Premium bonewoods: the Skelecaster is a guitar made from real human remains

“Uncle Filip can shred for all eternity.”

Prince Midnight's Skelecaster

Images: Prince Midnight via Instagram

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Update (2/18/21): reporters from Florida have called into question the veracity of Prince Midnight’s story, citing a resemblance to a local performance artist.

A guitarist has created a rather unique and fully functional guitar, using the skeleton of his dead uncle, entitled the Skelecaster.

The bones belonged to the builder’s uncle, Filip, who died in a car accident more than 20 years ago. His skeleton was donated to a local school in Greece, and used by the college until recently. Once the skeleton was no longer needed by the school, it was returned to the family.

The builder, who goes by the moniker Prince Midnight, explained to MetalSucks that he wanted to honour the memory of Filip, who was an avid metalhead: “I got the box of bones from Greece and didn’t know what to do at first. Bury them? Cremate them? Put them in the attic? All seemed like poor ways to memorialize someone who got me into heavy metal.

“So, I decided to turn Uncle Filip into a guitar, which proved to be challenging. I did a lot of research and no one has ever made a guitar out of a skeleton. So, I did it. I started out consulting with two guys in Dean Guitars’ woodshop in Tampa but they got cold feet.

“Anyways, now Uncle Filip can shred for all eternity. That’s how he would want it. I’m super proud of the project and how it serves to honour him, his life and his influence on me.”

Prince Midnight shared the progress of the build on Instagram, showing off how the component parts came together. Aside from the body serving as, well, the body, the Skelecaster features a Telecaster-style tailpiece, single-coil pickups and a bolt-on neck attached to the spine (with the help of some steel brackets for stability), and a Telecaster-style control plate attached to the pelvis.

The approach to guitar-making is unlikely to be the next trend in luthiery, as acquiring a human skeleton through legitimate means isn’t something that happens often, and acquiring a human skeleton through illegitimate means is frowned upon by the luthier community and society in general. Nevertheless, the instrument has captured the attention of the internet guitar world.

Prince Midnight also shared a unique insight during the process, writing: “Fact: drilling bone smells worse than soldering wires.”

Hear the guitar in action below, with Prince Midnight giving a rendition of Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger.

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