100 Wonders: A Visit with a Frozen Dead Guy - Atlas Obscura
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100 Wonders: A Visit with a Frozen Dead Guy

Bredo Morstoel lived his whole 89 years of relatively peaceful and serene life in his native Norway. It was not until he died that his adventures began. 

After Morstoel’s passing in 1989, his grandson Trygve Bauge had his body shipped to San Francisco for a temporary stay at an early cryonics facility. Meanwhile, Bauge was busy working on building his own cryonics facility in Nederland, Colorado where he lived with his mother. Though it was very bare bones, with bodies frozen under a pile of dry ice, Bauge took on two deceased clients: Morstoel and a man from Chicago who died from liver failure. From there, things got a bit complicated. 

Bauge was deported in the mid 1990s for living in the US without a visa, and his mother was kicked out of Nederland. The Chicago man’s body was returned to his family, leaving the body of Grandpa Bredo Morstoel a sort of frozen dead orphan in a shed in the hills above Nederland. 

Nederland authorities agreed to let the body stay, even making an exception to local laws. Working with the town from his native Norway, Trygve Bauge managed to hire a local to help keep his grandfather frozen under a pile of dry ice preserved at a temperature of -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Kept in a Tuff Shed, his body hasn’t been viewed since the day it was first frozen.

When in 2002 the town was looking for a theme for its spring festival, someone suggested it be themed after the town’s strangest resident. “Frozen Dead Guy Days” was born. In 2015 the celebration saw well over 15,000 people participating in events such as the Parade of Hearses, Ice Turkey Bowling, Tuff Shed Coffin Races, frozen t-shirt contests, snowy beach volleyball, and the Salmon Toss. 

If only Grandpa Bredo could see what he is up to now. Perhaps if the backyard cryonics of Trygve Bauge work out, one day he will.