by Al Sacco

Talking Tombstones Bring Words from Beyond the Grave

Oct 15, 20041 min
Consumer Electronics

Ever wanted to communicate with the dead? Well, thanks to Robert Barrows, supernatural ceremonies, psychic mediums and Ouija boards may no longer be the only ways you can.

Barrows, an inventor from Burlingame, Calif., recently filed a patent application for the “Talking Tombstone”: a hollow headstone that allows the deceased to “speak” (courtesy of a recorded message) from 6 feet under.

Why a talking tombstone? “Everyone has a story to tell,” Barrows says. “And now they’ll finally be able to tell their sides of that story.”

The concept is simple: Put a video playback device and a TV monitor into a hollowed-out headstone and operate it with a remote control—just like the TV in your living room. Sound is delivered through built-in speakers, or to wireless headsets that are rented from the cemetery office. Electricity is via conduit or batteries.