program astronaut Gordon Cooper. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry were also booked on previous flights by Celestis.