Video: Cremation of a Human Body

By on October 10, 2014

Recently, I had the opportunity to explore the Midwest’s first crematory, built in 1896 beneath the Landmark Chapel of Milwaukee’s historic Forest Home Cemetery. While it was fascinating to see the coffin elevator, the winter storage vault, and the retorts where bodies were reduced to nothing more than bone fragments for over one hundred years, it was nothing compared to this.

This video shows the entire cremation process from beginning to end, from the body being pushed into the flames to the final processing of the cremains.


Video shows a human body being cremated

via Confessions of a Funeral Director

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87 Comments

  1. Ron Ball

    February 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I feel sorry for all of you who found it necessary to show your ignorance especially in a forum such as this; your comments and your body deserve burial in a manure heap.

  2. LG Swift

    November 12, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I like the about being made into ‘jam’. (Toe jam?)

  3. Tiffany White

    November 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    After watching this, you can not tell me that they do not get the ashes mixed up! Meaning they label Mr. Jones for Mr. Smith, etc. Seems like very little organization, and so many chances to mistake who is who. I just bet that many families do not actually get back their loved ones REAL ashes.

    • Susan Richardson

      November 17, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Do you know what Tiffany, I totally agree with you. Those bodies had no labels to say who they were. I entirely agree with you. You could be getting anyone’s ashes who were cremated on the same day. I reckon that the ashes are just “shared out”

    • Paul DePace

      May 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Do you get every single little ash when a family member is cremated? Probably not, there is going to be a little dust, a few particles. But there is no way the ashes are mixed up. They know who is in which oven, the ashes, as you can see, ashes are carefully pushed / swept into a containment compartment and then moved into a dedicated box. That box is obviously labeled, handled with care. There are likely many basic identification steps along the way, double-checks, that were not go into in detail in the video. These are professional operations, and must be licensed. I was, frankly, shocked how organized and neat and clean, tidy, everything was. These kinds of thoughts like, “You know somebody got my Grandma!!!” like all other urban legends, are just the product of ignorance. The morticians are not in there just playing around. Come on, Grow up.

  4. Monica

    October 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    My daughter has just passed she was 22…. We had her cremated… I had to see what my baby girl would go thru… I think it looks very purifying…. It helps a mothers heart to know that her pain is gone now…. I found out I can take her ashes and have a diamond made from them… Then, she WILL always be with me! A beautiful tribute to her beautiful life!!! Thank you….

    • Wanda Clark

      October 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      How is the diamond made from ashes

      • Devin Ellenwood

        July 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        Ashes are nothing but carbon. Compress the carbon tight enough and you have an atrificial diamond.

    • SuthrnVegas

      November 14, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Apparently i also found out you can make a diamond ring out of a lock of hair too.

  5. shirley

    April 24, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Can you be cremated without box? cardboard mixed with body doesn’t seem right.

    • Jannett white

      August 1, 2016 at 12:39 am

      The spirit of cremation is in blatant defiance to the plan of the Almighty God. After Adam and Eve sinned and death became a part of existence”God told them in Genesis 3:19..” In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread til though return unto the ground , for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art and unto dust thou return to the earth as it was; and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

      Cremation is demonic and devil worship by “profanely desecrating the human body, which is a good Gift from God.,”

      Cremation “and burning is also the spirit if Sodom, and it was the firy wrath of God that turned Sodom to ashes.”

      Did you know, “Hinduism and Buddhism use cremation in their false re!igjons?”

      “I do emphatically state, however, that no properly informed Christian would chose to be cremated..or cremate a loved one.,”.

      • Mark

        August 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        That’s was from the old testament not the the new covenant that supposedly Started With Jesus Christ

      • Steele Dutchess

        August 9, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        That is silly and embalming is not in blatant defiance ?? I mean I know you aren’t there and all but that’s a very invasive , some people find violating, procedure .

        They put you in a box and thanks to the water table in most of North America you turn into mush and chemicals . These days I’d much rather be a Buddhist anyway it is what Jesus originally had in mind instead of being used as a weapon or as a fear tactic. Some say it is a religion but it’s really a concept or way of life . It’s not fake , nor is Hinduism .
        Cremation is popular because more and more people do not or can not spend the money for funerals these days . God understands and its better for the earth . Either that or look up Green Cemetery’s and use one of those .

      • Patrician ward

        September 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        Your soul is what God cares about when you die not the vessel it was in cremation is fine

      • Tom Ball

        October 8, 2016 at 12:26 am

        “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
        Perhaps you are underestimating the power of God to resurrect the dead.

        According to the way I would define God, he would be just as able to reassemble the “body” of the soul as he was able to put it together in the first place.

        At any rate, a totally decomposed body eventually reaches the same state either way.
        One way is just quicker. That’s all.

        Paul speaks of different types of bodies, celestial, etc. It seems to be saying that the “body” one assumes in heaven is of a different type than the one we are in now.

        The scriptures also seem to indicate that we shouldn’t worry about that so much about the condition of our physical bodies as we should the condition of our souls.

        I don’t think we should fret about the “pain” either. You feel no pain when you cut your hair or nails. It doesn’t bother you what happens to them either.

        The dead cells you wash off your body when you shower or bathe run down the drain or remain on the tub as “scum”. Scum is something you are eager to get rid of and feel much better when you do.

        Stepping out of a body which is wrought with all sorts of infirmities and maladies should provide a much needed relief after suffering years of abuse and insults.

        The only hitch to this scheme is IF indeed your soul survives the body, that the soul might be raised to some form of damnation. I imagine being burned alive would be preferable to that. As excruciating as that might be, the agony could only last as long as the nerves survive. That couldn’t possibly go much beyond a third degree burn.

        The pain a soul might experience is an entirely different concern.

        My experience with being knocked unconscious is that one doesn’t experience anything once the lights go out, unless there is some form of dreaming.

        Disassemble the brain, and the mechanism through which dreams occur also vanish. Unless there is some means by which dreaming may occur in the absence of the body, there would be no reason to fear nightmares either.

        As Solomon once said, “Let us hear the conclusion of this matter. Fear God and keep his commandments.”

      • Kenny Brooks

        October 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm

        The body is of no longer use. As such. it’s disposition matters not in the plan of GOD. It is the Spirit to whom GOD cares about, not the flesh that is sinful. How would you see the millions of Jew’s lost to the nazi’s thru cremation? or those persons who perished in air crash’s and were burned up? Embalming with chemical’s is more profanely desecration of the body than by cremation……………

      • Aaron Richards

        December 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm

        You are a complete fucking idiot.

      • Elliot C. Myrick

        December 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm

        You are making a baseless claim without any evidence to back it up. Your religion is just as phony as all the rest. All talk, baseless claims, no evidence! A book of words and claims isn’t evidence!

      • Ted

        March 9, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        The “Almighty God” has no sort of plan, for you, for me, or for any of us. Think of all those billions of plans! Who would do the filing? No, we are lost out here in the stars, at liberty to do the best we can, or not, in the very short span of time we get. The body, unanimated by spirit, at the end is dross, nothing at all. It should be shown respect as it goes to its final disposition, perhaps out of respect for ourselves, but we’re not going to see it again. All people may choose cremation for themselves of their loved ones without worrying about incurring the Deity’s wrath.

      • George

        March 19, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        I feel sorry for someone who quotes scripture that you seem applies to others but conveniently ignore those verses warning you of judging others. Cremation only spowds up the process of your body becoming dust rather than being orocessed through the digestive tracts of bugs and worms.

      • Gia Nutinliket

        March 20, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        Seriously? fire is as old a human history you are simply ignorant

      • AMY BASKALL

        April 11, 2017 at 1:16 am

        So all the people that died on 9/11 are doomed to help because you say so? I don’t think so. And how about during the plagues. When they had to burn the bodies. Are they doomed to help as well? What do you think happens to bodies that were buried with out caskets? They are dust. What is the difference between dust back then and ashes or remnant now? Before you go around condemning the world get your facts straight. I am a Christian as well and God doesn’t care about how you are layed to rest. He cares about how you treat others and love other in his name.

      • Paul DePace

        May 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        You are taking those verses of the Bible you quote and twisting them to suit your interpretation. The Old Testament warned against many things that were designed to be guides to a culture and people who were living without guidelines. They were to instill, order, discipline, and for health reasons. Example: In the Old Testament, burnt offerings of animals were not to be eaten. But when challenged, Jesus revealed how that thinking was archaic. When you are cremated, you are turned into ashes…dust. And other religions / peoples use / used cremation because is was the best way to take care of the millions of dead bodies the poor in those countries have to deal with… If you want to lay in some casket and rot away with a bunch of maggots eating at your brain, go ahead. But when Jesus comes back and I meet Him in the air, He will not be challenged by lifting up my ashes instead of a rotted, stinking body.

      • James Fletcher

        June 6, 2017 at 10:36 am

        And you’re a pompous idiot!

      • Devin Ellenwood

        July 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        You’re a special kind of stupid, aren’t ‘ya?

      • Kelsy

        August 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm

        Out of all of the Gods and ALL of the religions yours is the only correct one…..wow. What makes you think yours is right ?

      • brideofmanfred@gmail.com

        August 20, 2017 at 9:59 pm

        Tough if you;re lost at sea then, isn’t it? Or maybe eaten by something? Not everyone gets to go in the ground,and ashes are still dust!

  6. Jessica

    April 24, 2016 at 1:27 am

    This is from a documentary called A Certain Kind of Death bits about three people from California who died with no Next of Kin. And they didn’t really have any money either. One guy was a drifter who was found in a hotel room. It’s really interesting. They show you the entire process from finding the decedent to the disposal of their remains and their remaining property. It’s super graphic in that they show the bodies in the state that they are found. But really well done

  7. Amanda

    April 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    To those who comment about the after life…..

    (reincarnation)

    It’s said that it’s the soul/spirit of a person/being would be reincarnated into something else, in another time & place….known as the after life.

    Therefore it would not matter what you do with the body after death. Spirits leave the body after death.

    If you don’t believe in reincarnation.

    Then maybe you should trust that all life forms have an energy, and that energy doesn’t just dissipate…..

    • LG Swift

      November 12, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Reincarnation would just be like coming back to hell. Why would anyone but a total masochist believe or want to believe it that?

  8. Jerie

    April 2, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I will never be cremated. In the ressuretion the dry bones are stood up and new flesh is put on the body and the spirit is breathed back into the dead body and it lives. Jews had bone boxes. Only those who were never to be regathered were ground to powder as chaff blew away in the wind. The wicked were destroyed like this or not buried. The valley of kidron. Those burned at the stake were never heated enough to pulverize bones and were still buried.

  9. Heather

    March 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    My husband sent me this link to watch, wish he hadn’t, I could have lived my entire life without seeing those bones burned and then ground into dust.

  10. Dead gusset

    February 24, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Finaly, a job you can do where the clients are quoet.

  11. Eliot

    February 6, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I would want to work in a crematorium. What are the requirements? Eliot Gwekwe

  12. Jane Rejda

    December 16, 2015 at 1:16 am

    As my last wish, I choose cremation. I am then going to be mixed with 2 of my brothers ashes depending on what order we die. After our ashes are mixed we wish to have them scattered over the mountains and lakes of New Hampshire.

    • Ken

      June 10, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      What the Fuck is wrong with You , should have Been Tighter with them when they were Alive !!! You are a piece of SHIT !!

      • Steele Dutchess

        August 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        She was , that’s why she is choosing this ..

      • janniemk2001

        November 12, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        What makes you think it’s any of your business?

    • Wanda Clark

      October 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      What’s wrong with her wishes
      Nothing
      Something I’d wrong with you. Ass

  13. Amanda

    December 14, 2015 at 4:59 am

    The newest thing of funerals now due to cost is when a spouse, child even a per that has passed can be cremated placed in urn and when the other passes away, the urn ashes are buried with the other.

  14. ashley

    December 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    You spend your entire life living, making decisions. Striving to be the person you want to be. All to end up as ashes in a container no bigger than a shoe box. Life is the longest thing you’ll ever do, yet in the end is all meaningless. But other wise. I would be cremated. I love looking in to fires and playing with the glowing coals. I wouldn’t mind ending my existence like that.

    • Gary Brewsterberry

      December 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      or your material self(soul exluded obviously) could live on into something else if you handled your remains differently…we come from the soil thus we must go back, just not in a sealed box(coffin) that does nothing for the earth and her compromised, potent fertility.

  15. Gary Brewsterberry

    December 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Cremation’s out didn’t you hear? http://www.promessa.se/about-life-death/

    • Kris

      March 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      What exactly is “non violent” about being “shaken into dust”???? Lmao! No thanx…..good lord people….burn me and be done with it….

  16. DeOrnament

    December 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    You are free to have your views whether based on cultural, religious, or just personal preferences. My Italian- American maternal grandmother’s dying wish was to be buried in the same 2 person plot as her mother and grandmother. The only way this could be done was if she was cremated. A priest told her it was OK. The priest may have done his job by letting a woman who was dying of cancer have comfort. Many people have choices, so plan ahead to ensure you are comforted.

  17. Charlotte FAIRALL

    December 8, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Cremation is now available for Catholics and, as Jesus Christ told us, “We come from dust, and to dust we shall return.” Remember, as an earlier respondent wrote, … it the shell of our earthly presence that remains after our demise, as our soul (spirit) has already ascended to our Father’s house. Therefore, cremation, for me, remains the most sterile method for the body. Thank you.

  18. Matthew

    December 3, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    At the burial the priest or whoever reads from a small book “earth to earth” “dust to dust” “ashes to ashes”
    End of argument.

  19. Ron

    November 26, 2015 at 8:29 am

    It’s like you were never here out of the questioning being berried I’m not destroying my body just not for me

    • shaeazy

      December 9, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      The earth will destroy it to the flesh will decompose and eventually the bones will be no more

    • Lily

      December 11, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Berried? Are you implying that one’s final wish is to be made into jam? If so, count me in!

      • ashley

        December 11, 2015 at 10:39 am

        LOL you just won the internets for the day

      • Ken

        June 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm

        Fuck You Smart Cunt !!! Typos occur just like you being Conceived !!!

  20. cary

    July 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Had to do this unmentionable act to my brother; who was my older and only sibling. It was my responsibility to do this cause of financial issues and he had NO – ZERO dollars of life insurance at all. That’s been two years ago and I will regret doing it as long as I live! We don’t enter this world burnt and in my opinion going out this way is wrong and has or never will become an option for me!

    • Veletta

      November 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      The soul has left the body and has returned to God. There is nothing left but a shell. The money you would have spent on a coffin, donate it to the hungry and homeless.

      • Kenny Brooks

        October 8, 2016 at 5:22 pm

        Veletta……exactly!! Let the last thing you do, even in death benefit others, Why spend seven to ten thousand dollars to place a dead useless body in the ground to turn into wax. Let that money do some good on the Earth……..

    • Kathy

      November 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      I agree with you

  21. Cheryl Dembowsky

    July 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Its never good to dececrate a body. The Bible even tells you so. Read the Bible to know the reason why.

    • J rob

      August 4, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Where in the bible?

    • rose

      October 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Which one in bible?

    • A

      March 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      What’s the Bible? I thought it was fiction.

  22. anonymous

    April 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I didn’t see any name tags or identification on any of the bodies or card board boxes. I would hope that they have some way of knowing which body is whos as to make sure the family gets the correct loved ones remains.

    • Kathy

      November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      They might be people who have no family and no one claimed them

    • Jessica

      April 24, 2016 at 1:22 am

      This is actually from a documentary called A Certain Kind of Death. It’s about three different people in California who died with no next of kin. The cremains eventually were placed all together in a mass grave and marked with a marker that only stated the year they died. People with no money. People with no family. No one to claim them. It’s sad but it does happen. Not everyone has friends and family. Lots of people die alone

  23. C.L.Tanner

    March 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Im glad I watched this. My BEST Friend was recently cremated. And I am thankful to see all is preserved and respected. I plan to be cremated; I only hope the crematorium, I use is as careful as this one.

  24. Sean

    March 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Your all fucking sick !!!!!

    • Leadfoot

      November 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      “You’re” not “Your”
      It’s not my fucking sick or their fucking sick… the fucking sick does not belong to us collectively..

      It is You’re, which is You and Are combined as a contraction

      I think what you mean to say is “You are all fucking sick” and so “You’re all fucking sick” is the proper context

      • Shannon

        March 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

        @Leadfoot…THANK YOU! I thought I was the only one who did corrections like that! Not knowing “your” from “you’re” drives me NUTS!

      • Ken

        June 10, 2016 at 11:25 pm

        Leadfoot. You think correct spelling or grammer is going to make fucking difference U are Going to Be Nothing which You accomplished already being semi conscious ! The only reason you were even born is because your unknown sperm donor pulled Out of Your Mothers Asshole and dripped into her nasty gaping Cunt ,9 months later your evil Ass spilled Out on the dirt floor !!!Sure You will be Better Off DEAD I know All Of HUMANITY will be Grateful for your Demise !!

        • Jolly Jon.

          September 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

          Ken. Does your mummy and daddy know what language your using?
          It’s way past your bedtime. It’s so obvious that you’re just a vile little kid. You’re pathetic and embarrassing yourself. Go troll with kids your own age. Maybe if you try harder to be nice you might get some friends and maybe a life!!

        • Spechtacular_me

          March 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

          grammar, you, going, be, nothing, you, semi-conscious, out, your, mother’s, asshole, cunt. Nine, ass, out. You, better, off, dead, all, off, humanity, grateful, demise.
          Ken, please use these corrections to your spelling and punctuation. Hopefully you will appear slightly less idiotic if your hate-filled rants are literate. (You’re welcome.)

  25. Derek

    February 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I would love to do the job but the wife couldn’t handle it

  26. Kristin

    January 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I would do this job..

  27. Denise Larkin

    November 4, 2014 at 4:10 am

    What happens to the coffins that have been purchased for the deceased?

    • Kristin

      January 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      They usually don’t purchase a coffin. They will have a memorial for the deceased. The body will then be shipped to a crematorium.

    • Ron

      April 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      They don’t put coffins in the cremation kiln. You may have a viewing and you can rent a coffin from the death care industry that is taking care of your loved one, but all bodies are placed into a alternate container which is heavy duty cardboard box and the cremation chamber is heated up to 1800° for three hours. It looks like flour or cocaine:) Anyway, I thought that was a pretty good question so I wanted to respond.

      • Ted

        March 9, 2017 at 8:48 pm

        In many states once a coffin has had a body in it, it cannot be used again. So there is no “renting” of coffins. In most cases, I suspect when cremation is the option chosen, there is no viewing, and there is no funeral with the body present, as those would require not only some sort of a coffin to be used, but also embalming. If you are going to cremate, you skip those expenses and just go straight to the crematory after the death certificate is issued. You can always have a service afterward, whether religious or secular, and you are freed from having to have it right away, giving people time to travel.

    • David

      September 29, 2015 at 8:32 am

      I thinking of the same thing here,you pay out for a coffin,for large sum of money,yet they cremate you in a cardboard box..

      • Kathy

        November 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        If you purchase a coffin they will put the coffin in with the body in it. I just read it online.
        If you rent a coffin, then they will transfer the body to a box. Do some research.

        • Elvia

          December 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm

          Yes I just purchased a cremation coffin for my dad in cherry wood and he will be cremated in that instead of the brown box.

    • Jan

      March 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      My dad donated his body for cancer research. The mortuary let us rent a casket for his viewing and funeral services. It gave us closure because that’s the services we were accustomed to. After they were finished they cremated him and reformed his ashes to us. This was very informative. Thank you.

  28. Sajid Rafique

    October 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

    This is the safest way to dispose a body.

  29. Liz Howard-Alexander

    October 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Hm. Very different from the movies. I like how professional everything is, but I didn’t know they had to grind up the last bits there at the end. It makes sense, though; I always wondered how the fire could be hot enough to actually leave skeletons as little more than dust…but apparently that’s the grinder’s job.

    • Kristin

      January 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Fires usually never are hot enough to completely pulverize the bones

  30. jesse

    October 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I wanna do that

    • Liz Howard-Alexander

      October 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      You want to cremate others, or you want to have your body cremated ?

      • Amina

        March 30, 2017 at 10:59 am

        A human body shoukd not be cremanted and ground them into dust. it should be burried with resoect and blessings

        • .Jenny

          August 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

          Thre’s nothing wrong with cremation, everyone I know that was cremated was sent off with a lot of love and respect! Some people keep their loved ones’ashes with them forever, others had them scattered in places that were dear to the dead person. It’s likely I will be cremated too when I die, and there is no shame in this.My ashes will be scattered along the railway line by the cemetary, because I loved that spot, and I love trains, and the people who will do this loved me.

What do you think?