True dating stories
This may have been the case with Lavrinia Merli, a peasant girl living near Mantua in Italy, who was thought to have died from ‘hysterics’. Although it is not clear why, the vault was opened two days later and it was found that the girl had regained consciousness, turned over in the coffin and given birth to a child. A Berkshire doctor related the story of another young mother, the wife of an army medical officer stationed in the Tropics, who had suffered a severe heart pain shortly after giving birth.Despite the best efforts of doctors — including, presumably, her husband — she died, or at least appeared to have done.The girl’s skeleton was half in, half out of the coffin, and the right side of her skull bore a large, ugly fracture.The fingers of her right hand were bent as if clutching at something, perhaps her throat, and her clothes were torn.But sometimes there was no doubt that a living person had been buried.Untreated eclampsia in pregnancy can lead to seizures and even coma.It’s based on something that really happened to American tourists Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who were left behind by a diving company off the Great Barrier Reef.
The fear of premature burial persists today and is occasionally exploited by Hollywood in horror movies. It is not even unknown for modern doctors to mistake unconsciousness for death.The coffin was duly opened and the boy found inside, his body twisted from trying to break out: he had died from suffocation.Grave robbers may in some cases have been responsible for the discovery of coffins with lids wrenched off and corpses in disarray.Intriguingly, there are several cases of dogs saving their masters by barking at the coffin or attacking the pallbearers, forcing them to set the coffin down and open it up to find the occupant alive.Her body was laid out in preparation for burial and left in a locked room for the night.