Darth Vader Marches in on Funeral for Woman Who Loved Halloween

Lorna Johnson's son honored his late mother with a Halloween-themed service.

ByLOUISE DEWAST
July 16, 2015, 12:24 PM
PHOTO: Brett Houghton of Co-op Funeralcare dresses as Star Wars Darth Vader and leads the funeral cortege at the Halloween-themed funeral,  July 15, 2015, of Lorna Johnson,56, at Luton Crematorium, Bedfordshire.
Brett Houghton of Co-op Funeralcare dresses as Star Wars Darth Vader and leads the funeral cortege at the Halloween-themed funeral, July 15, 2015, of Lorna Johnson,56, at Luton Crematorium, Bedfordshire.
Steve Parsons/PA Wire/AP Photo

— -- Darth Vader is not usually a welcome guest in the fictional world of "Star Wars," but when he marched into a funeral service in Luton, England, on Wednesday, he brought joy and levity to a somber occasion.

Donning the iconic black garb and helmet was Brett Houghton, who led a service for a woman known for her love of Halloween.

"The family asked me if I could dress up," said Houghton, operation coordinator from Co-op Funeralcare told ABC News today. "I decided to wear a 'Star Wars' outfit I already had."

Witches and Beetlejuice were among those remembering Lorna Johnson, 56, who died of cancer in June. Her son, Neil Johnson, 34, told the Press Association that his mother's funeral reflected "her love of Halloween and fun."

"We always had parties, dressed up, decorated the house," Neil Johnson said, adding that his mother often described herself as "a white witch."

PHOTO: A man dressed as Beetlejuice attends the Halloween-themed funeral, July 15, 2015, of Lorna Johnson,56, at Luton Crematorium, Bedfordshire.
A man dressed as Beetlejuice attends the Halloween-themed funeral, July 15, 2015, of Lorna Johnson,56, at Luton Crematorium, Bedfordshire.
Steve Parsons/PA Wire/AP Photo

When Houghton was preparing the coffin, he noticed she was wearing a purple cape. "I thought it was different," Houghton said, "but then I started chatting with the family who told me about her love of Halloween and I can relate to that."

As he was leading the carriage, Houghton was even humming the "Star Wars" theme song, he said.

"It's a lovely way to send her off," he said.

Neil Johnson dressed as the Tasmanian Devil while his sisters wore witches' hats.

The music played at the service reportedly included Dolly Parton's "I'm Gonna Miss You" and a trance song to end the funeral.

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