Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Death By Coffin


The following weird account was reported by the New York Times on July 28, 1856:

On Saturday night last, a man who resided in Twenty-ninth-street was killed in a most singular manner. The following are the peculiar circumstances, as far as our reporter has been able to learn them -- for, in consequence of the opinion entertained concerning his relatives by the deceased, who was a man of considerable wealth and respectability, they have made great effort to keep the particulars from the public ear.

It appears that nearly a year ago the deceased, who was fifty-three years of age, became strongly impressed with an idea that, when he should die, the parsimonious disposition of his relatives would lead them to put him in a cheap coffin, while he had a strong desire to be buried in one of polished rosewood, lined with white satin and trimmed with silver. Soon after this strange idea got possession of his mind, he discovered an elegant coffin in one of the principal warehouses, which suited him. He purchased it for $75; had it sent to his residence at nightfall, and stowed it away in a small closet adjoining his bed-room, where it remained until the time of the accident.


How it occurred is not known to a certainty, for the first intimation the family had of the lamentable occurrence was from a servant, who, on going to call him to breakfast, found the door wide open and the deceased lying upon the floor, dead, with his coffin at his side. She screamed, which soon brought the family, and on raising the body the skull was found crushed in upon the brain. He was discovered about 8 o'clock yesterday morning, when, to all appearance, he had been dead several hours.

On examining the closet, a bottle containing a quantity of sherry wine was found, and as Saturday night was excessively warm, he is supposed to have gone to the closet in order to procure the wine to use with some ice-water he had on a small table by his bedside. It is thought that he must have sought for it in the dark, and by some mistake upset the coffin, which stood nearly upright. Becoming sensible that it was falling, he probably made an effort to get away, when he fell, and the outer end struck his head with sufficient force to fracture his skull and cause almost immediate death.

The inquest will be held with all possible secrecy. The unfortunate impression of the deceased concerning his relatives is a sufficient reason for withholding the names of the parties.

I've heard of people dying by way of coffins / caskets previously...but dying by your own coffin is a new one to me. Here is an odd 'death by coffin' scenario:

A Brazilian woman has died after being struck by her husband's coffin when the hearse they were travelling in was involved in a car crash.

The 67-year-old woman was on the way to the cemetery to bury her husband, who had died the day before.

The hearse was struck from behind by an Alfa Romeo car, police said.

The coffin slammed into the head of the woman, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the hearse, killing her instantly, according to officers.

Marciana Silva Barcelos and her family were on the way to a cemetery in the town of Alvorada in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, for the funeral of her partner, Josi Silveira Coimbra.

The 76-year-old man had died of a heart attack on Sunday after attending a dance.

Following the accident, the driver of the Alfa Romeo was trapped for around 50 minutes in the wreckage and was taken to hospital where he was put under observation.

The driver of the hearse and a son of the dead man, who was also travelling in the hearse, were treated for minor injuries.

An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the accident.

Into the Light: Real Life Stories About Angelic Visits, Visions of the Afterlife, and Other Pre-Death Experiences

Death Row Chaplain: Unbelievable True Stories from America's Most Notorious Prison

Death Scene Investigation: A Field Guide

Messages From the Light: True Stories of Near-Death Experiences and Communication from the Other Side


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