posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 12:32 AM
Well, you know the origin of the terms "dead ringer" and "graveyard shift"? Back in the olden days coffins were reused after awhile and many were
found with scratch marks on the inside of the lids. This led rich people who were afraid of being buried alive to hire people to watch over their
graves at night. A string was attached to the wrist of the corpse and the other end of it to a bell placed over the filled-in plot.
I just got back from vacation in Saint Augustine and happened through the original Ripley's Believe It or Not museum where I picked up a copy of the
Ripley's "Encyclopedia of the Bizarre." There's a section of seven or so tales of "temporary corpses" of folks who were pronounced dead who
really weren't. Interesting stuff. That story of the Venezuelan guy on the morgue table would fit right in.
There's a humorous one of a Dutch court painter in the 17th century who was pronounced dead by the court physician. The painter had apparently been
a mean and harsh master who happened to despise wine and would never, ever let it touch his lips. So to spite him, before he could be buried his
servants poured wine down the throat of his "corpse" and he sprang back to life.
Then of course there's Romeo and Juliet, but there's lots of doubt as to whether or not Shakespeare made it all up or not. Kinda similar.