Edited by Brian P. Pace, MA, Assistant Editor.
There are probably few persons endowed with lively imaginations who
have not at some time in their lives had grewsome fancies about being buried
alive, that is if the idea has ever been suggested to them. It forms the theme
of many sensational tales of fiction, and is so much a matter of common belief
that few would be disposed to question its possibility, or its occasional
occurrence. In certain continental European cities this possibility is so
fully credited that waiting vaults are guarded and watched mortuaries are
kept up at public or private expense in the cemeteries, where all bodies are
kept for a certain period before interment, so as to prevent any such occurrence.
These are not generally so managed as to insure absolute safety from such
accidents, yet they relieve the public apprehension, and may under certain
circumstances be occasionally, though it must be very rarely, effective in
preventing a premature burial.
PREMATURE BURIAL.. JAMA. 1998;279(3):182L. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.182