Man Brought Back to Life at Funeral



By Mackenzie McKinsey
Special to Radio Free Ozarks
October 4th, 2022

Mourners paying their final respects to lifelong Hope resident Billy Scroggins this past Saturday were stunned when an intense graveside prayer circle, led by Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders, apparently brought the deceased Scroggins back to life.

Following up on a tip of a rare sighting in southwestern Arkansas (no, not the ivory-billed woodpecker), a Radio Free Ozarks reporter was dispatched down I-30, on their freaking day off, to Hope, Arkansas. There, Sanders was sighted attending a funeral just outside of town. To repeat, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in Arkansas and not in Iowa or New Hampshire or DC or near her home in Florida.

The reporter was denied a close view of the funeral by a small phalanx of Arkansas State Troopers. Told that the event was private and closed to the press, the reporter could only observe from a distance. The reporter’s view was also largely obscured by parked cars and vegetation.

Sanders’ Freedom RV, sporting Florida license plates, was parked near the funeral. The RV had already been turned around for a quick departure. In making a 3-point turn on the narrow cemetery drive, tire tracks in the grass showed that the RV had apparently driven over several graves.

The graveside ceremony lasted approximately 15 minutes and apart from the presence of Sanders and her security detail was largely unremarkable. What happened after the end of the funeral could not be fully observed but is recounted here based on several eyewitness interviews.

After the funeral perhaps some 10 mourners remained. As directed by Sanders, three people joined arms with Sanders next to the casket and were led by Sanders in a group prayer lasting several minutes. An observer noted that the end of the prayer became unusually intense, with participants moaning in increasing loudness and being bathed in a strange yellow light of uncertain origin.

The prayer peaked with a thunderous group “Amen” that shook the earth and set off a distant car alarm. The stunned attendees then heard a banging noise emanating from the casket as it was being prepared for lowering. The lid was pushed open from the inside and a now-alive and equally stunned Scroggins sat up and looked around. Scroggins then exclaimed “Holy (expletive)! Praise the Lord, but how am I going to explain this to the Social Security Administration?”

Scroggins, a lifelong Hope resident and self-described “gentleman watermelon farmer” originally succumbed in September 2022 to respiratory complications related to COVID-19. Scroggins, 89 (?), had never married and had no children or close living relatives. Scroggins’ passing was noted at the time in tributes tweeted by both former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his daughter Sanders. Scroggins had lived in Hope for more than 50 years, retiring in 2002 from a career as an insurance adjuster, and was a longtime Huckabee family friend and a guest at the respective weddings of both Huckabee and Sanders.

One prayer circle participant later spoke with the reporter by phone but requested anonymity due to their large following. “I’ve been to plenty of funerals, and we’d pray at every single one of them. I’d feel the power of the Lord. But this was different. Now don’t get me wrong. Everyone there loved Billy and we all brought our prayer A-game. But Sarah was the force multiplier. I don’t know how else to describe it. The power was strong from the start and it built and peaked like I can’t fully describe. A (expletive) holy orgasm. Not of this earth. We turned around and there was Billy, sitting up and smiling. He knew what had happened. Sarah was all embarrassed because she knew the prayer session got out of hand.”

Asked about Sanders’ run for governor, the witness took exception. “Oh, (expletive) no. Sarah does that holier-than-thou grift with the best of them, but how does that make her in any way qualified to be governor? All that nonstop lying for Donald Trump? And lying about the lying? Kissing up to Klansmen and Nazis? Disgusting. I’d tell her myself, but her Praetorian Guard there said they’d arrest me if I said a single word to her.” The witness made a raspberry noise. “Chris Jones all the way.”

Scroggins’ concern regarding Social Security is more common than might be assumed, with approximately 9000 people erroneously added to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) master file each year. “It is unfortunate when a death notice proves to be wrong, but we try to correct it as soon as possible,” said SSA spokesperson Krirstyn Dikko. “Almost always a clerical error, but once in a while it’s a tent revival or a lightning strike.”

To get removed from the SSDI, a person needs to make an appointment at their local Social Security Office. “They should bring a photo ID and a certified copy of their amended death certificate,” Dikko advised. “We have to make sure that someone isn’t trying to collect a deceased person’s benefits. And we have to make sure that someone isn’t…undead. We go through training. If you come in all bloody and shuffling your feet we spot that immediately.”

After being helped from his casket and taking the time for some happy selfies with his friends and Sanders, Scroggins declared “How could I miss a party like this? Let’s all go to Burger King! Just in time for lunch! I’ll need a ride, though.” As the emotionally overwhelmed attendees, who had arrived mournful but were leaving overjoyed, slowly walked back to their cars, the occasional shout of “Hallelujah!” was heard. Scroggins also noted that he would need to borrow money for lunch and need a place to stay as his house had most likely been sold and his bank accounts closed by his brother-in-law. Two funeral home employees remained at the grave site. One sat in a daze and the other, with shaking hands, attempted to smoke a cigarette to partial success.

The reporter tried to approach Scroggins for comment, but access was blocked by none other than Sanders herself. In finally acknowledging the presence of the reporter, Sanders seemed to momentarily let her guard down. “Let him go,” she instructed, “He’ll be back this afternoon.” The reporter tried to ask a question of Sanders but was pushed to their car by a wall of State Troopers and given a non-optional “police escort” back to the on-ramp to I-30.

Mackenzie McKinsey is a freelance reporter and lifestyle critic based out of Little Rock.
[email protected]