Death Salon Film Festival at Aurora


Logo by Landis Blair

Death Salon Film Festival at Aurora Picture Show                 September 16-18, 2016 in Houston, TX 



7pm – 10pm Death Salon After Dark: Lecture & Death Pub Quiz at The Avant Garden, 411 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Death Salon all-star Dr. Paul Koudounaris speaks about erotic hauntings. Do you like sex? Do you like death? If so, boy do we have a lecture for you. Historian/photographer Dr. Paul Koudounaris is the author of three award winning books about historical displays of death, and his research has taken him to over seventy countries and made him one of the world’s foremost experts in the visual culture of mortality. In the process he has also turned himself into a compendium of world folklore relating strange hauntings. In a special lecture and slideshow, he will discuss the cultural boundaries that separate the living from the dead, with a special emphasis on the way that border is broached via sexualized ghost stories. History is in fact replete with erotic hauntings, and tales continue to the present day. Dr. Koudounaris will explore this fascinating history in a uniquely bizarre lecture, with a special focus on the body of lore he has studied must in depth, the erotic ghost stories that surround the mummies in Sicily’s Palermo Catacombs, where over two dozen sexualized ghosts have been claimed to reside.

Lecture immediately followed by a Death Pub Quiz hosted by mortician Caitlin Doughty, Death Salon director Megan Rosenbloom, and Order of the Good Death executive director Sarah Troop. Drinks will be available for purchase, and food trucks parked outside if you want to buy a meal or snack. Your ticket reserves you a seat as long as you arrive by 6:45. We highly encourage you to make friends with those around you and build teams of six for maximum chance of winning our fabulous prizes!



5-10:30pm Death Salon Film Festival at Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Barlett St, Houston, TX

The Order of the Good Death and the Aurora Picture Show presents Death Salon Film Festival, where they will screen selected submitted original short works of a variety of genres, all addressing death in some fashion.

Doors at 5pm, event begins at 5:30pm and lasts until about 10:30pm.

The evening begins with a panel, “Death in Texas,” that explores the past and present of death in the Lone Star State, moderated by mortician and author Caitlin Doughty and featuring Sarah Wambold, Order member & natural burial funeral director formerly of Eloise Woods  Natural Burial Park in Austin; and mortician Genevieve Keeney, president and COO of the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston.

Following the panel will be screenings of selected submitted shorts to the Death Salon Film Festival, and presentation of an audience award & jury award. Winners’ trophies are custom-made by Order member Jim Doran.

The evening ends with our feature presentation, “Suiting Dennis,” chronicling the story of Dennis White, a terminally ill man who wanted to be the first to be buried in Jae Rhim Lee’s groundbreaking Infinity Burial Suit (Jae’s TED talk), where mushrooms aid the body’s natural decomposition. This 20-minute feature will be followed by a panel moderated by mortician and author Caitlin Doughty and featuring Order member Jae Rhim Lee, inventor of the Infinity Burial Suit, and Claire McNamara, project manager at Jae’s company Coeio.

Throughout the evening there will be breaks for snacks, drinks, and mingling with your fellow deathlings, as well as Death Salon and Order of the Good Death merchandise for sale.



11:30am – 3:30pm Field trip to the National Museum of Funeral History (415 Barren Springs Dr., Houston, TX)

A guided tour of The National Museum of Funeral History, a museum that works to educate the public on the heritage of death care. It is the largest educational center on funerary customs in the United States (and perhaps the world) with rotating exhibits as well as 13 permanent exhibits including the history of embalming, Dia de Los Muertos, Presidential Funerals, Historical Hearses, Ghanaian fantasy coffins and more. Attendees on this field trip will meet at 11:30 and have bus transportation to and from the museum.

11:30am Bus departs Aurora Picture Show 2442 Barlett St, Houston, TX (don’t be late!)

1pm-2:30pm Guided tour by museum director Genevieve Keeney.

3:30 Bus returns to Aurora Picture Show.


Note: photos featured on this page stills from accepted shorts, all rights reserved.


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