Mom Was Right
“The Coffin Blew Up
”Many Difficulties Attend the Burial of Mrs. John Peterson
“Sedalia, Mo., July 21 —A most singular burial took place at Springfork, fifteen miles distant from this city, Saturday. […] Last Thursday Mrs. Peterson died of dropsy. At the time of her death she was a remarkably large woman, weighing nearly three hundred pounds.
“Immediately after Mrs. Peterson died arrangements were made for the funeral. The largest casket to be procured in this city was the exact measurement required at the time of death, but as it was not delivered until Friday morning the body had swollen so much that it was crowded into the casket with much difficulty. The lid was then screwed down, and the body left in that condition for burial. Ice could not be procured. The funeral services were set for Saturday afternoon and, as is customary, a number of neighbors acted as watchers Friday night. At midnight the watchers were startled by a loud report in the room where the coffin had been placed. It was found that the gases of the body had accumulated within the casket until their force burst the glass over the face of Mrs. Peterson. So great was the force of the explosion that the body was shot forward and upward, the head protruding from the coffin.”
And the story only gets better—if possible.
“A consultation was held and it was decided that owing to the condition of the body the burial should take place at once.”
At midnight. The ideal time to head out to the graveyard with a 300 pound body hangin’ out of an exploded coffin.
”The grave having been prepared the coffin was carried to the burial place and strong ropes were placed under the casket. Just as the coffin was being lowered one of the assistants let go of his end of the rope. This threw the weight to the head of the coffin and the ropes were jerked from the hands of the men stationed there. The coffin fell with great force, head down, and burst into pieces. Another consultation was held and it was decided to fill up the grave at once without waiting for another casket.”
The original news clipping was dug up at the Improbable Research Blog.
posted by Harrison at 9:06 PM