True Stories of Being Buried Alive

Snopes is definitely one of the best things to ever happen to the internet–maybe the world. The smart-but-snarky duo behind the website has saved me from many a well-intended grandparent spam message (“No, Grandpa, I don’t need to look under my car for someone who might slash my ankles…Snopes says it isn’t true. Ok, ok…I’ll check anyway. Love you too.”).

I didn’t realize it may also be such an incredible font for story ideas and research…until I found this article: Just Dying to Get Out
True stories of people who were buried alive.
If that doesn’t send a flutter through your belly, I don’t know what will. Maybe this:
“In the 1850s, a young girl visiting Edisto Island, South Carolina, died of diphtheria. She was quickly interred in a local family’s mausoleum because it was feared the disease might otherwise spread. When one of the family’s sons died in the Civil War, the tomb was opened to admit him. A tiny skeleton was found on the floor just behind the door.”
Or maybe this punishment for vestal virgins who were found to be unchaste in Roman days:
“…a narrow room is constructed, to which a descent is made by stairs; here they prepare a bed, and light a lamp, and leave a small quantity of victuals, such as bread and water, a pail of milk, and some oil; so that body which had been consecrated and devoted to the most sacred service of religion might not be said to perish by such a death as famine. The culprit herself is put in a litter, which they cover over, and tie her down with cords on it, so that nothing she utters may be heard. Then they take her to the Forum…when they come to the place of execution, the officers loose the cords, and then the high priest, lifting his hands to heaven, pronounces certain prayers to himself before the act; then he brings out the prisoner, being still covered, and placing her upon the steps that lead down to the cell, turns away his face…the stairs are drawn up after she has gone down, and a quantity of earth is heaped up over the entrance to the cell…”
So now we know: Snopes is good for a whole lot more than just crazy urban legend-busting. It’s also good for giving yourself nightmares.

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s