The strange tale of the Cork man who was buried inside a piano
Here’s one to tell your friends over Friday night pints.
We’ve come across some strange burial customs for laying the departed to rest before, but this one is truly unique: Jeremiah James Murphy was buried in a piano.
The year was 1851 and Jeremiah, who came from a wealthy merchant family (his father founded Murphy’s Brewery, while his uncle, John Murphy was Bishop of Cork) set off from his home at Lota Park to explore Italy.
Sadly, his adventure was cut short and he passed away in Pisa on November 29th.
Broken hearted, his wife made plans for a traditional funeral but there was an issue: the superstitious sailors of Naples refused to carry a dead body with them on the journey to Ireland, so bringing Jeremiah home to Cork proved problematic.
Then someone had a genius idea.
The Murphy family travelled to Pisa and purchased an upright piano. With the body of their brother and son safely stowed inside the huge instrument, they had it shipped back to Ireland.
The sailors had a secret guest on the voyage, although they were none the wiser.
Jeremiah James Murphy was buried on January 18th, 1852 in the family plot in Carrigrohane… still inside the piano.