Swedish crematorium to entertain kids with hunt for 'ash trolls'

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
Swedish crematorium to entertain kids with hunt for 'ash trolls'
Visitors will be able to visit the ovens and see what is left when the cremation is over. Photo: Anders Jaasund

A crematorium in Sweden is holding an open day for families on Saturday, where children can visit the coffin area, have a guided tour of the furnaces, and take part in a treasure hunt for "ash trolls".


The crematorium in Borås, western Sweden, will this Sunday hold an open day for the general public for the first time in its history, giving people access to areas usually reserved for coffins and staff.

The crematorium hopes to attract families with children by, among other things, offering guided tours of the cremation furnaces and organising a treasure hunt based around "ash trolls", pictures of small clouds of ash that the crematorium will stick up around the premises. 

"Our work is very much based around ashes and we have chimneys where smoke comes out, so that's the reason we've come up with this character," Stefan Bärve, head of the graveyard where the crematorium is based, told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper.

He said that he hoped that exposing children to the crematorium at an early age would help remove some of the drama from the crematorium. 

"Young people often dare to ask questions we adults are afraid to ask, and in this case I think children actually help the parents as their questions come right from the heart," he said. 


"We're going to have one of the furnaces open so that you can see how it looks, and so you can go behind it and see what's left when the cremation has been completed, basically anything which wasn't inside your body when you were born." 

Aside from ashes, remains include things like metal screws inserted during operations, he said. 

As a sign of respect for bereaved families, however, the crematorium will not be used while the open day is taking place, and visitors will not be able to go into the refrigerated areas where bodies are kept before being cremated. 

Bärve said he understood that not everyone would agree with the idea of holding an open day, but he said he hoped the majority would understand the benefits. 


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