Tag Archives | Graveyards

The Mortsafe: How To Protect Yourself From Bodysnatchers

mortsafeVia Kuriositas, this was a must-have for personal security during the height of the Victorian corpse-snatching era:

Medical students in the United Kingdom of the nineteenth century faced a quandary. They had been accustomed to using the corpses of executed criminals to study anatomy. However, the annual demand for bodies to dissect by the growing medical profession surpassed ten times that number. A thriving and historically infamous bodysnatching trade arose. However, those mourning the loss of a loved one soon developed a weapon against this: the mortsafe.

First made around 1816, the mortsafe was ingenious: a complex of iron rods and plates descending in to the ground and rising above it.

If this seems like a great length to go to, there was good reason. Grave robbers were crafty and would go to even greater lengths to retrieve a corpse from its coffin. It wasn’t, as you might imagine, a straightforward case of sneaking in to the graveyard and digging the deceased up at the dead of night.

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1,000 Unmarked Bodies Found Buried Below University Of Mississippi

bodies_msOddly, the developers’ renderings do not include the massive stacks of corpses of mental patients, slaves, and Civil War casualties which will form the buildings’ base. Via the Huffington Post:

Burial sites found on a college campus have created a potential nightmare for administrators. While surveying land for a new parking lot at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, officials made a grisly discovery: more than 1,000 bodies thought to have been patients at the old Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum.

The unnamed, century-old graves present a problem for the university, whose expansion plans could be halted over the cost of relocating the bodies.

It’s possible there could be more unmarked graves belonging to tuberculosis patients, former slaves, or even Civil War dead. Experts think that future additions to the medical center and other buildings on campus will have to be reconsidered.

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Brazilian Man Claws His Way Out Of Grave After Being Buried Alive

Your daily dose of nightmares via Sky News:
A man who was found buried alive in a Brazilian cemetery has been freed after a passer-by reportedly saw the earth moving and heard calls for help. Brazil's Record TV said the discovery was made by a woman visiting a relative's grave in the Ferraz de Vasconcelos area of Sao Paulo. Video footage shows emergency services scraping dirt from the man's body, who was was still buried up to the chest, before hauling him out of the grave. Record TV said he has suffered from psychiatric problems, according to his nephew. How the man ended up buried is unclear, but one theory is that he may have been attacked and dumped in the grave.
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Vampire Burial Ground Unearthed In Poland

vampire burial groundThenews.pl reports on what lies beneath:

Archaeologists in Gliwice, southern Poland have discovered a burial ground where the dead were laid to rest in accordance with practices for alleged vampires. Four skeletons were found at the site, where mandatory digs were being carried out prior to the construction of a ring road.

In each case, the deceased had been buried with the head between the legs. According to folk beliefs, this prevented a possible vampire from finding his or her way back to the land of the living.

“It’s very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr. Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper. However, it is believed that they took place in the early modern period.

The last recorded instance of a vampire burial within current Polish borders was in Stare Mierzwice, Masovia, in 1914. A corpse was dug up in the village [with] its head cut off and placed between the legs.

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Serbian Man Has Lived Inside Grave For 15 Years

Is the world of the living really any better than the world of the dead? The Daily Mail writes:

A homeless man has told how he began sleeping with the dead when he moved into a cemetery 15 years ago. Bratislav Stojanovic, 43, has shared the burial plot with the ashes of a a family who died out more than 100 years ago in Nis, Serbia. The family who owned the tomb is unknown as the names have eroded from the gravestone.

Mr. Stojanovic, who has never had a regular job, lost his home in town after running up debts. He moved into the grave and now spends his time foraging in the out-of-use cemetery for candles.

Mr. Stojanovic said that living with the dead isn’t as scary as some might think: “I was afraid in the beginning, but I got used to it in time. Now I am more afraid of the living than of the dead.”

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Mushroom Death Suit

5934717321_bb03e77a6d_bSomeday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

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Russian Bears Dig Through Graveyards For Food

Russian bears have been seen rummaging through graveyards after their usual food supply has disappeared. This grave robber’s had a survival method which was unexpected to it’s meals’ loved ones. The Guardian reports:

From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat, leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one. But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realised there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body.

Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemeteries, alarmed officials said today. Bears’ traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.

The Vezhnya Tchova incident took place on Saturday in the northern republic of Komi, near the Arctic Circle. The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear’s already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported.

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