History is on the verge of science fiction.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, when medicine had not yet reached the level to accurately determine, dead or alive, a lot of people in panic was afraid to be buried alive.
Those who sought to protect themselves and get rid of the fear of escape into another world by mistake, it was impossible to deny the ingenuity. For example, a physician, historian of medicine and author of the book “Buried alive” Jan Bondeson cites a dozen examples of various steps and rituals that allow “revived” the dead to declare his wonderful resurrection, including the “safe” coffins with flags or bells, signaling the movement underground.
Of course, most of these cases were just urban legends, but Bondeson managed to collect a few true stories of those who were buried before their time and managed to survive.
1. The shoemaker
In 1822, a 40-year-old German shoemaker was able to avoid a similar fate. Despite the fact that his family confirmed the death, and the man himself quite like the dead all confused no peculiar smell and other signs of post-mortem changes. And yet the funeral was held. And when the grave digger had almost buried the coffin, he suddenly heard a knock coming from under the ground.
Without thinking, the gravedigger began to dig up the grave and found the poor shoemaker, feeding faint signs of life. His arms were thrown back up, and the body was warm. When the doctor cut his vein, the blood gushed from the wound.
For three days the man tried CPR, but all efforts were in vain. The shoemaker was declared dead in the second and already last time.
2. Essie Dunbar
In 1915, a 30-year-old resident of South Carolina named Essie Dunbar died from an attack of epilepsy. Doctors declared the girl dead, and the funeral was scheduled for the following day to the sister of the deceased, who lived outside the city had to come and escort her on her final journey.
But it so happened that the sister came to the final part of the funeral ceremony when the grave – digger threw the last clod of earth on the fresh grave. The woman was unable to accept the fact that he did not see sister one last time, and ordered to dig up the coffin.
When the coffin was removed, Essie appeared before the audience alive and unharmed. After this failure event the deceased lived another 47 years.
3. Philomena Janet
In 1867, 24-year-old French Philomena Janet fell ill with cholera and soon died. Traditionally, systems were invited to the priest, and only 16 hours later the girl’s body was interred.
As in the case of shoemaker, the grave digger heard a knocking coming from the coffin. When the girl was out of breath, she still showed signs of life – she was twitching eyelids and reduced body muscles. But it did not last long – Philomena again recognized dead the next day and was buried a second time.
4. Angelo Hey
Perhaps “the most striking premature burial XX century” happened in the French village of Saint-Quentin-de-Calais in 1937. 19-year-old Angelo hay while riding on a motorcycle crashed head first into a brick wall. The boy’s face was so disfigured that parents are not allowed doctors to examine the body.
Due to the absence of pulse and breathing Angelo was presumed dead, and three days later his body was interred. But as the father insured his son’s life for 200,000 francs, the insurance company decided to investigate the tragic incident and demanded to exhume the body to determine the exact cause of death.
To his great surprise, the pathologist found that the boy was still warm. The experts came to the conclusion that traumatic brain injury that led to a deep coma, has sharply reduced the body’s need for oxygen, otherwise the young man, being buried, would have died from suffocation.
Angelo had several surgeries, and after many months of treatment he finally recovered. After this incident, the boy became a local celebrity: people from all over the country came to speak with him. And in 1970-ies Angelo hay presented to the public personally designed “safe coffin”, which was equipped with thick upholstery, a locker for food, toilet and even a library.
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