E.A. Poe’s terrifying book (“The Premature Burial”) scared me, when read it as a child. I understand that it scared a LOT of people in the 19th century-so much so that they devised all kinds of weird devices, intended to allow people to signal that they were alive (stuff like bells attached to the “corpse’s” hands, so he/she could alert people to dig them up). Recently, I read of a guy in Vermont, who had a window installed in his coffin-this was connected to a tube, covered with glass, which protruded from the grave-so people could check on him. Do any of these graves still survive? are there any records of anybody actually being buried alive? -and saved by these devices? How about today-does anybody get buried with a cellphone? At least, you could place a call in short order!
Why am I unsurprised that there are individuals who request the provision of a cell phone in their coffins.
In case it takes an unseemly amount of time for the coffin-dweller to wake up, one funeral service in South Africa is solicitous in providing spare batteries for the phone.
It occurs to me that this precautionary measure fails to address the commitment of the person responsible for paying the bills. If it was me, and I hadn’t heard from the deceased in a couple of months or so, I might be inclined to cancel the phone contract purely for reasons of economy.
Stepping back in time to 1996, Tuscan watchmaker Fabrizio Caselli:
Sales figures for this item are currently unavailable.
Dunno about in the UK, but in the US you can frequently (always?) still call emergency management with a disconnected cell phone.
Still won’t work if the cell phone in question has no battery power, though.
Even with battery power and a free number to call, it might be difficult to get a signal from six feet underground.
If you survived the embalming and the 15-20 minutes worth of air inside the casket first…
What happens if you choose to be cremated. There’s no need to embalm such a person. Is any scenario possible where a person appears dead but is put into the fire still aware? I’ve read the poison from the puffer fish for example can mimic death with the person being aware of everything happening around them.
In that case the mortician will stab you to death with a trocar.
Two problems with this: first, I’ve never heard this about puffer fish. More importantly, people aren’t cremated at the drive-thru window! You’re looking at a gap of several days. There’s death, then sometimes an autopsy, then cremation and/or embalming, and a funeral or whatever else several days later. Show me a poison that would leave a person aware but with no signs of life for 72 hours or more and this becomes plausible. Observant Jews try to bury the dead within 72 hours of mortal coil off-shuffling, if my memory is right, and that’s considered on the fast side.
You’d use a pre-loaded PAYG phone, wouldn’t you? And in the U.K., all handsets must be able to dial emergency numbers (999, 112 etc) at all times.
And, as the Mythbusters found out, the weight of all that earth crushing the casket. Jamie was a spectacularly good sport, being buried alive with an oxygen source and a night vision camera … until the casket lid began to buckle.
Well, all that is true, and perhaps I should have treated the subject with more respect rather than make flippant remarks about economy.
It is a difficult concept to take seriously given the comments upthread about lack of air and the difficulty of obtaining any kind of signal from a coffin.