Are you sick and tired of the narrow options placed upon you by the modern funeral industry? I’ll bet you are; everyone is, apart from those fat cats in the casket-and-anti-stink-spray lobbies. Don’t you find yourself yearning for a more innocent time, when your friends could just put your carcass on a raft and light it on fire? Well, those times can be here again, provided that you make the decision to plan your very own viking funeral.

If you’re concerned about cultural appropriation, don’t be. The Viking Age was a long time ago, and the people of Scandinavia have moved on. They’re busy with their 100% adult literacy initiatives and home goods superstores, and they could give a shit about what you do with your corpse. They’re also fair game for sportsball mascots!

Your Corpse

body bag viking funeral

This is easy. Next!

A Thrall

thrall viking funeral

According to the 10th century Arab historian Ahmad ibn Fadlan, the vikings would choose a thrall — a slave — that belonged to the deceased. She would then make the rounds, banging all of his surviving relatives, a process that allegedly demonstrated their (presumably non-erotic) love for him. The vikings would then kill the thrall and toss her body on the funeral barge.

Now, since you likely don’t know anyone willing to bang your entire family in an afternoon, I’d suggest hitting up Craigslist. Make sure to check both the Jobs-Misc. and Casual Encounters boards! Oh, and make sure that your family knows they’re not actually supposed to kill this lady. Leave a note, maybe?

A Funeral Barge

wood viking funeral

Don’t go crazy building a full-scale longship. I mean, if you can find one on Craigslist or whatever while you’re tracking down your thrall, then sure, go nuts, but less is more here. You just need enough wood to keep your body and whatever valuables you want to take with you into the next world. You can piece together a pretty good barge out of OSB and scrap 2x4s from your local home improvement store. Also, remember that viking funeral barges are supposed to burn at, like, 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to really drench the fuck out of your barge with lighter fluid. Just really get it up in there. You don’t want your kids to have to fish your half-burned body out of the water while your widow makes a plywood run.

A Great Big Body of Water

pond viking funeral

Odds are that you don’t have a great big body of water in your backyard (if you do, thanks for reading this, Mr. Zuckerberg). But Google is your friend! Make a Googling to find a nice public park with a pond in it. Don’t worry about permits or whatever; you’ll be dead! Your surviving relatives might have to pay some small fines, but whatever. They had a good time with the Craigslist thrall, so it’s basically a wash.

Matt O'Connell

Matt O'Connell

Matt is a writer, pop culture historian and aspiring two-fisted adventurer. He has a degree in ancient Mediterranean history with a focus on Roman ritual violence, which is why he writes about monster movies and pro wrestling on the internet. He has two cats and a blog called Explosiontown~!, which you can follow. Uh, the blog. Leave the cats alone.
Matt O'Connell