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10 Eye-Opening Online Courses You Can Take in October 2019

Natural History written in 77 CE. [1969001] The fear of being buried alive may be an ancient obsession with Pliny the Elder. But the golden age for this particular phobia was the victorian era, when a sensationalist presses with a public fascination with death (and some spotty science) to create a cottage industry. One Thousand Persons Buried Alive by their Best Friends

Getting trapped six feet deep inside a coffin was a favorite plot device for Gothic writers, as it was for Edgar Allan Poe, whose 1844 story, "The Premature Burial" (among other works), contributed to the public preoccupation with the subject. By 1

891, Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli said they were so widespread it was time to create an official medical term [PDF]. He coined the word taphephobia (Greek for "grave" + "fear"). As Morselli described it, "The taphephobic … is an unhappy person, his every day, his every hour is tormented by the sudden onset of the idea of ​​being buried alive."

Rampant taphephobia thus led to the creation of so-called "Safety coffins," designed to prevent premature burial. Germany alone saw more than 30 of these designs patented in the second half of the 19th century. Some of them have been used to communicate with the living, as well as other tools that were used to ring bells above ground (some safety coffins also included supplies of air, food, and water). In 1822, one Dr. Adolf Gutsmuth of Seehausen, Altmark (modern-day Germany), demonstrated his existence by having himself buried alive, where he "stayed underground for several hours and ate a meal of soup, beer, and sausages served through the coffin's feeding tube." 19659002] Ten famous taphephobes are listed below, and are not all gripped by a full-blown phobia.

1. Hans Christian Andersen

According to his biographer Jackie Wullschlager, Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen was deathly afraid of being buried alive. Dorothea and Moritz Melchior in Copenhagen, as well as the end neared, beg Dorothea to cut his veins after he'd breathed what appeared to be his last breath.

The note was a fixture of Andersen's bedside table-some say he even wore it around his neck. Andersen was more than a little neurotic, and being buried alive was far from his only fear. According to Wullschlager, he says, "he is afraid of trichinosis."

2. Frédéric Chopin

In his last written message, composer Frédéric Chopin is believed to have penned the words: "The earth is suffocating. Swear to make them cut me open, so I do not want to be buried alive. "Chopin's precise cause of death has never been determined, (some biographers translate the scrawled word" earth "as" cough "-Chopin was diagnosed with tuberculosis.) although researchers have long wanted to study his heart, entombed in alcohol in the pillar of a Warsaw church, to test the theory that he might have died of cystic fibrosis.

3. George Washington

A few hours before he died, George Washington said to his secretary, "I'm just going . " The request is not uncommon for his time:

His nephew, United States Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington, which even more explicit in his protections against premature burial. He told his doctor: "[M] y thumbs are not tied to-nor anything put on my face or any restraint upon my person by bandages, & c. Respiratory if resuscitation should take place as long as possible ascertained decay may have occurred or not, the coffin is to be closed up. "

4. Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Edward Bulwer-Lytton is to blame for the phrase "It's a dark and stormy night." (The line has since spawned the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, where entrants compete each year to create the worst opening lines in the literature.) But what's the matter? "(1965) 5th Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. Although it was invented for non-military purposes, it was brought to peace by making it unpalatable. The Nobel Prizes were created by his will, which left the bulk of his estate The final portion of Nobel's will, however, reflect a different preoccupation. "He wrote:" It is my express wish that it will be opened, and when

6.Auguste Renoir

According to a memoir by Jean Renoir, the French painter Auguste Renoir expressed a fear of being buried alive. His son insisted a doctor do "whatever was necessary" to ensure the artist was really and truly dead before being buried.

7. Arthur Schopenhauer

According to the historian Jan Bondeson, Arthur Schopenhauer is "freely admitted to a fear of premature interment." He asked for his corpse stay aboveground for five days, so it would be good and rotten before burial.

8. Nikolai Gogol

Russian author Nikolai Gogol (famous for his short story "The Overcoat" and the novel Dead Souls ) which both fascinated and terrified by the prospect of premature burial in a letter to a friend that he could not hear anything, he would say he would not be able to do anything heartbeat.

Supposedly, when Gogol was exhumed several decades later, his body had shifted to what lay on his side, giving rise to a legend tha t his worst fear had come true-he'd been buried alive. While it's tempting to believe in a dramatic story, corpses can shift after death thanks to putrefaction and earth movements.

9. Johann Nepomuk Nestroy

According to Bondeson, Austrian writer Johann Nepomuk Nestroy took elaborate precautions against premature burial:

In his will, he declared that the risk of premature burial was the only thing he feared in his present situation and that his studies on the subject on the subject. His body was being held in an open coffin for two days, in a waiting mortuary. Even after burial,

10.Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, What a British statesman and wit who is now perhaps best known for the letters to his illegitimate son that almost wrote for 30 years, beginning in 1737. (Not everyone was a fan: After the letters were first published in 1774, Samuel Johnson wrote that "the morals of a whore and the manners of a dancing master. ") While not exactly crippled by a fear of premature burial, Stanhope made reference to the predicament in a letter to his son's wife, written in 1769:" All I desire for my own burial is not to be buried alive; but how or where, I think, must be completely indifferent to every rational creature. "

This story was first published in 2015 and republished in 2019.

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