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Petrifying Accounts of Premature Burial

Death is scary but being buried alive is more petrifying. Recorded cases of premature burial also known as vivisepulture, are either intentional such as murder or accidental due to catalepsy or coma.

Premature burial is also known as vivisepulture (


In 1915, the little community of Blackville in South Carolina was put into panic when a woman who was proclaimed dead sat up in her coffin and smiled.

Essie Dunbar suffered an epilepsy attack and showed no signs of life. She was declared dead by Dr. D. K Briggs.  The funeral was arranged for the next day so that Essie’s sister who live next town could participate. The ceremony was long but her sister had still not arrived. The preachers decided to lower her coffin into the grave.

Few minutes later, the sister arrived and requested to dig up the coffin for her to see Essie one last time. When the coffin cover was opened, Essie sat up and smiled at her sister.  Everyone was shocked and could not believe what they were witnessing. When Essie climbed out of the grave, everyone tried to escape, afraid she turned to become zombie.

For many years, the town was suspicious of Essie accusing her of being a witch and a zombie. She died, her final death in 1955.


Neysi Perez was 16 years old and three months pregnant living in Honduras. She collapsed after she panicked when gun battle occurred near her home. She was exorcised by a local priest when she began to foam at her mouth, believing her to be possessed by evil. During exorcism, she stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors proclaimed her dead.

When grieving Rudy Gonzales visited the grave of his wife a day after the Burial, he heard banging and screaming inside her Concrete Tomb. Ecstatic, he called the other family members and forced open the concrete tomb with a sledgehammer.

When doctors medically checked her, it was too late. But they reported that her body was still temperate and that rigor mortis had not set in. She also had scratches on her forehead and bruises on her fingers.

Neysi Perez banged and screamed inside her concrete tomb (


Shakereh Namazie was a member of an aristocratic Indian Muslim family in India. She married Akbar Mirza Khaleeli when she was 18 in an arranged marriage and again to Murali Manohar Mishra, also known as Swami Shradhananda.

Shakereh went missing in April 1991. Her family exerted efforts to find her and asked the Ashok Nagar Police for help. They grew suspicious when Swami refused to cooperate with the investigations, avoiding questions from the family, friends and legal authorities of the state. In 1994, the police found her remains buried in the courthouse of her own house.

Investigations revealed that Shakereh was drugged then placed inside a box covered with mattress. She was suffocated that led her to her death.  When police removed the mattress, her hands were gripping the mattress while the sides of the box was scratched with her nails.

Swami was arrested after confessing to the crime.


A South African man woke up and found himself in a cold box inside the Johannesburg morgue. Sipho William Mdletshe was declared dead after a traffic accident. He was brought to a mortuary where he spent his next 48 hours.

After two days, the staff at the morgue heard his screams when he regained consciousness from his coma. Mdletshe was taken out and checked by physicians.

He went to see his girlfriend who was also with him and was injured in the accident. However, his girlfriend refused to see him because she thought he was a zombie and came back to haunt her.

A baby boy was buried for eight days before being discovered (


Lu Fenglian was collecting herbs in the mountains of Guangxi province in southern China when she heard a crying Baby. Fear crept into her as she believed the mountain is haunted. She sought the help of the 75-year-old priest, Zhao Shimin from the nearby Siping Temple.

They looked for the source of the crying from the unmarked graves. The crying was coming from underground. They called the police and dug a cardboard box submerged five centimeters below the surface.

The police discovered a baby boy believed to be buried for eight days. The baby was dumped by his parents in because of a cleft lip. The baby was brought to the Tian Dong County People’s Hospital. Doctors were taken aback when the baby coughed out a black substance. It was reported that the substance was dirt the baby swallowed. The baby miraculously survived after days of medical attention.

Authorities tracked down the parents but failed to arrest due to lack of evidence.

Source:  Caleb Wilde  SMH    Daily Mail  Philly  Wikipedia

Further Reading

Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear

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Petrifying Accounts of Premature Burial


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