The Grave Tales of Julia and Margorie

Today’s Daily Prompt asks ” what makes you/me nervous ” and I’d have to say in all honesty the idea of being buried alive shakes me up a bit so:

I would like to share with you today the Grave Tales of Julia and Margorie, two unfortunate women who were buried alive.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Julia was marginally luckier then the poor souls who found themselves in the horrific position of being wrapped in a shroud and buried alive, at least she was not trapped in her coffin with a mountain of earth to hold her in her grave.

Julia’s coffin was housed in a mausoleum and when she came to  she was able to push the lid up from her coffin and was able to open the door above it and she was free.

The problem was, she wasn’t able to open the mausoleum door.

Legend has it that years later a  member of her family passed away and when they went to bury this relative of hers, they found a pile of bones and the dress Julia

had been buried in,  in a pile near the mausoleum door.

Photographer Unknown

There is debate about how long a person can live without water.
Some of the reading I’ve done says a healthy person in favorable conditions can go without water for about three days. I’ve also read that it can take up to a week to die.

Julia had been ill and after freeing herself from her grave and expending all of that energy I would guess that she wasn’t in great shape and maybe death came for her ( for real this time ) quickly.

Otherwise we are left with the image of a woman waking up in a tomb with a door- just a single door holding her back from the world of the living and trapping her with the remains of her long dead relatives for at least seven very long days.

Photographer Unknown

A version of Margorie McCalls story turns up in a few stories I’ve read over the years.

The story involves a woman- sometimes it’s a man who is buried with a diamond or ruby ring.
In the dead of night one person ( it’s always just been one person ) goes to the grave, digs the coffin up and opens the lid.

One story that sticks in my mind involves a grave robber who forgot their knife, so they forced to bite the finger of the corpse and of course the corpse turns out to not be a corpse but someone who was buried alive.

If I remember correctly the grave robber kept on biting and chewing and in the end  they got the ring.

Margorie McCall’s story is interesting because it’s said that the robbers couldn’t get the ring off of her finger because her hands were swollen. That detail in itself is pretty gruesome because her robbers were probably members of her family or friends.

So one night after Margorie was buried, her robbers dug her up opened her coffin and began to hack her bejeweled finger off with a saw.
Margorie- unlike the character in works of fiction she inspired woke up and scared off her robbers.

I am glad to say that Margoire got to keep all of her fingers, her ring and I hope that years later when she died ( for real this time ) her family let her cool for a bit before they buried her.

Harry Clarke, “The Premature Burial,” Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1919)

Here ends the Grave Tales of Julia and Margorie.
At least, I think it is the end.