Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850-1894) penned his own epitaph:

“This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill”

One of the great ones.  The rest are humorous and remind us that those who have passed by on the road of live had a great sense of the ridiculous.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:

Here lies
Ezekial Aikle
Age 102
The Good
Die Young.

Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:

Here lies the body
of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:

Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery:
Sacred to the memory of
my husband John Barnes
who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has
many qualifications of a good wife, and
yearns to be comforted.

A lawyer’s epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.

Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Of yours.

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880’s. He’s buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No Moore.

John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny.

Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an epitaph that sounds like something from a Three Stooges movie:
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880’s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.

The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer tip:
Who was fatally burned
March 21, 1870
by the explosion of a lamp
filled with “R.E. Danforth’s
Non-Explosive Burning Fluid”

Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903–Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down. It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.

For a Scot:
Here lies Martin Elginbrod,
Hae mercy on my soul Lord God,
as I would do were I Lord God,
and ye were Martin Elginbrod!

In a Georgia cemetery:
“I told you I was sick!”

On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:
She always said her feet were killing her

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
Here lies
Johnny Yeast
Pardon me
For not rising.
but nobody believed her.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June
Jonathan Fiddle
Went out of tune.

Owen Moore in Battersea, London, England:
Owen Moore
Gone away
Owin’ more
Than he could pay.

On an attorney:
John E. Goembel
“The defense rests”

On an Auctioneer:
Jedediah Goodwin
Born 1828

On a waiter:
Here lies the body of Detlof Swenson.
God finally caught his eye.
April 10, 1902

funny play on name:
Here lies
Johnny Yeast.
Pardon me
For not rising.

Seen in Kent, England
Grim death took me
without any warning
I was well at nigtht


6 Comments on Graveyard Humor: Funny epitaphs from actual tombstones

  1. John F. says:

    I love the way you show the dignified epitaph first. These are so funny.

  2. Dennis P says:

    From the sublime to the ridiculous. Very funny.

  3. Inkie says:

    Well done,
    One in Dunblane ,
    Remember me as you pass by,
    As you are now so once was I
    As I am now so you will be
    Prepare therefore to follow me.

    Underneath written in chalk was often read.
    To follow you I’m quite content but I’m dashed if I know the way you went.

  4. Tina C says:

    These are really funny. I enjoyed Inkie’s comment too. Where is Dunblane?

  5. Sandy Arnone says:

    Dunblane is in Scotland.

  6. Thomas Reich says:

    I know some of these from “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Plunges into History” (page 389, “Here Lies…”, and page 417, “Grave Matters”).

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