I loved this article, the lesson it teaches us is to be careful with the dead, just in case they disappoint you by not being dead enough.
A termagant is a quarrelsome, scolding woman, so it is no wonder her long-suffering husband was in a haste to see her buried after she choked at dinner one night.
Unfortunately for him the ones given the responsibility of carrying her coffin down the stairs didn’t take as much care as they should have.
After a particularly violent collision in a corner a knocking was immediately heard from within. Fortunately for the not-so-deceased wife the bearers didn’t do what so many of us would, turf the coffin over the side of the bannister and run for our lives.
One thing I was curious about was why such an unpleasant wife was only heard knocking from the inside of her coffin.
Surely if you had a reputation for being quarrelsome you wouldn’t knock politely and await assistance, you would be giving everyone within earshot a piece of your mind.
That would be no guarantee of release though, would it? Perhaps the bearers would just pretend they heard nothing and give the coffin a bit of extra rough treatment in return. Maybe holding her tongue this time was the smartest thing she ever did!
I found this article after reading a post on Candy’s Monsters titled The Coffin Corner Question. In it she introduced us to coffin corners, something I had never heard of before. These are niches built into the corners of twisty staircases supposedly to make getting awkward shaped objects, like coffins, downstairs.
Different sources in Candy’s post both confirm and deny that niches in old staircases were created for this purpose. Whether it is true or not, I expect that this Ayrshire joiner wished that he had added a few to his own staircase!