The topic of many horror films and torture series, being buried alive would obviously be a horrific way to die. Surprisingly, people all over the world have been buried alive and lived to tell the tale. Some tragic stories speak of parents leaving their children for dead because they are unwanted for various reasons. Others were actually in a coma or unconscious before being buried alive and waking up six feet underground, some of these cases died before they were dug out due to their screams.
Because of this fear of being buried alive, there have been some coffins created that can help reduce this risk, but it hasn’t yet been shown whether or not these coffins have successfully prevented such an occurrence. These coffins feature glass panes on the front that work monitoring any possible breathing coming from the corpse. But again, not many of these devices are actually in use.
Most times, when someone is buried alive it is completely by accident, but the bone-chilling malicious tales are the ones that give us the creeps. Read on to see if the perpetrators are brought to justice in these cases of babies, teens, the elderly and even cancer patients being buried alive.
15. The Young Bride in Western Honduras
Neysi Perez collapsed at her home while pregnant at the age of 16, probably out of fear after suffering a panic attack in response to some gunfire. She began foaming at the mouth so her parents decided to call a priest and have the girl exorcised. During the process, the girl seemed lifeless and was rushed directly to the hospital. Three hours after her arrival, the hospital declared her dead. The young married woman was buried in her wedding dress that she had last worn only one month prior.
The day after her funeral her husband was visiting the mausoleum where she was buried and heard muffled screams. When the family was finally able to open the coffin they noticed that the glass window had been broken and her fingers were all bruised. They had to break the mausoleum open with a sledgehammer before even being able to reach the young pregnant girl. The family rushed her to the hospital still inside of her coffin but every test came back that she was dead. Doctors think that she might have had a severe panic attack that briefly stopped her heart activity before eventually dying of oxygen deprivation inside of the mausoleum.
14. French Motorcycle Accident
Born in 1918 Angelo Hays enjoyed riding his motorcycle, was an inventor and at one point in his life even became a celebrity. While riding his motorcycle one day he was in an accident and flung off of his bike headfirst into a brick wall. A pulse could not be found and he was pronounced dead at the scene. In fact, his face was so smashed that his parents were not allowed to view his body.
Three days after the accident Hays was buried in the village of St. Quentin de Chalais but had to be exhumed for insurance purposes. Forensic investigators noticed that his body was still warm which made them realize that he was still alive. Hays was in a coma due to his head trauma. Because of this coma, his body didn’t need as much oxygen as the usual human. This was why he was able to live underground in a coffin for days. The man went on to become a French celebrity following his rehabilitation and lived a long life.
13. Lured to Her Attempted Death
In the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a little girl was lured from her family by her neighbors to be strangled and buried alive. The married couple told the 6-year old girl that her mother instructed them to take her to a fair in a neighboring village. They walked into a sugarcane field where they strangled her and buried her, but when the workers around the field noticed that only two people came out they became suspicious.
The workers found the little girl unconscious and buried in a pit before they rushed her to a hospital. After treatment, she regained consciousness and was discharged from the hospital. The neighbor’s motivation in the murder remains unclear and the little girl does not remember being buried alive. Though she doesn’t remember being buried alive, she was able to identify the neighbors as the ones who attempted to strangle her to death.
12. Locked Up in the Morgue
Sipho William Mdletshe was in a tragic car accident that left him unconscious in South Africa. He was declared dead and delivered to the morgue where he was placed in a metal box just like every other deceased person that was there. But Sipho woke up in that Johannesburg morgue and banged on that metal box for two days before somebody heard him and removed him. The man thought that his personal tragedy was over after being removed from the morgue, but it wasn’t.
His fiance didn’t want to see him because she was convinced that he was now a zombie. Though the breakup was a bit of a shock, the young 24-year-old man lived to tell the odd tale of his experience in that 1993 traffic accident. His premature burial surely freaked out the morgue workers and his ex-fiance, but at least he could walk out of that metal box in the morgue, not many people in the same situation can say that for themselves.
11. Breathing Inside the Bodybag
In 1994 an apartment manager found the body of his tenant Mildred Clarke strewn across her living room floor and thought that she had passed away. The building manager became worried about the elderly woman who lived alone when she hadn’t seen her in two days. Both the paramedics and the Albany County Coroner found no pulse, heartbeat, breath or any signs of life and both professionals pronounced her dead at the scene. She was put into a body bag and brought to the morgue where she was kept around 40°F.
The coroner walked into the morgue with the intention of bringing Mildred to the funeral home when he realized that the bodybag was moving up and down. He carefully approached the body bag and came to find that inside the 86-year old was unconscious but very much alive and breathing. Doctors were extremely puzzled following the incident and Mildred remained unconscious until she died one week later.
10. Failed Escape by Escapologist
Antony Britton lost consciousness after being buried alive for the sake of his famous feats of escapology. The man was handcuffed and buried in a standard sized grave under 6-feet of soil in hopes of being claimed better than Harry Houdini. After nine minutes when he hadn’t broken through the soil his crew dug him out to find him unconscious inside of the coffin. Immediately after being unearthed Britton was taken to an ambulance on site and given oxygen and minor treatment for a broken rib and some scratches. The audience, in front of Slaithwaite Spa, was visibly anxious as they waited to see if the man was going to be alright. Britton reports feeling the pressure of the soil crushing him as he slowly lost consciousness, but luckily his team was drilled to handle this situation. The plow knew right where he was buried to dig him out and his team was manually removing dirt with their fists to help reduce the risk.
9. Zombie or Buried Alive?
A quiet mourner was visiting the grave of a loved one when she saw something that could be described as troublesome or terrifying. The woman was at Sao Paulo’s Ferraz de Vasconcelos and immediately called authorities to report the strange site. When emergency services arrived, they found a city employee had dug himself out of a grave to the waist but needed help getting his legs free.
Police continued to ask the witness if they were playing a joke on the authorities, which she continued to deny. When he was pulled out it became clear that the man had been pretty badly beaten up before being buried alive. He was alive and treated at the nearest hospital but police failed to leak any more information about his status.
8. Shouts from the Grave
It was a cemetery worker that heard this Macedonian cancer patient crying out from her grave. This man and two cemetery visitors heard these sounds and reported them to police, but by the time that the coffin had been broken open the woman showed no more signs of life. That same day the cancer patient and mother of two had been declared dead at a private Thessaloniki clinic. A doctor was called to the graveyard to examine the body where they reported there was no way that she was buried alive as she had been dead for hours.
But either way, someone in rigor mortis could not have been banging on a coffin and shouting loud enough to have three separate people to report it. The relatives of the deceased are considering filing a lawsuit against the private clinic that treated their loved one. But doctors from the private clinic swear that they did all of the appropriate tests and each showed that there were no more signs of life.
7. Negligent Ambulance Workers
Emergency services found a 39-year old woman slumped over in the bathtub and thought she was dead so they placed her into a body bag. It was clear that she had overdosed on pills while in the tub and by the time the ambulance arrived the water was cold. The funeral director also thought that she had passed on but he heard some bubbling sounds coming from the body bag.
When the director saw signs of life he held her airway passages open and called emergency services, by the time they had arrived her breathing was stable. She went on to the hospital where she made a full recovery but now the emergency workers who responded are being questioned and looked into to see if they handled the situation correctly. Apparently, even if a patient is cold, stiff, and blue they can still be resuscitated and taken to the hospital. The woman lived past the possible suicide attempt.
6. The Tragic Tale of Mrs. Blunden
In the 17th century, Basingstoke Mrs. Blunden was a rather large woman who was married to a malt merchant, her husband often traveled leaving Mrs. Blunden alone with their staff. One day she wasn’t feeling too well so she went to the local apothecary for poppy water. Accounts vary but for some reason, she drank the entire bottle and immediately dropped dead. Her husband asked that they wait to bury her before he arrived from London but the coroner was nervous about the stench because of her large stature. They nailed her up into a cardboard box to help contain the stench. She was eventually buried near the Holy Ghost Chapel in a cemetery that young boys often played. On this day while playing, these boys heard her screams from six feet under.
They opened the grave and found the woman covered in self-inflicted wounds and bloodied with signs of attempting escape. Unfortunately, she appeared dead by the time they opened the coffin and again was presumed dead. While awaiting the coroner she seems to have woken up again and re-injured herself before finally passing away.
5. Surviving Trauma in Nigeria
Ibraham and his father were working with cattle on the outskirts of their village in Nigeria when heavily armed men raided their village. The young boy witnessed as the insurgents brutally murdered his father and ran to his dead dad and cried over his body. While he was mourning the militants smashed him on the head with a machete. The little boy remembers crawling over to be in the shade under a tree before being snatched up by insurgents who thought that he was dead.
He was buried under the sand where he remained for two days after the attack. It was his sister that found the boy after seeing flies all around the place where he lay. She was forced to gather all of her strength and pull him out of the dirt and carry him home, everyone who saw her asked why she was doing such a thing to a corpse. He lived and as you can see, has a wicked scar on his skull.
4. Thrown Away for a Cleft Palate
There is a lot of pressure on Chinese children to be perfect but this poor baby was discarded right after birth because of a cleft palate. The baby boy was buried alive in a shallow, unmarked grave on a hillside in the Guangxi province as told by the country’s media. Details were unclear at first but it seems that the baby was left completely alone in the woods for around 10 days before he was found. The family hired a man to kill the child for $290 and that man left the child in a cardboard box in the wilderness.
He came back two days later and buried the child that he believed to be dead, but he wasn’t. A woman picking herbs on the side of the mountain heard a crying sound and that is when she and a group of villagers excavated the baby that was very much alive.
The child was in critical condition and had inhaled quite a bit of mud and his whole body was covered in scratches and bruises. In the days leading to his death, he had also lost around a quarter of his entire body weight (2 pounds).
3. The Strongest Newborn Baby
It was late November in Compton when a couple of women heard a baby crying while they were walking on a bike path around 4pm. They could hear the baby crying in the riverbed below and immediately called authorities. The authorities found the baby tucked within the concrete and rubble at the riverbed, making it clear that she was buried under the asphalt. The baby girl was cold to the touch with an exceptionally low pulse. After briefly being treated at the scene the little one was rushed to the nearest hospital.
Once at the hospital it was discovered that the little girl was born just 24 to 36 hours earlier. It became clear that this was attempted murder and child endangerment and police immediately began looking for the mother who left the child by the riverbed. Ten days later police found 33-year old Porche Laronda Washington, the mother of the girl. Friends say that she never wanted to have the baby or be pregnant and she didn’t want anyone to know. It was the public and media that helped the Special Victims Unit find the mother.
2. She Rose From Her Grave
Essie Dunbar suffered an epileptic attack in 1915 when she was just 30-years old which led Dr. D.K. Briggs to declare her dead on the scene. They placed her corpse in a wooden box and waited until the next day for the funeral to ensure that Essie’s sister could attend. The next day three preachers took turns speaking at the lengthy funeral for Essie Dunbar, but by the time the coffin was ready to be placed in the ground her sister still hadn’t arrived.
Just moments after the body was lowered Dunbar’s sister showed up requesting they exhume Essie so that her sister could say her final goodbyes. The coffin was dug up, screws were removed, and Essie Dunbar sat up in her coffin and smiled at her sister. Mourners thought Essie was a ghost and ran away from the funeral altogether.
The three preachers fell backward into the grave suffering minor injuries and major panic. She lived a long happy life for 40 more years and became a local personality after the rumors about her being a zombie died down.
1. Mauled By a Bear and Buried for Later
Back in June 2015, a Serbian woman named Natalya Pasternak went walking with her dog and her friend to collect Birch sap in the forest. While jaunting through the woods Natalya was mauled and attacked by a bear. Her friend was 80-years old and helped her in her attempt to fight off the bear with her hands. The bear, thinking that the woman was dead, buried her under foliage and dirt to come back and eat her later.
She suffered serious wounds to her head and limbs and required a lot of rehabilitation before she could even think about walking again. Some hunters found the mother of three buried under the foliage with the bear guarding the area where she was buried. The hunters had to kill the bear before they could rescue Pasternak. The first thing that she asked her rescuers was whether or not they had killed the bear before coming to find her.
dailymail.co.uk, wikipedia.org (Angelo Hayes), nytimes.com