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Haunted

7 People Who Lived Our Worst Fear By Being Buried Alive

posted: 10/01/16
by: Sasha Brown-Worsham
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    There is no nightmare quite as horrific as the one in which you are buried alive. The suffocating fear. The panic rising. The sense that you are running out of both time and air. For those of us who have had this nightmare, it’s one of our biggest fears.

    For these seven doomed souls, it was also a nightmare they actually lived!

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    Lavrinia Merli

    Credit: Thinkstock

    She was just a pregnant Italian peasant girl back in 1890 when she "died" from what was then deemed "hysterics." Two days later, for reasons unknown, her tomb was opened where she was found to have awakened to a living nightmare that only got worse. At some point, she turned over in the coffin and gave birth to her child who also died in their premature grave. It's hard to imagine a more horrific way to go.

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    Mina El-Houari

    Credit: High Contrast via Wikimedia Commons

    On May 19, 2014, Mina El-Houari arrived in Fez, Morocco from her native France to meet with a man she'd fallen for online. She checked into a hotel and went to meet him for their first date. According to him, they had a lovely time until she collapsed, seemingly dead. He did not call the police or an ambulance and chose, instead, for unknown reasons, to bury her in his garden. When her family reported her missing and they tracked her to Morocco, they discovered the horror. As it turns out, she hadn't been dead at all, but an undiagnosed diabetic who had fallen into a diabetic coma before being buried alive. He was charged with manslaughter.

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    Angelo Hays

    Credit: Thinkstock


    In 1937, Angelo Hays was riding his bike and got into an accident. Shortly, thereafter, he was declared dead. Later, for insurance reasons his body was exhumed. And it's a good thing, too. Since he was still alive. The head injury had caused his system to shut down temporarily, making him appear dead. He later invented a "security coffin" that came with a chemical toilet and radio transmitter. He became quite well known in his native France.

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    Little Girl in India

    Credit: Ghosh Ujjwal via Wikimedia Commons

    This story is even disturbing in a series of disturbing stories. A 6-year-old girl in India was taken from her home by a married couple who lived next door. They apparently buried her in a field, something that was only discovered when concerned witnesses saw three people go into a field and only two emerge. The girl was OK, but the couple escaped. Their horrible motive remains unclear.

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    Russian Man Who Did It On Purpose



    In 2011, a 35-year-old Russian man got it into his head that burying himself six feet under for 24 hours would somehow change the course of his life and make him very lucky (don't ask). The man, from outside the city of Blagoveshchensk, got some help from a friend to construct a coffin, replete with air piping, a single bottle of water, and a cell phone. Apparently the man called the friend to tell him he was OK at one point, but then a rain storm later blocked the air pipe and the man suffocated. In his own grave. Talk about an awful way to go.

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    Lawrence Cawthorn



    London butcher Lawrence Cawthorn became very ill in 1661. His landlady hastened his death pronouncement as she was eager to take his things and he was buried at a nearby chapel.

    Later, moans were heard coming from beneath the ground and people dug out his grave only to find Cawthorn wearing a shroud that was completely shredded. His head was bloody, his eyes were swollen and he'd clearly beaten it against the coffin, trying to escape.

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    Essie Dunbar



    In 1915, Essie Dunbar, 30, suffered a "fatal" epileptic seizure in her home in South Carolina. The funeral was delayed to allow Dunbar's sister to make it, but she just missed it. So grief stricken, she refused to take no for an answer, she demanded that her sister be exhumed so she could see her one last time. According to legend, Essie sat up and smiled. And then she lived for another 47 years. Wow.

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