Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gone too soon

This chilling story comes from an 1827 pamphlet.

A Mrs. Blunden, of Basingstoke, was found lifeless by her maid, Anne, one morning. Mrs. Blunden suffered from depression, and was in the habit of taking cordials. Anne went for the housekeeper and a family friend in the house; Mrs. Blunden was motionless and, apparently, not breathing.

The family doctor was then called. He held a mirror in front of her mouth to check her breathing, and the mirror didn't fog. Even he was baffled, so he recommended waiting forty hours before taking any further measures. Six days later, with her husband having returned from business, preparations were made for her funeral.

The night before the funeral, two of the female servants kept watch over the body. Suddenly, one of them saw Mrs. Blunden's left hand move. The other servant noticed the lady's head and eyelids moving, which was enough for them; they ran for the servants' quarters. The male staff members escorted them back to Mrs. Blunden's room, but no further movement was seen.

The following night, Mrs. Blunden was placed in a vault of the local chapel.

A few days later, some local boys were playing near the vault when they heard a strange noise that seemed to come from inside it. They ran for their schoolmaster, who accompanied them to the vault and heard the noises too.  The schoolmaster notified Mr. Blunden immediately.

The vault and the coffin were opened, showing that Mrs. Blunden had undoubtedly been buried alive. Blood was spattered all over the inside of the coffin, and her forehead and knuckles, which she had used to beat against the lid, were horribly battered. By now, the poor lady really was dead, of suffocation and blood loss.

Not long after this discovery was made, Mr. Blunden's housekeeper was doing some sewing when she glanced up to see Mrs. Blunden's ghost sitting in a chair, facing her. The ghost pointed to its forehead, showing the wounds it had sustained, while the eyes stared blankly. The housekeeper, terrified, closed her eyes and kept them shut for some time. When she dared to open them, the ghost was gone.

Not long after this incident, a carpenter in the area was returning home one evening when he saw a white-clad woman approaching him. He touched his hat when he recognized her as Mrs. Blunden; she passed him without making a sound.

When the carpenter came home, he told his wife what had happened. His wife turned white and blurted out: "You could not have seen Mrs. Blunden because she was buried two weeks ago."

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