Not everything related to funerals and funeral planning is grim. In celebration of Emma Crawford, a historical inhabitant of Manitou Springs, one Colorado city holds an annual coffin race. That’s right: coffin race. With a bizarre mixture of respect and irreverence for the traditions of death, local residents craft rolling coffins that are pushed through the city streets in a kind of race-parade that draws up to 15,000 spectators every year.
Timed to coincide with Halloween, the Emma Crawford Coffin Race is based on a local story about a young woman who moved to the city in 1889, hoping the air and mineral springs would cure her of tuberculosis. The cure didn’t take, and Ms. Crawford died just two years later. Her story might have ended there, but storms and erosions caused her casket to become dislodged from her mountain burial site and slide down the hillside in 1929, uprooting her final resting place.