Monday, April 8, 2013

Illustration Friday - Urban

Listed on as the fifth Creepiest Urban Legends (That Happen's to be True) is the phenomenon of being "Buried Alive"!!

The Legend (to quote the website):
"Some poor schmuck is committed to his or her eternal resting place, even though they aren’t quite ready to take that final dirt nap. Scratch marks are later found on the coffin lid along with other desperate signs of escape."

The Truth:  
"This not only happened, but back in the day it happened with alarming regularity. In the late 19th century, William Tebb tried to compile all the instances of premature burial from medical sources of the day. He managed to collect 219 cases of near-premature burial, 149 cases of actual premature burial and a dozen cases where dissection or embalming had begun on a not-yet-deceased body."

"The concern over being buried alive back then was so real that the must-have hot-ticket item for the wealthy and paranoid were "safety coffins" that allowed those inside to signal to the outside world (usually by ringing a bell or raising some type of flag) should they awake 6-feet under. Though, answering that bell sounds like a good way to get ambushed by a zombie if you ask us."

"Unfortunately safety coffins aren’t in vogue anymore, so if you’re at the cemetery and hear a muffled voice calling out "OK guys, joke’s over. Let me out!" it might be a good idea to inform someone with a shovel quickly!!!!"

Nathan Birch on


  1. Clair, this is funny, but at the same time, it is not, I can imagine myself clawing at the coffin lid, eh, my skin bristles
    anyway you have done with a lot of fun, and that's where the artist appears
    right on the border between one thing and another, right on the edge
    to show us a reality from another point of view
    Congratulations friend!!! :)

  2. Fascinating, morbid, & alarming! what does it say about me that I love this post?! LOL!! Both pieces are great!!! Especially love the wild hair in the top one, & the shoes in the bottom!!! As always, great work, Claire! I love visiting here!

  3. Eeek! I think the movie was "Serpent and the Rainbow" with Bill Paxton. Was about voodoo and this drug that made you seem dead so you would be buried alive. Too scary. Yikes. I love those women with the wild, wild hair!

  4. This is great!!..Both e the drawing and the collage.I nearly used an Urban legend story for the 'urban' word but I haven't done that one yet..

  5. I like the collage one, with the shoes... Colours great.

  6. What a great take on Urban! Both these chaps seem to have been very popular with the ladies... if they aren't really dead, then it they surely must be scenes from diagnosis murder! I think those ladies in the top image may have given too much pop to that chap, he doesn't know where he is taking a nap! Loving the palette of the collage too :)

  7. great job! both! But that collage is really great, love the arm coming out and the drawn flowers in hand.

  8. Well thanks very much for the sleepless nights and hours of terror, Claire! Actually there are a few movies about this, including one that ends with the guy waking up in the coffin and just flicking his cigarette lighter on and off, on and off, as the butane runs out... not that it haunts me, or anything. I mean I can hardly remember it. Really. I'm glad you brought this up. I love the colour theme and composition and flowers in the collage too.

  9. I believe that's why embalming became the norm. What if your scheduled for cremation and you suddenly wake up as thy're shutting the door on the furnace. Okay, my creepy mind has gone to far again..

    There's an old episode of Boris Karloff's 'Thriller' that deals exclusively with a safety coffin burial with a bell. Scared the poop outa me as a kid.