Stagehand John Reed had spent his entire life working at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, moving props around, setting up scenes, and wrangling divas and divos. He never got to break it big on the stage himself, but it seems he was content with that. However, his will had one request when it came to the theatre’s next performance of the classic Shakespeare work “Hamlet.”
He wanted it to be his skull that was presented as that of Yorick, from what might be the most famous visual of the theater to ever come about. From what we can tell, the bequeathing was successful, but we don’t know if the scene was ever performed.
A Little Too Interested in Crime
Throw a stone and you'll probably end up hitting a fan of true crime podcasts or television shows. This is good because they deserve a knock on the head sometimes – this story is a pretty good example. A mother put a clause in her will that her children won't get anything if she dies under “suspicious circumstances,” which is how it's put when someone dies and no one knows why.
It could be poisoning, crime, or other things, but it's probably not going to happen. Actually, who would get the inheritance if she did die under suspicious circumstances? That's the person to watch out for.
Keep the Razor Close
There are some cool old words in there, so go ahead and look them up. We'll wait. Aren't words fun? In case you're still a bit confused by this wording, this will comes from one Henry Budd, who left his substantial estate, holdings, and funds to his son...as long as his son kept his lip clean of any and all hair.
Should a mustache ever appear there, the son won't get one hairy cent. We're unsure exactly when this will was written, but it seems to be a bit older than a lot of the other examples here. Don't worry mustaches, your time in the sun will come soon.
A Holiday Just for You
Now, what's going on here? This fragment of a will comes from none other than Robert Louis Stevenson, famous writer and author of such classic tales as “Treasure Island.” A young friend of his, twelve-year-old Annie Ide, wasn't happy with her birthday, it being on Christmas day. Understandable, if you want a day all to yourself.
Upon Stevenson's passing, he willed the use of his birthday (November thirteenth, in case you wanted to know) to the girl, so she could celebrate in style. He just asked her to be gentle – that birthday has been through a lot, and it might not be able to handle a young girl's celebration.
Taking Flight. Or Not
Scattering ashes is one of the more regular ways to honor somebody. Sometimes it's at a certain place or in a certain manner, but from a certain vehicle is also an option, as in this case. Problem was, the person who was supposed to do the scattering didn't know how to fly one of these little aircraft – and it's not like you can hire a pilot. These tiny planes have room for one person and one person only.
A loophole in the clause smoothed everything out, but we have to think it kind of goes against the spirit of the will to just open the door and dump the ashes on the ground. Well, you do what you can, we guess.