Who Said Funerals Have to be Sad? Darth Vader Leads a Funeral

When a loved one passes away, it is only normal to mourn. But for 56-year-old Lorna Johnson’s family and friends, a funeral need not be sad.

Darth Vader joins Funeral
(via: Twitter/Steve Parsons)

Mourners of Lorna Johnson during her funeral last July 15 added a little twist to it by dressing up in Halloween costumes of famous characters.

Lorna Funeral with Darth Vader
(via: Twitter/Steve Parsons)

Lorna’s 34-year-old son Neil Johnson dressed up as the Tasmanian Devil, and his two sisters wore enormous pointy witch hats. A close family friend wore the signature black-and-white striped tuxedo of 1990s classical Beetlejuice character Betelgeuse, while the rest of the mourners wore black. The most notable of the mourners, however, was Co-op FuneralCare Funeral Director Brett Houghton, who not only wore a Star War’s Darth Vader costume, but also led the procession.

Neil Johnson, who has three sons aged nine, eight, and six, said that the Halloween-themed funeral was a way of celebrating his mother’s life, who, while alive, always loved Halloween, fun, and parties.

“My mum’s favourite time of year was Halloween. We always had parties, dressed up, decorated the house. The kids loved it, we loved it. It was something we always did.” Neil said.

Funeral turned into a costume party
(via: Twitter/Steve Parsons)

The fun-themed funeral served as a tribute to their mother’s soft-hearted and fun-loving personality, who, aside from calling considering herself as a white witch, also fancied tarot readings and “[those] sort[s] of thing[s]”, according to Neil.

“My mum’s always said [that] you need to celebrate. You need to have a party. So we’re not going to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. My mum wouldn’t want that.” Neil added.

Aside from the badass funeral theme and the badass costumed mourners, Lorna’s funeral also featured an equally badass (for a funeral) song playlist, which included I’m Gonna Miss You by Dolly Parton, some indie rock songs, and a trance song to conclude.

lorna johnson luton funeral with Darth Vader
(via: Twitter/Steve Parsons)

“We’ve added an extra little personal touch to the funeral, it’s helped a lot.” Neil said. “The trance song is almost like rave music, far-out dance-type music.

“I suppose for a 56-year-old lady to be into that is a little strange.”

But the Johnsons nevertheless went on with their mother Lorna’s “strange” tastes, and with the help of their Darth Vader funeral director, the funeral proceeded smoothly. After the funeral, the mourners had “a party”.

“She would have been well up for it. It’s the type of person she was. She always wanted a party.” Neil said in conclusion.

And indeed a party it became. For such a huge amount of effort made to have the most badass, Halloween-themed funeral possible, a lot of people would agree that Lorna Johnson would have loved it.

Grandmother Lorna Johnson died of lung cancer, and left her four children and 10 grandchildren feeling sad, but nevertheless proud for her. Her husband died November last year.

Neil said, “We’ve had a good life as a family. Our mum and dad were something else. We’re proud to be who we are and to be their children.”

After all, for the Johnsons, a funeral need not be a depressing reminder of losing a loved one—it can be a reminder of how wonderful their lives were for having such a fun, badass, and loving mother.


  1. BBC. 16 July 2015. “Darth Vader Conducts Luton Woman’s Halloween Funeral.” Accessed July 18, 2015.
  2. Press Association. 15 July 2015. “Darth Vader and Beetlejuice Among Mourners at Halloween-themed Funeral.” Accessed July 18, 2015.
  3. Reed, Brad. 17 July 2015. “Mourners Wear Death Vader, Beetlejuice Costumes at Halloween Enthusiast’s Funeral.” Accessed July 18, 2015.


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Written by Viral Buzz Maker

He loves to share news and other interesting facts that he finds online. He is an internet slave and he loves photography.

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