PublishedOct 31, 2013
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Tags: 18th Century, 19th century, Buried Alive, Grim Bidness, Halloween, horrible deaths, Premature Burial
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Holy Crap this one will not leave me any time soon.
Nate DiMeo is giving me the heebie-jeebies.
Wow, what a show! I’m curious if there are any cases where a person was buried alive, but the precaution they’d taken in adding a bell, hatchet, etc resulted in a rescue?
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Nope. No recorded instances of that, as far as my research showed.
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Holy cow that is creepy. Did anyone live to tell the tale of being buried alive
I was listening to this again and just remembered how this situation manifests in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom series and in Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld.
At the beginning of Burrough’s The Gods of Mars (the second in the series), John Carter’s nephew writes of his uncle Carter’s death and the rather strange request made in the will: the door to the tomb was designed to be opened only from the inside.
The reason being that in the first book, when John Carter appears on Mars thanks to astral projection, he leaves his catatonic body behind in a cave. At the end of the book, Carter returns to find his body still where he left it in the cave. Presumably, had anyone found it, they would have thought him dead.
Having to returned to civilization, Carter makes sure that, should he go gallivanting on Mars again, there’s no possibility of being unable to free his body from the tomb he’s designed.
Granny Weatherwax of Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld series has the same problem. Whenever Granny Weatherwax “borrows” the mind of another creature to see the world through their eyes, she falls into a catatonic state. In times past, she was mistaken for dead and buried. For Granny Weatherwax, being the powerful witch she is, being buried is an extreme but not insurmountable inconvenience. After those embarrassing experiences, whenever Granny borrows, she now leaves a note on her torso that reads “I ATE’NT DEAD”.
Would that all people not quite dead could do so.
When I was a kid my grandmother told us a story of her young great aunt who apparently had died and was buried only to be dug up by a grave robber that same night. While trying to pull a stubborn ring from her finger, the robber was startled when the girl spoke and threatened him with harm if he cut off her finger as he seemed to be preparing to do. He ran off and she climbed out of her coffin and walked home.
I was so fascinated by the idea of a dead girl walking through the front door to horrify and relieve the gathered mourners that I made a short film about it.
Tiny quibble with the description of a verger — one baptizes with water and annoints with oil.
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We are really, really haunted by this episode and therefore declared it our third “Podcast episode of the week” (see http://www.sciencepie.org/peotw). Thanks. This is brilliant.
Didn’t Mythbusters disprove the ability to survive a live burial underground? (I’m putting aside the burials in mausoleums.)
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