Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Woman Buried Alive, Funeral Goers Hear Screams From The Grave...

The fear of being buried alive has been a real fear for centuries, in fact, the phobia even has a formal name; taphophobia. Before modern medicine this fear wasn't completely irrational. Before the 20th century, methods of determining death were far from reliable and cases of premature burial was not uncommon. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people being buried alive by accident. Because of this a large number of designs for safety coffins were patented during the 18th and 19th centuries. Safety coffins were fitted with a mechanism to allow the occupant to signal that he or she has been buried alive. On his deathbed in 1799, George Washington made his attendants promise not to bury him for two days. One of Edgar Allan Poe's horror stories, "The Premature Burial", is about a person suffering from taphophobia. Other Poe stories about premature burial are "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Cask of Amontillado"—and to a lesser extent, “The Black Cat." 

"In 1905, the English reformer William Tebb collected accounts of premature burial. He found 219 cases of near live burial, 149 actual live burials, 10 cases of live dissection and 2 cases of awakening while being embalmed." - The Corpse: A History 

You would think this fear would be something of the past, but just this month a 34 year old woman was buried alive. Unfortunately in her case it wasn't an accident. Now 8 News reported the Chicago modern day horror story; "A 34 year old woman in now recovering from a most bizarre scene, one you only hear about in the movies. A Chicago family was grieving the loss of their son, as they said their final goodbye’s at his funeral. Police say it was unlike anything they had ever seen before. Reports say that approximately 15 minutes after the body of the man was laid to rest, the family of the deceased began to hear screams. 

“We decided to stay for a bit after the funeral, to let it all sink in. When all of a sudden we heard screams, but we could not figure out where they were coming from,” said one family member who wished to stay anonymous. “We realized it was coming from under the grave where we just laid my brother. We ran and got help.” Police say when firefighters arrived, they received permission from the family to dig up the freshly dug grave. As they did, the screams became louder and louder. When they reached the coffin, they pried it open, to find 34 year old Linda Lynch inside. 

Police say it was a twisted plot. The coffin of the man, who was supposed to be buried, was wheeled to the back and his body was quickly removed after the service by the funeral director, Harold Lynch, at Thomas Hite Funeral Home, who had attempted to murder his 34 year old estranged wife. Lynch had drugged his wife with arsenic and hid her in the funeral home, perfectly timing it with the scheduled burial.  The young man who was scheduled to be buried was found wrapped in a blanket in the funeral home basement.

Lynch’s wife is currently hospitalized in stable condition undergoing an intense detoxification process. Lynch is being held on a $200,000 bond and faces attempted murder charges. The Chicago family has properly buried their son.

Whether accidental, or murder, the fear of being buried alive has found its way into our culture through scary movies, and literature. If for some reason you find yourself in this predicament, here are some steps on how to survive being buried alive in a coffin! You can also check these ones out from the worst case scenario website.

Have a fun and safe Halloween weekend! 

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