Working With Death

If you have morbid interests these jobs may be for you

Working in jobs that have to do with death may be too grim for the majority of people, but there are also those who find it fascinating. The idea of working with death may bring images of body parts or corpses to the mind, but there are a wide variety of occupations that touch on the topic—some gorier than others. If you have an interest in the macabre, one of the following jobs may be for you. 

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Archaeological site with bones and artifacts
Michele Burgess / Photo Library / Getty Images

Digging up creepy old artifacts for a living, working in dark caves, burial sites, and building ruins, à la Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, certainly sounds pretty creepy. In reality, only part of what archaeologists do involves working in dark places.

They also spend time in their brightly lit offices and labs studying these artifacts in order to identify them. In addition, they also write and present reports, which some find even scarier than working in dark places.

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Crime Scene Investigator

Crime scene with investigator

D-Keine/Getty Images


How scary must it be to get called to the scene of a murder while the body is still warm. That's what happens to crime scene investigators, also called forensic scientists.

There's no waiting until things have been cleaned up a bit when you work in this field—you must collect evidence immediately while it is still fresh. And not only do they have to collect evidence, they also have to examine, test, and analyze things like tissue samples ... as in from once living human bodies.

Then, eventually, they may be called as an expert witness, coming face to face with the person being tried for the crime. In spite of all the creepiness, there must be a tremendous amount of satisfaction when your work helps put bad guys (or gals) away for a very long time.

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A rat nibbling on an almond.
Andrey Pavlov / 123RF

Pests. Vermin. Don't those two words send chills up your spine? Imagine having to deal with rats, mice, cockroaches, bedbugs, and termites day after day after day?

Exterminators, officially called pest control workers, do just that. On the bright side of things, they have very grateful customers who are probably much more afraid of pests and vermin than they are.

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Family Receiving Guests at a Funeral
RichLegg / Getty Images

What could be more spooky than a job that is all about death? Undertakers, also referred to as morticians or funeral directors, do everything from transporting the body of the deceased to preparing it for burial or cremation.

But, as they say, death is only one of two things that are certain in life (the other being taxes) and because of this, there will always be a need for people to work in this occupation. It can be extremely gratifying to help grieving families get through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

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Horror Writer

A horror writer works on her book.
Andreas Gradin / 123RF

Conjuring up creepy, spooky, or icky things in order to write about them seems like a very scary way to spend one's day. Writers of horror books, stories and screenplays must imagine terrible things and then express those ideas to readers.

One would imagine fitful nights and time spent peeking around corners looking for the ghosts, zombies, vampires, and monsters about which they write. Not necessarily.

When asked horror writer Joe Hill what scares him the most, his answer was "autocorrect." Maybe such a mundane fear is what keeps him and other authors from being too afraid to write about the things of which the rest of our nightmares are made.

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Horror Movie Actor

A masked woman seems to be rising from a grave.
Andrey Kiselev / 123RF

There are many actors who became well-known after starring in horror movies. For example, who can forget Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho or her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween?

Those of a "certain" age cannot think of Linda Blair without the movie The Exorcist coming to mind. It makes one wonder how these actors aren't left with anxiety disorders due to the parts they played in those movies.

How did Janet Leigh ever feel comfortable in the shower after filming Psycho and has Linda Blair had a strong aversion to pea soup since the 1970s? Fortunately, most actors leave the character they are portraying behind once filming is over.