Police have taken a man into custody who turned up uninvited at a Christchurch funeral, banged on a coffin and told the deceased to "wake up''.
The man - aged in his 20s - was met by police this morning when he arrived at Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley after contacting grieving relatives last night and saying he could "raise the body''.
He had called the family through the night and asked to meet them at the grave of 90-year-old Harold Ritchie, who was farewelled at a funeral on Wednesday.
About six police officers had been patrolling the cemetery and keeping watch for the man before his arrival at 11.45am today.
It is not known whether the man will face charges.
After receiving the man's request yesterday, shocked and disgusted family members contacted police immediately, who traced the mystery man's own family and were actively seeking him throughout the night.
Police were considering trying to organise security on the cemetery last night.
The man wanted to meet the family at the cemetery at 11am this morning and had even told them media were welcome.
The disturbing saga involving the mystery man began at Mr Ritchie's funeral at John Rhind Chapel in Richmond on Wednesday.
About 80 minutes into the service a man aged about 20, wearing a suit, walked up with a prayer book in his hands and began shaking the hands of family members.
No one questioned him because it was thought he knew Mr Ritchie.
He then went to the coffin and began chanting with his back to the mourners.
Yesterday Mr Ritchie's daughter Jeanne Kiddie said: "He put his arms up in the air and he seemed to shudder, like he was vibrating. He was shouting in tongues.
"He picked up the photo of Dad from the coffin and studied it for a while. Then he went down on his knees and shouted "Wake up Harold!" and thumped on the casket.
"I was horrified, absolutely horrified."
For a moment Mrs Kiddie, who was stunned, thought the mystery man was about to try and open the casket.
Mrs Kiddie's husband, Ross, said the man's phone call yesterday had been another blow to the family.
"We're really shattered now.
"We were saying we could probably get through it, we could pick ourselves up, move on, and we were getting to the stage where we said we weren't going to talk about it so much."
The man continued to call the family through the night and this morning.
He told them he would be hiring machinery to dig up Mr Ritchie's grave.
He also said he believes the reason Mr Ritchie did not wake during the funeral chant was because he called him Harold. Mr Ritchie's birth name is Malcolm, but he was known as Harold.