Get paid to eat and drink? Hey, I’m back in the job market, and this position sounds promising.


Except that I draw the line at the festering remains of the Floyd County Democratic Party. That’s just too much risk for this pagan.

The Worst Paid Freelance Gig in History Was Being the Village Sin Eater … Sin eaters risked their souls to soak up the sins of the dead, by Natalie Zarrelli (Atlas Obscura)

When a loved one died in parts of England, Scotland, or Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries, the family would grieve, place bread on the chest of the deceased, and call for a man to sit in front of the body. The family of the deceased watched on as this man, the local professional sin eater, absorbed the sins of the departed’s soul.

The family who hired the sin eater believed that the bread literally soaked up their loved one’s sins; once it was eaten, all the misdeeds were passed on to the hired hand. Once the process was complete, the sin eater’s own soul was heavy with the ill deeds of countless men and women from his village or town.

The sin eater paid a high price to help others drift smoothly into the afterlife: the coin he was given was worth a mere four English pence, the equivalent of a few U.S. dollars today. Usually, the only people who would dare risk their immortal being during such a religious era were the very poor, whose desire for a little bread and drink carried them along.