After reading the comments on yesterday’s posts you all seemed to have fairly strong views on being buried alive. Hardly surprising really, it is quite a terrible thing to imagine happening to you.
Since yesterday’s article was about an unloved wife and a disappointed husband I thought that I would share this happier one about an almost-corpse with a sense of humour.
This article from 1899 tells us the story of a man who was lucky enough to escape from being incorrectly interred and getting a lovely night at a grand ball in the same evening.
In Madrid a gentleman’s body was bought to the undertaker for burial. Fortunately for him the custom in Spain was to dress the deceased in full evening dress and not to nail the coffin lid shut.
The undertakers premises were also his home and that night he was throwing a grand ball.
During the festivities a slightly familiar man joined the company. He danced with both the undertaker’s wife and daughter and seemed to have a great time.
At the end of the night all the guests but one had left. When the undertaker offered to organize a lift home for this extra guest he was shocked to be told that he was already staying in the house and identified himself as the corpse who was delivered earlier in the day.
The undertaker rushed downstairs and found that the coffin was indeed empty.
It was revealed that the man had not been dead, but in a trance. The noise of the revelry from above awoke him and he decided to join the party as a joke.
To me the most unusual part of this article was that the mistakenly dead man was able to join the party after his awakening. I have noticed that these stories of unexpected resurrection don’t usually mention the renewed vitality of the revived person. Generally they are awake but not very animate, and often die within days or weeks again anyway.
This man showed remarkable presence of mind too, people waking up in a coffin they didn’t go to sleep in usually don’t wake up ready for a joke. I expect that if they are capable of reacting there is mainly screaming and shouting!
Would he be able to collect on life insurance policy ? Get a refund on funeral and casket ?
It sounds a bit like the undertaker would have been at risk from a heat attack, perhaps the coffin won’t stay too empty for too long!
Not much of a headline, either: “A Dancing Corpse”. How about “Man, at Own Wake, Comes Alive and Joines Festivites”? The copy editor must have either been drunk or hungover.
They really were concise with their headlines weren’t they? Saving ink? 😉
Nope, just drunk and lazy.
-grin- if this was his swan song then he certainly made the most of it!
I am amazed that he was so close to death that he was in his coffin one minute only to dance the night away the next!
Narcolepsy? No wait, that’s sleep isn’t it.
I wonder what the reception was when he went home. A corpse in evening dress walking through the door is enough to give someone a heart attack. Of corpse, he could have phoned home first I suppose. groan.
I wonder if they spent all of their money on the evening wear to send him off properly? If the family were reduced to bread and water and he waltzed in the door all togged up I doubt the reception would have been too warm!
Can’t really return a suit that was previously worn by a corpse either, can you?
Whatever the facts/truth behind the story — it’s still a fantastic tale. (Perhaps in every definition of fantastic.)
How can we not want this one to be true!
I second Candy’s opinion! This one has a fairy tale feel to it, really. Are you sure you aren’t prepping to write a novel? You’ve found some great fabulist tales to kick it off!
No novel here, if I did it would probably be with the shortest chapters and most disjointed storyline ever! I wish I could think of things that were too fabulous to be real but I couldn’t come up with anything that hasn’t ‘happened’ before 🙂
Oh, there’s a lot of argument about the number, but really, there are only about 27-ish plots out there to begin with.
And truth really is stranger than fiction, which is why fiction writers clip things from newspapers and keep them on file.
Have you ever seen “Stranger Than Fiction” with Emma Thompson and Will Farrell? I think you might like it!
I haven’t seen that one. I’ll have to look out for it.
Truth really is stranger than fiction. I would love to know for sure how many of the strange tales I post are really true and how many have been made up by a lazy, yet creative, reporter 🙂
I did a piece on Our Sunday Best that included the discussion of all the possible plots and the arguments about those plots. I wonder, too, how many of them are true. You find the best ones, honestly. : )
Sometimes I could just jump around with excitement with the wonderful stories I find. It is amazing what the most bland search term will come up with after a bit of digging 🙂
I feel the same way about some of the images and photographs I come across in the established common sources, but still— you’ve got quite an eye for the absurd, Metan!