Mortuary student lifts lid on techniques morticians use to repair injuries on dead bodies

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A mortuary student has lifted the lid on the shocking techniques that morticians use to repair injuries on dead bodies – from filling in cuts with clay to zip typing skulls back together.

Madison Acor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is studying to become a mortician at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, and she recently became a viral sensation on TikTok after she started sharing some of the ways that she has learned to fix various wounds.

Madison has racked up more than 80,000 followers and one million likes on the video streaming platform for revealing the different methods that morticians use to re-construct damaged bodies – including how they cover injuries using clay, wax, and makeup to make sure that the victim looks like they did before their death during the funeral.

During one of her classes, Madison and the other students were given fake heads – each with different dramatic injuries on them – and were asked to make them look completely normal, and she documented the process for her TikTok followers, gaining millions of views along the way and leaving many people on the internet intrigued. 

A mortuary student has lifted the lid on the shocking techniques that morticians use to repair injuries on dead bodies. A fake dead body that she repaired is pictured before she worked on it

A mortuary student has lifted the lid on the shocking techniques that morticians use to repair injuries on dead bodies. A fake dead body that she repaired is pictured after she worked on it

A mortuary student has lifted the lid on the techniques morticians use to repair injuries on dead bodies. A fake dead body that she repaired is pictured before (left) and after (right) she worked on it

Madison Acor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is studying to become a mortician at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science

Madison Acor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is studying to become a mortician at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science

She recently became a viral sensation on TikTok after she started sharing some of the ways that she has learned to fix various wounds and re-construct damaged bodies

She recently became a viral sensation on TikTok after she started sharing some of the ways that she has learned to fix various wounds and re-construct damaged bodies

In the clip, she was tasked with restoring a fake stabbing victim who had many big gashes all over her face – including one on her neck and chin, one across her lip and her eye, and other little nicks through her ear.

During one of her classes, Madison was given a fake head - each with different dramatic injuries on them - and were asked to make them look completely normal, and she documented the process for her TikTok followers

During one of her classes, Madison and the other students were given fake heads – each with different dramatic injuries on them – and were asked to make them look completely normal, and she documented the process for her TikTok followers

First, she placed modeling clay into the incisions, which she said was a ‘super lengthy process.’ 

‘The color of the clay doesn’t matter because it’s going to be covered by wax and cosmetics,’ she explained in one of her videos.

After filling each gash with clay, she then added wax on top before smoothing it out using a ‘feathering’ technique. 

‘You put the soft wax over the hard clay that way everything can smooth out nicely,’ she said.

‘We use a feathering technique to make everything lays nice, so that way when we apply cosmetics everything looks super even and you can’t tell that anything was there.

‘You have to do it so carefully and feather so little at a time so that way it looks smooth for your cosmetic application. When you put on the makeup it can’t look bumpy, cakey and weird.’

After applying the wax, Madison covered all the wounds with foundation before adding blush to the victim’s collar bones, cheeks, nose, chin, ears, and forehead.

‘The reason I did that is so that it looks natural and put a little color back into her face,’ she explained.

In the clip, she was tasked with restoring a fake stabbing victim who had many big gashes all over her face - including one on her neck and chin, and across her lip and her eye

In the clip, she was tasked with restoring a fake stabbing victim who had many big gashes all over her face - including one on her neck and chin, and across her lip and her eye

In the clip, she was tasked with restoring a fake stabbing victim who had many big gashes all over her face – including one on her neck and chin, and across her lip and her eye

First, she placed modeling clay into the incisions (pictured)

After filling each gash with clay, she then added wax (pictured) on top before smoothing it out using a'feathering' technique

First, she placed modeling clay into the incisions (left). After filling each gash with clay, she then added wax (right) on top before smoothing it out using a ‘feathering’ technique

'We use a feathering technique to make everything lays nice, so that way when we apply cosmetics everything looks even and you can't tell that anything was there,' she explained

'We use a feathering technique to make everything lays nice, so that way when we apply cosmetics everything looks even and you can't tell that anything was there,' she explained

‘We use a feathering technique to make everything lays nice, so that way when we apply cosmetics everything looks even and you can’t tell that anything was there,’ she explained

She also added lipstick, eyelashes, and eyebrows – which required her placing each hair onto the body one by one. 

‘This taught me patience and perfection in the funeral industry,’ she added, of putting on the eyebrows.

‘And why what we do is so important – not only for us but for the families who may only see their loved ones one more time.’

In another TikTok, she revealed how she was taught to repair a broken skull using zip ties, mesh, and cranial screws.

For an assignment, she and a partner were given a fake human skull which they had to break with a hammer and put it back together using their tools. To make it even harder, their professor also took a piece of of the skull away.

 ‘At first we were using zip ties to try to get the skull back together to make sure it didn’t shake or shimmy whenever we shook it. And that worked OK,’ she revealed in the clip. ‘Then we used a lot of the cranial screws to reinforce it.’

To fill in the missing piece, Madison used mesh and wire, which she ‘intertwined’ between the pieces of skull through holes she had drilled with a screwdriver.  

‘It’s not so glamorous but the goal is to make sure that when we shake the skull nothing moved,’ she concluded.

In a third TikTok, Madison showed off some of the other heads that she and her classmates might have to work on – including a girl who had been attacked by a dog.

In another TikTok, she revealed how she was taught to repair a broken skull using zip ties, mesh, and cranial screws

In another TikTok, she revealed how she was taught to repair a broken skull using zip ties, mesh, and cranial screws

For an assignment, she and a partner were given a fake human skull which they had to break with a hammer and put it back together using their tools

For an assignment, she and a partner were given a fake human skull which they had to break with a hammer and put it back together using their tools

They used zip ties to piece it together and cranial screws to enforce it

They used zip ties to piece it together and cranial screws to enforce it

To fill in the missing piece, Madison used mesh and wire, which she'intertwined' between the pieces of skull through holes she had drilled with a screwdriver

To fill in the missing piece, Madison used mesh and wire, which she ‘intertwined’ between the pieces of skull through holes she had drilled with a screwdriver

The fake victim had wounds all over her face – her nose was disfigured, her eye was missing and part of her lips were ripped off. 

As for why she decided to pursue this profession, Madison explained that she was inspired after she tragically lost a friend at the age of 16 and saw how important the funeral home business was

As for why she decided to pursue this profession, Madison explained that she was inspired after she tragically lost a friend at the age of 16 and saw how important the funeral home business was

Other fake victims included someone whose face was bashed in during a car accident, someone who had been shot in the face, and a cancer victim who had chunks of their skin missing. 

As for why she decided to pursue this profession, Madison explained that she was inspired after she tragically lost a friend at the age of 16 and saw how important the funeral home business was. 

‘Unfortunately I had a friend pass away at the age of 16 and when we went to the funeral I saw the way the funeral home had taken care of him, and that really left an everlasting mark on me,’ she said on TikTok.

‘I wanted to be able to provide that service for other families so that’s why I kind of got into this.

‘I was also always super good at hair and makeup growing up, I did hair for LA Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, as well as for my little sister’s photoshoots sometimes because she’s a model.’ 

Many viewers opened up about the difference that morticians had made in their own lives, after they lost a loved one in the comment section of her videos

Many viewers opened up about the difference that morticians had made in their own lives, after they lost a loved one in the comment section of her videos

Many people were amazed by the process and took to the comment section of Madison’s videos to share their thoughts.

Some viewers even opened up about the difference that morticians had made in their own lives, after they lost a loved one.

‘My sister was in a terrible accident that left her pretty much deformed and people like you allowed for it to still be an open casket thank you,’ wrote one person.

Another said: ‘My mom died from a fall and had a bad head wound and people like you were able to make her look so much better for her funeral.’

‘My mom died from cancer. The mortician made her look last the last two years never happened. She looked like she was sleeping. It was amazing,’ added someone else. 

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