October 19, 1995 in Nation/World

Morbid Curiosity Used Coffin Brings Teens’ Living Room To Life

Jess Walter Staff writer
 

The neighbors watched closely as three teenage girls lugged a 298-pound used coffin into their east Spokane house.

“Well,” said 18-year-old Chandra McIntyre, “there go our baby-sitting jobs.”

The girls didn’t care. This was a treasure greater than any job. McIntyre, her sister Breeanna Jones and their friend Andrea Mallmann knew they had to have the casket after they were told that it had been occupied for 22 years.

Admittedly, it gave them a kind of spooky Halloween chill.

“I guess we’re a little twisted,” said Jones, 17.

The young women were told that the person buried in the coffin had been exhumed by relatives curious about the cause of death. The teens can’t prove the story, but it’s good enough for them.

The coffin was sold for scrap; then a 20-year-old man rescued it and decided that mid-October would be the perfect time to sell it.

“I figured someone might need it for Halloween or something,” said the man, who didn’t want to be identified.

His classified ad certainly made it sound attractive: “1 used coffin for sale. $75 obo. Rust damage/1 owner, low mi.”

As soon as the three girls saw the slate gray casket with silver rails, they offered $60. The owner said OK.

“I think it’s a pretty good deal,” said Mallmann, 17.

Two local casket companies say there isn’t much of a market for used coffins. There is no Blue Book.

Haunted houses and theaters sometimes buy caskets, but rarely do you find boxes that have been occupied.

The Spokane girls talked for a while about what to do with the coffin. Mallmann wanted to sleep in it, but they finally decided to turn it into a coffee table.

They’ve begun restoring it and plan to paint it black, clean off the rust, line it with green satin and cover it with glass.

“When we move out on our own, there’s going to be a big fight over this thing,” Jones said.

For now, it sits in the living room of the small rancher the three girls share with Jones’s and McIntyre’s mother, who isn’t as entranced with the coffin.

“I think it gives people the creeps,” Jones said. “I don’t understand why.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo


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