This Halloween, we thought it would be cool to share with you a story of someone who was mistaken for dead and was buried in a grave but was actually alive. It’s a terrifying idea, definitely. Only problem is, many of the stories we dug up about this sort of thing don’t appear to actually be true.

History offers us the story of Alice Blunden from the 17th century, whose family quickly buried her when a quack doctor declared her dead, as they figured she was so fat that she’d quickly stink up the place if they delayed the burial till her husband returned from vacation. Then a boy heard a voice calling from the grave. The family disinterred her, and concluded that she’d died in the coffin, and earlier had just been passed out drunk. They reburied her, then when a medical examiner later dug her up again, he declared that she’d actually been alive even when they’d unearthed her. They’d buried her alive twice, and she’d died the second time.

Spooky story, but contemporary sources don’t document anything unusual about this woman’s death. This might just be a legend invented to warn people against the evils of gluttony and liquor.

Far more recently, in 2014, a story came out of Greece of a woman buried alive. Conflicting reports actually make it sound like two different women were buried alive in the same town. However, the story really boils down to kids saying they heard screams from a grave, and the family believing the woman had been buried alive. A doctor declared that, no, rigor mortis proved she’d been dead all along. In 2015, news out of Honduras talked of a pregnant teenager mistaken for dead during an exorcism and buried, but news sources refer to these events as having “reportedly” or “supposedly” happened. No one has been able to verify it. 

So we’ll let you mull over those unreliable reports, but let’s also tell you something that really did happen. In 2010, following the Haitian earthquake that killed over 100,000 people, a man emerged from the rubble long after rescue efforts had ceased.

Here too, the story started out unconfirmed, with outlets not initially even able to hammer down the man’s name. But once all follow-ups ended, the truth was that Evans Monsignac had indeed been pulled from the rubble 27 days after the earthquake struck. He had had no food during those weeks, resulting in his losing 60 pounds, but he had survived by drinking sewage. In the hospital, he pulled out his feeding tubes, severely disoriented. They later transferred him to an American facility where he slowly recovered.

Oh, right: He recovered. This story has a happy ending, and we apologize if that ruins it as a Halloween tale. 

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For more crazy survival stories, check out:

Getting Cut ... In Half

Russian Base Jumper Does a Wile E. Coyote Jump into Snow

The Drumming Man vs. the Kalahari Desert

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Top image: Marco Dormino

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