Want an Option Besides Burial or Cremation? Become a Giant Screaming Head.

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Nov. 5 2013 8:31 AM

How to Be Posthumously Transformed Into an 18-Foot Screaming Head

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Peter Camani has a suggestion for where your earthly remains should go when you die. "Why settle for a small underground plot in the suburbs," he writes on his website, "when you have the option of joining a vibrant creation that fills the landscape?"

The "vibrant creation" to which he refers is a forest of 18-foot-tall screaming heads made from cement and, if his idea catches on, the ashes of deceased humans.

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The field of screams is just one component of Camani's ongoing art project on a 300-acre former farm just outside the village of Burk's Falls, Ontario. It all began in 1989, when former high school art teacher Camani began building a house on the property. Dubbed Midlothian Castle, the dwelling features a screaming head for a turret and a dragon for a chimney—it appears to breathe smoke whenever the fireplace is blazing.

In 1995, Camani began installing sculptures on the land surrounding the house. There are now over 100 scattered through the landscape—84 screaming heads, giant half-sunken hands, trees with ghoulish faces, and the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Inspired by the Druids and exploring the themes of environmental destruction and human impermanence, Camani intends to keep sculpting screaming heads for as long as he's able. He has long envisioned a forest of sculptures made from cement and human ash, with the names and bios of the deceased written on them. As far as we can tell, the current count of human ash sculptures stands at one.

If you'd like to become a literal part of Camani's screaming head project, you'll just need $10,000 to reserve your spot.

Al fresco art:

Ella Morton is a writer working on The Atlas Obscura, a book about global wonders, curiosities, and esoterica adapted from Atlas Obscura. Follow her on Twitter.

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