Of all the fears in the world, being buried alive is probably one of the most horrifying. When we pass on, we hope that our family and friends will make total and complete sure that we are actually dead and not just in a deep sleep. Unfortunately, mistakes happen and sometimes people are buried alive before it is actually their time to go. In most of these cases, the victims were so ill that they seemed as if they could actually be dead. Family and friends mourned these victim’s supposed deaths before their bodies were lowered into the ground. In these cases, the family of the victims got a nasty surprise when it was discovered that their loved ones had tried desperately to get out of their final resting place to no avail. Amazingly, some people have actually lived to tell the tale of being buried alive. These brave souls managed to escape from a seemingly hopeless situation into the light of day. Whatever the fates of these victims may have been, below is a list of 10 horrifying stories of people who were buried alive. These stories might just make you afraid of dark, cramped spaces forever.
10 Angelo Hayes
Angelo Hayes was 19 years old when he was thrown from his bike and went headfirst into a wall. According to sources, Hayes was immediately declared dead by doctors and was buried three days after his accident. Luckily, an insurance company became suspicious of Angelo’s supposed death because his father had just taken an insurance claim out on his son’s life and had the body exhumed. Miraculously, Hayes was found alive, with his heart barely beating. Although he had to have several operations and endure rehabilitation, Hayes managed to make a full recovery. He even invented a coffin that would help victims of a premature burial survive.
9 Essie Dunbar
Essie Dunbar was just 30 years old when she suffered an attack of epilepsy. Doctor’s believed that Dunbar’s attack was fatal. Dunbar’s family and friends scheduled her funeral to be held the next day. However, Dunbar’s sister didn't make it to the funeral but she was still determined to see her sister one last time. She had her sister’s body exhumed and to her complete surprise, made the discovery that her beloved sister was actually alive and well. Reportedly, when the lid of Dunbar’s coffin opened, she looked around her and smiled. Dunbar lived another 47 years after she was prematurely buried alive.
8 Octavia Smith Hatcher
Octavia Smith Hatcher was pronounced dead of unknown causes on May 2nd, 1891. In actuality, Hatcher had just been in a comatose-like state. According to sources, Hatcher was buried directly after she was pronounced dead. A few days later, Hatcher’s family began to worry that they had buried her prematurely. Hatcher’s husband ordered an emergency exhumation when his worst fears were discovered, he had unknowingly buried his wife alive. Hatcher’s nails were bloody from trying to get out of the coffin and her face was frozen in terror. Hatcher’s husband eventually had his wife’s body reburied and even erected a monument over her grave.
7 Mrs. Boger
In July of 1893, Mrs. Boger was living with her husband when she died of unknown causes. The doctors confirmed her death and Mrs. Boger was buried soon after. A friend of Charles' (mrs. Boger's husband) reportedly told him that his wife suffered from hysteria and therefore might not have actually been dead when they buried her. Mad with the thought of having prematurely buried his wife, Charles exhumed his wife to see how she had really met her end. What he found was horrifying. Mrs. Boger’s robes were shredded, her body was turned over, her skin was bloody, and her fingers were missing. Soon after, Charles mysteriously disappeared after seeing his beloved wife in such a horrific state.
6 Marjorie McCall
Marjorie McCall was the wife of a doctor when she supposedly died of a fever sometime in the 18th century. According to sources, because she was quite well off, Marjorie had an expensive gold ring and was buried with it because no one could get it off her swollen finger. When thieves heard of the gold ring buried with Marjorie, they decided to go and dig her up. After they dug up Marjorie, they tried to pull the ring off her finger only to find that her finger was still too swollen to get the ring off. The thieves decided that the next best plan was to saw off her finger. However when the thieves started sawing, Marjorie woke up and screamed, scaring them away. Marjorie then climbed out of her grave, and went to scare the life out of her former doctor.
5 Sipho William Mdletshe
Sipho was 24 years old when he got into a nearly deadly car accident with his fiance. According to sources, Sipho was pronounced dead after the car accident. He was then taken to the Johannesburg mortuary, where he was placed in a metal box before he was to be buried. But as it turns out, Sipho wasn’t actually dead. Two days after being unconscious, Sipho woke up and started screaming for help. Eventually, Sipho was let out of the box and was able to return to his fiance. However, Sipho’s fiance was so startled by seeing him, that she sent him away thinking he was a zombie.
4 Mina El Houari
Mina El Houari was just 25 years old when she was buried alive by her date. Reportedly, Houari had been chatting online with a Moroccan man for several months when she decided to go and meet him in person for the first time. During their date, Houari passed out as a result of a diabetic coma. However, her date was under the impression that she had suddenly dropped dead. The Moroccan man made the deadly (bizarre) decision to bury Houari in his backyard. After a few days, Houari’s family filed a missing persons report and the truth of what happened to Houari came out. Houari’s date was eventually charged with involuntary manslaughter.
3 Philomele Jonetre
Phimolele Jonetre was 24 years old when she was declared dead from cholera. According to sources, just 16 hours after Jonetre was pronounced dead, her body was lowered into the ground. Eventually, a gravedigger heard some knocking and started digging to see where it was coming from. It turns out, Jonetre was knocking on her coffin hoping to find someone to unbury her. Unfortunately for Jonetre, the gravedigger’s actions turned out to be too little, too late. Jonetre was pronounced dead again the following day but this time it was for real. Jonetre was buried for a second time shortly after she was once again pronounced dead.
2 Mr. Cornish
Mr. Cornish was the mayor of Bath when he died of a fever. Cornish was buried fairly quickly after he was thought to have died. Unfortunately, Mr. Cornish wasn't actually dead. While a gravedigger was in the middle of burying Cornish, he heard some noise coming from the coffin. Realizing that Cornish was still alive, the gravedigger raced to try and get Cornish out in time before he suffocated. Unfortunately the gravedigger wasn't quick enough. When Cornish’s coffin was finally opened, he was found dead with his elbows and knees bloody. Apparently this freaked out Cornish’s sister so much that she asked to be beheaded before she died to avoid being buried alive.
1 Stephen Small
Stephen Small was kidnapped and buried alive in 1987, by Danny Edwards and his girlfriend, Nancy Rich. According to the Chicago Tribune, Edwards and Rich were planning on keeping Small alive underground while they got a $1 million ransom for his safe return. However, things didn't quite work out as planned. Small ended up suffocating after the air pipe that Edwards and Rich had provided him proved to be inadequate. Although it is not certain if Edwards and Rich meant for Small to die, one thing is certain, the pair will spend a long time behind bars for the death of Stephen Small.