Darth Vader conducts Halloween-themed funeral attended by Beetlejuice, witches and the Tasmanian Devil

Lorna Johnson's son said the service reflected his mother's love of fun

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The Independent Online

Family and friends of a 56-year-old grandmother who died from cancer filled a crematorium to celebrate her life with a Halloween-themed funeral.

Witches, Beetlejuice and the Tasmanian Devil were among about 100 people remembering Lorna Johnson at a service conducted by Darth Vader.

Mrs Johnson's son Neil said the funeral at Luton Crematorium reflected his mother's love of Halloween and fun.

Mourners gather for Ms Johnson's funeral (PA)

He said: "My mum's favourite time of year was Halloween. We always had parties, dressed up, decorated the house. The kids loved it, we loved it. It was something we always did.

"She classed herself as a white witch and was into the tarot readings and that sort of thing.

"We've added an extra little personal touch to the funeral, it's helped a lot."

Mr Johnson, 34, said music at the service included Dolly Parton's "I'm Gonna Miss You", some indie rock and a trance song to end the funeral.

"The trance song is almost like rave music, far out dance type music," he said. "I suppose for a 56-year-old lady to be into that is a little strange."

Later the mourners went on for a party.

Halloween was Lorna Johnson's 'favourite time of year' (PA)

He said: "My mum's always said you need to celebrate, you need to have a party. So we're not going to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. My mum wouldn't want that."

Mr Johnson, who has three sons aged nine, eight and six, said his mother would have loved the idea of a fancy dress funeral.

"She'd love it. She'd say 'that's it, that's exactly what you should have done'," he said.

"She would have been well up for it, it's the type of person she was. She always wanted a party."

Mr Johnson dressed as the Tasmanian Devil for the funeral. His sisters wore witches' hats and a friend dressed up as the film character Beetlejuice.

Funeral director Brett Houghton, from Co-op Funeralcare, led the service dressed as Star Wars' Darth Vader.

Mrs Johnson died from lung cancer in June after being diagnosed in October last year. Her husband died in November.

They had four children - two sons and two daughters - and 10 grandchildren.

Mr Johnson said: "We've had a good life as a family. Our mum and dad were something else, we're proud to be who we are and to be their children."

Press Association