In this situation it’s hard to tell just who was more terrified: The man waking up in a body bag and having no idea how he got there or the mortician turning to find that the dead body he was poking at a moment ago has started moving.
The bizarre event occurred in Holmes County, Miss. and involved a man named Walter Williams. Williams was mistakenly thought to have died in his home after being declared dead by a coroner in Lexington, Miss. on Wednesday.
Safe to say the coroner was having a bit of an off day.
Shortly after the error was made, The 78-year-old was transferred to a funeral home in preparation for his upcoming service. Things did not go as planned.
Williams no doubt was glad to “disappoint” everyone. His daughter Martha Lewis was thrilled at miraculous the turn of events.
“His leg started moving. I don’t know how much longer [God’s] going to grace us and bless us with his presence, but hallelujah, we thank him right now, right now!”
The fact that Lewis’s father chose to wake from his lengthy slumber right before being embalmed was quite fortunate. Had he held off on making it known he wasn’t dead yet, he would have showed up right on time for his funeral.
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) February 28, 2014
— Clarence Watts (@clarencesdb) March 1, 2014
This is hardly the first case of persons being declared dead prematurely.
There was one noted case of a 40-year-old shoemaker who was pronounced dead in 1822. Despite the fact that his dead body didn’t stink and rigor mortis had neglected to set in, he “looked” dead to his friends and family and that was enough.
The funeral went on as planned and it wasn’t until the gravedigger was shoveling on the last lumps of Earth that he suddenly heard knocking coming from the casket. Working quickly, the gravedigger unearthed and opened the casket and found the man moving around inside
Startling instances like this are why waiting mortuaries came into existence.
However, no system of detecting who’s dead and who isn’t is perfect. Even in modern times, mistakes are bound to happen.
Image via Wikimedia Commons