5 Horrifying But Very Real Instances Of People Being Buried Alive
Believe it or not, there was once a time in history when people were being buried alive quite often.
That would be around the same time doctors resorted to nipple pinching and poker shoving to determine death, but didn’t really take into account paralysis or coma.
Now on the upside, medicine has evolved and become a considerably accurate science, so chances of being buried alive today are rare. On the downside, however, it’s still pretty much one of THE worst ways to die.
Here are 5 people who were victims of that horrifying ordeal. Some even lived to tell the tale.
1. Angelo Hays
The year was 1937, and 19-year-old Angelo Hays decided to take his motorcycle out for a spin in France.
Sadly, his fun ride ended with him crashing it into a brick wall.
With his head all mangled and lacking a pulse, Hays was declared dead and buried three days later.
A lucky investigation put forth by an insurance company, however, led to his body being exhumed two days after the funeral. Much to the surprise of all present, his body was still warm.
He had been in a deep coma and his body’s diminished need for oxygen had kept him alive. After numerous surgeries and some rehabilitation, Hays recovered completely and even became a celebrity of sorts.
2. Octavia Smith Hatcher
Octavia Smith married James Hatcher in 1889, and shortly after, she gave birth to a baby boy named Jacob who died in infancy.
Deeply depressed, Octavia became bedridden.
During that time, she also began showing symptoms of a mysterious illness. Four months later, in May of 1891, she slipped into a coma and was pronounced dead.
But after she was buried, several others fell into a similar coma-like sleep with shallow breathing patterns – only to awaken a few days later. They’d all been smitten by an illness caused by the bite of the tsetse fly.
When her husband learned of this, he panicked and had Octavia exhumed, hoping she might awaken. But James was too late.
The coffin lining had been shredded and Octavia’s fingernails were bloody. Her face was contorted with fear.
3. Jessica Lunsford
Jessica Marie Lunsford was abducted by sex-offender John Evander Couey from her home in Florida on February 23rd, 2005.
Three weeks later, her body was found buried within sight of her own home, wrapped in garbage bags.
She was 9 years old.
Heartbreakingly, the medical examiner ruled that Jessica died of asphyxiation, because she hadn’t been dead when Couey dumped her in.
With her hands bound with stereo wire, she’d managed to poke two holes in the trash bag before she ran out of oxygen. Her fingers were still sticking out when they found her in her makeshift grave with her favourite stuffed animal – a purple dolphin won at a fair.
4. Essie Dunbar
In 1915, 30-year-old Essie Dunbar suffered what everyone thought was a fatal attack of epilepsy.
Her funeral was scheduled for the next day after she was declared dead, so that her sister, who lived out of town, would be able to attend.
But Essie’s sister arrived only when the last of the dirt was being thrown on the grave. Wanting to see her one last time, she insisted on the body being brought up.
When the coffin lid was opened, Essie sat up and smiled.
She did scare her mourners and cause a minor stampede, but the lady lived for another 47 years.
5. Neysi Perez
In August 2015, 16-year-old Neysi Perez woke up in her coffin 24 hours after she had been buried.
She had been three months pregnant and had initially suffered an apparent panic attack outside her home following a burst of gunfire.
When she started foaming at the mouth, her parents called the local priest to perform an exorcism. Seemingly lifeless, she was soon pronounced dead.
“As I put my hand on her grave I could hear noises inside. I heard banging, then I heard a voice. She was screaming for help”, said her husband, who first heard her.
Her grieving family members then desperately attempted to break through the concrete tomb, but Perez died before they could set her free.
When they opened the coffin, she was “still warm” and had bruises on her fingertips. The glass viewing pane on her coffin had been smashed.
Her mother blamed doctors for being too quick in signing a death certificate.
“She didn’t look like she had died,” Ms Gutierrez said, and she was right.
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