The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

I just happened to have encountered a lot of mentions lately about how people in the 18th and 19th centuries were fearful of the very real possibility of being buried alive.

Then, while researching something else entirely, I came across this plate o' shrimp today.

From the Berkeley Daily Gazette, December 1, 1932, page 1, column 3.

Views: 57

Comment by Geoff on October 3, 2014 at 12:04am

The local rumor is that Mary Baker Eddy (whose gravesite is very pretty and tranquil and not remotely spooky) was buried with a telephone in case she woke up. Untrue, sadly.

I have seen sketches for alarm systems that the hastily buried could ring if they woke up underground. No idea how many people actually bought these things. Also, coffins with fresh air systems--just in case.

Somebody famous arranged to have a needle plunged in her heart after she was pronounced dead. No danger of premature burial there...

After death the body begins to shrivel up a bit. If the corpse is exhumed later it can appear that the fingernails or beard had grown in the coffin, and so they must have been alive for at least a little while.

This is such a generally upsetting topic that I've decided not to die.

Comment by ThatGirl on October 4, 2014 at 12:49pm

Good one. Reminds of of why I first subscribed to "Weird NJ"

Comment by ThatGirl on October 4, 2014 at 1:30pm

I still fear this very phenomenon. 

The Jersey Devil thanks you for starting up this month with a weird and ghoul y story. I hope to see more.

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 5, 2014 at 4:22pm

@ Geoff: I've read about a lot of those things people did to ensure they could alert the topsiders if they accidentally got buried prematurely. The thing is, though, people tend to split immediately after a funeral. No one hanging out at the cemetery to hear the bells and alarms. And such a limited air supply in that tight box.

But wouldn't it be a great candid-camera style prank to put a fake headstone over some loose dirt in a cemetery, with a bell on a pulley that apparently leads under the dirt, then hang out nearby and make the bell ring whenever someone passes by?

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 5, 2014 at 4:40pm

@ ThatGirl: I've thought about that Kill Bill scene many times since I first saw it. Her initial survey of her circumstance really inspires claustrophobia, and I'm not a claustrophobic person.

The best story (fictional, thank god) I've seen on this topic was on the Alfred Hitchcock Hour. The original episode was broadcast in 1964. Then when "The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents" was revived in the 80s, they redid the story. Both were excellent--and absolutely chilling.

The Final Escape, 1985

Comment by Geoff on October 7, 2014 at 10:38am

Comment by Geoff on October 7, 2014 at 10:44am

Comment by Geoff on October 7, 2014 at 10:44am

Comment by ThatGirl on October 7, 2014 at 4:37pm

@NJ - Agreed about Uma's performance in that scene. She was more inspiring to me when she was digging deep to survive than when she was being a badazz.  

AND I hope we get to enjoy many more blogs and horror stories this month. This is a GREAT escape for me.

Comment by lima on October 12, 2014 at 7:55am

great pictures :)  I remember the saved by the bell stories of how that came about because in the earlier days, people would get sick drinking the ale out of metal goblets and the concoction would knock them out and people would assume they were dead and bury them, etc.  so they put strings with bells on them and had people work the graveyard shift to listen out, but then I found out all of that was untrue, as great as it sounded to me.  


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