A bit of History on Halloween related things!

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Archaeology' started by Debi, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Debi

    Debi
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    Buried Alive
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    The Legend:
    Some poor schmuck is committed to his or her eternal resting place, even though they aren’t quite ready to take that final dirt nap. Scratch marks are later found on the coffin lid along with other desperate signs of escape.

    The Truth:
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    This not only happened, but back in the day it happened with alarming regularity. In the late 19th century, William Tebb tried to compile all the instances of premature burial from medical sources of the day. He managed to collect 219 cases of near-premature burial, 149 cases of actual premature burial and a dozen cases where dissection or embalming had begun on a not-yet-deceased body.

    Now, this may seem ridiculous, but keep in mind this was an era before doctors such as the esteemed Dr. Gregory House gained the ability to solve any ailment within 42 minutes. If you went to the doctor with the flu in those days, he’d likely cover you in leeches and prescribe you heroin to suppress your cough. Their only method for determining if a person had died was to lean over their face and scream "WAKE UP" over and over again. If you didn't react, they buried you.

    The concern over being buried alive back then was so real that the must-have hot-ticket item for the wealthy and paranoid were "safety coffins" that allowed those inside to signal to the outside world (usually by ringing a bell or raising some type of flag) should they awake 6-feet under. Though, answering that bell sounds like a good way to get ambushed by a zombie if you ask us.

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    Unfortunately safety coffins aren’t in vogue anymore, so if you’re at the cemetery and hear a muffled voice calling out "OK guys, joke’s over. Let me out!" it might be a good idea to inform someone with a shovel quickly.

    Of course, that last sentence was merely facetious, there’s no way something like this could still happen today. Uh, well, except for this story about a Venezuelan man waking up during his autopsy. On second thought, you might want to consider adding a line in your will that states you’re to be buried with a gas-powered auger in your casket when you go.
     
  2. Frankietoronto

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    I tried this back in my swain days, hoping to espy my future wife. From time to time an image would begin to materialize, then >POOF< would vanish before coming into full view. My sisters-( The wicked witches of the east and west) reasoned that the potential future wives would get a quick look at me, and then disappear back into the ether before I could get a good look at them. I was no Sean Connery, but sheesh I wasn't THAT unappealing!
     
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  3. Frankietoronto

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    That looks like President Lincoln in the box. Pretty sure honest Abe was a goner and this illustration was for demonstration purposes only.
     
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  4. Frankietoronto

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    Not that squeemie overhead, the 3rd one down. Also, that is where we get the saying.."His face rings a bell"...from!
     
  5. 7Christie

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    The Origin of the Jack O'Lantern


    JackOLantern.jpg

    The Legend of “Stingy Jack”
    (From History of the Jack O’ Lantern - Halloween - HISTORY.com)


    People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

    Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

    In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.
     
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