Lonely Elderly Man Finds Out People Think He's Dead after Stumbling upon His Own Gravestone

Lois Oladejo
Jan 27, 2022
07:40 P.M.
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While the world tried to come to terms with the virus that led to a global pause in 2020, a lonely 75-year-old Scottish man found out his friends thought he was dead after stumbling upon his gravestone.


Alan Hattel had worked as a welder, was divorced, and lived alone when he discovered a shocking truth. The septuagenarian was perplexed that he had not received a call for months.

The man claimed that his friends thought he was dead because his ex-wife erected a gravestone with his name on it. The retired welder was dumbfounded but wanted his close pals to know he was still alive and healthy.

Scottish man, Alan Hattel posing with his gravestone | Photo:



Hattel confessed that he was initially confused at the isolation but understood better when he stumbled upon the gravestone.

According to the Scottish retiree, he claimed that reports of his death were exaggerated, and he would not want to be buried after his death. Instead, Hattel wished to be cremated.

After the visit to Newmonthill Cemetery, Forfar, the 75-year-old mentioned that he was not aware of the erection of his headstone. Consequently, he reached out to the Angus Council officials, requesting to have the construction covered.



Although the Angus Council officials refused to release the details of the transactions, including who paid for the plot of land to erect the gravestone, Hattel accused his ex-wife.

The former couple were married for some years and share two kids, but they divorced 26 years ago. After seeing their names engraved on the gravestone, he concluded that she put it up, intending to be buried with him on the plot.


The father of two confirmed that there was no bad blood between them, but he could never agree to be buried with her. According to him, it was unbelievable to realize his name on the gravestone. He said:

"We've been separated for 26 years, and there's no animosity, but I'm struggling to take it all in. To find out you have a gravestone in a cemetery while you are still alive isn't something that happens every day."


While it was unclear who purchased the plot of land, as Angus Council officials withheld the details due to a confidential agreement, a family member assured the public that the matter was being handled privately.



In the case of one Californian resident, the answer could have been yes, until 2017, when he realized that he had buried the wrong child.

Orange County Police reported the body of a man found behind a Verizon store in Fountain Valley. After the news went round, Mr. Kerrigan, 82, was called in the coroner's office.

The authorities confirmed that it was the body of his son, Frank, a mentally ill 57-year-old who lived on the street. The family was discouraged from identifying their son after a woman erroneously assured them that he had been identified through fingerprints.


A deserted tombstone | Photo: Getty Images

This could not be debated, so the family held a twenty-thousand-dollar funeral in a Catholic church, inviting friends and family across the county. Their supposed dead son was buried not far from Kerrigan's late wife.

Eventually, they discovered that they had buried the wrong body. The authorities took responsibility for the mistake, but the family threatened a lawsuit over the heartache it caused them.

While the incident shook the family, Frank reunited with them briefly and chose to return to the street, neglecting the shelter home option his family provided.