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.”).
“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.”
“…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…”