Buried Alive! Families that Lived to Tell the Tale – MyHeritage October 29, 2020

I saw this on MyHeritage today – Buried Alive! Families that Lived to Tell the Tale: https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/10/buried-alive-families-that-lived-to-tell-the-tale/. The article is a lot longer, but went with some highlights. Used to be a common occurrence before the advent of modern medicine and techniques.

By Esther October 29, 2020 Holidays

Zombies are synonymous with Halloween. Dead characters that escape the grave to haunt civilization seem like quite a far-fetched tale, but it’s closer to reality than you may think. Throughout history, there have been recorded cases of people being buried alive. The MyHeritage Research team dug deeper into these tales to learn more about the folklore, the stories, and the descendants of the individuals who were lucky enough to escape to tell the tale. 

Burial alive was a topic of interest in past plague laden generations, due to the fact that it actually happened! People fell victim to epidemics of plague and other diseases that sometimes made living people appear dead. At the same time, it was in the public’s best interest to bury those “dead” people as soon as possible and prevent the spread of disease. 

Before his death, George Washington requested that measures be taken to ensure that he was really dead before he was buried:  “I am just going! Have me decently buried, and do not let my body be put into the vault less than three days after I am dead.”  

Final Funeral

In 1915, a 30-year-old South Carolinian named Essie Dunbar suffered a fatal attack of epilepsy — or so everyone thought. After declaring her dead, doctors placed Dunbar’s body in a coffin and scheduled her funeral for the next day so that her sister, who was traveling from out of town, would be able to pay respects. When Essie’s sister arrived, she was too late to see her sister one last time, and she insisted that her sister be dug up, so that she could pay her final respects. When the coffin lid was opened, Essie sat up and smiled at all around her. She lived for another 47 years.



About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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6 Responses to Buried Alive! Families that Lived to Tell the Tale – MyHeritage October 29, 2020

  1. Child Of God says:

    I do not believe in Zombies

    Liked by 1 person

    • These aren’t real Zombies. They are people who were buried alive who may or may not have been rescued before it was too late. In one case, a sister missed the funeral and wanted to say good-bye so the cemetery dug her up and she was still alive.

      Back 100+ years ago, the ability to do things like CPR, use other means to determine if a person was alive, were primitive. In the case of President Washington, he had them wait three days after he died before he was buried.

      I don’t believe in true Zombies myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Child Of God says:

        this I understand. In Italy where I was born resumed what they thought were dead people but they died alive and they had hand fingers turned off trying to open the box where they put them and buried them they were turned off as they found .scratching on the the top of the tombs . horrific. they died in a coma then woke up.


      • It was pretty common around the world until we gained what was needed to realize people weren’t dead. I remember in some places you had a bell a person could ring if they turned out to have been buried alive. They had someone listening for the bell who would alert people to dig them out.


      • Child Of God says:

        Wow that I had forgotten thank you

        Liked by 1 person

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