The Surprising Items Roald Dahl Is Buried With

While many folks may not recognize the name of Roald Dahl, their collective childhoods were touched by the British fighter pilot in one way or another. With stories like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "James and the Giant Peach," and "Matilda" credited to his name, Dahl's books have shaped many a childhood. Interestingly enough, when Dahl died in 1990, his family honored him with a Viking funeral and included an interesting assortment of things to take with him in the afterlife (via Vintage News).

Born in Wales, England, on September 13, 1916, Roald Dahl's early life was that of any other — finding trouble and resenting rules. While a youngster, Dahl and a group of friends pranked the owner of a local candy shop. Dahl once described the owner, Mrs. Pratchett. "She was disgusting. We hated her, and for good reason. Her hands were as black as tar, and we believed they'd never been washed. She had a nasty, greasy apron, and looked as though she lived in a trashcan," Dahl wrote (via Roald Dahl). "She was evil to us as well. She never welcomed us in, and always yelled at us when we entered. The thing that disgusted us most, was the fact that her filthy hands reached in to grab our candy." 

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries

Roald Dahl and his friends slipped into the candy shop without catching the eye of Mrs. Pratchett one day. While the owner was distracted, Dahl slipped a dead mouse into a large glass container of Gobstoppers (the same candy Dahl would immortalize in the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") and got out of Dodge. The next day, the friends returned to Mrs Pratchett's shop. What they found "was a smashed candy jar, Gobstoppers everywhere, and there, in the middle of the wreckage, laid the dead mouse." Dahl later expressed much regret over the incident.

After enlisting in England's Royal Air Force just prior to World War II in 1939, Dahl served as a fighter pilot through 1941, even becoming involved in a covert spy operation for the British government (via Biography). During the war, Dahl met writer C.S. Forester, who encouraged him to write about his adventures while serving in the Royal Air Force. In August 1942, the story "Shot Down over Libya" written by Roald Dahl was published in The Saturday Evening Post. It was Dahl's first paid piece (via Roald Dahl). A year later, Dahl's first book, "The Gremlins" was published. Written for Walt Disney, with the intent of being made into a motion picture, the story never quite made it into production and Disney released it as a book in 1943 (via Roald Dahl).

A funeral fit for a Viking

Over the years, Dahl would go on to write some of the greatest childhood stories ever told, including "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The BFG," and "The Witches" — all of which have been turned into major motion pictures as well. On November 23, 1990, Roald Dahl died of a rare blood cancer. He was 74. 

As tribute to the man, Dahl's granddaughter, writer Sophie Dahl, sent Dahl off in a funeral fit for a Viking (via Vintage News). Recognizing Dahl's Norwegian roots, Sophie Dahl had Roald Dahl's grave filled with some of his favorite things to help him along his way in the afterlife. Along with chocolates, Burgundy wine, and snooker cues (a type of cue stick), Dahl was also buried with his favorite pencils and even a circular saw. The man who told the tale of Fizzy Lifting Drink is definitely prepared for the afterlife.