Mysterious Events in History Moving the Coffins of Barbados Part 2

About the mysterious event in history involving moving the coffins of people in barbados.


The vault was becoming infamous. The next funeral, this time for one Samuel Brewster, drew a large crowd of more than 1,000 people, some from Cuba and Haiti. During a wild storm, the lead coffin was carried by 4 black slaves to the vault, where the same bone-chilling scene lay before their eyes--coffins, standing on end, were strewn about the interior.

At this point, the governor of the island, Lord Combermere, became involved. He personally attended the next funeral, that of Mrs. Thomasina Clarke, daughter of Thomasina Goddard, whose coffin had always remained on the shelf where it had been put. Combermere inspected the vault, sounded for a subterranean passage (there was none), and ordered the workmen to replace the upended coffins before bringing in the new one. Then he had the floor covered with fine sand and had a new lock put on the door. Finally, the door was sealed with a coating of cement. Combermere and others stuck their signet rings in it while it was still wet, making permanent impressions.

On April 18, 1820, a sunny day, Combermere opened the vault for the last time. The cement on the door had not been disturbed. After masons broke through it, they were prevented from opening the door more than half an inch by something leaning against it. When they forced the door open, a heavy object fell down the interior steps with a crash--it was a coffin, of course. As they entered the vault, the masons saw a bony arm, that of Dorcas Chase, sticking out through a hole in the side of the coffin. All the other coffins, including that of Mrs. Goddard, were scattered around the vault in complete disorder. Combermere gave up. He had the dead removed elsewhere for burial.

Possible Solutions: Researchers from the London Science Museum and the Society of Psychical Research investigated the mystery of the Barbados coffins but came up with no answers.

It seems unlikely that the coffins were disturbed by earth movements because the vault was located on a bed of coral. There was no underground passage and no entry to the vault except through the front door. Governor Combermere, in his final sealing of the vault, had eliminated any possibility that someone had entered the vault secretly. Jewelry which was placed in the vault was left undisturbed, so it is unlikely that the coffins were being disturbed by grave robbers. Nevertheless, the Elliott vault was abandoned as a final resting place for the Barbados dead.

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