Ian Robertson, the founder of Rent-a-Mourner, in Braintree, Essex, says that although this idea may be strange and new to the British, it is a popular custom in other parts of the world like Asia and the Middle East. He says they were inspired by the market growth in China and the Middle Eastern practice of hiring “crying ladies”.
“Our staff will meet with the client beforehand and agree ‘the story’, so our staff will either have known the deceased professionally or socially. They will be informed of the deceased’s background, achievements, failures etc. so they can converse with other mourners with confidence.”
Mr Robertson set up Rent-a-Mourner in January last year. His 20-person staff has had 52 bookings since then and a 50 percent increase on bookings year on year. The company also has plans to expand, after having to turn down more than 60 requests because the funerals were too far away for the fake mourners to get to.
For more on this new funeral trend, click here