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Episode 17: Broken Fingernails

2015-10-12 | 🔗

We leave our loved ones there after they’ve passed. We treat the space with reverence and solemn deference. Cemeteries are meant to be a final resting place. Sometimes, though, the ones who should be gone try to come back.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For many cultures, the funeral is the last by its final, chance to say what need said or do what needs done. In order to honour the ones we ve lost, but why, The methods and purpose behind these rituals can vary drastically from one culture to the next one thing in common The vast majority, the burial we bury our dead for an incredibly long time and we ve gotten very good at it. Every year, archaeologist open new tools that date back millennia. Each one teaching us something new about the cultures that time has caused us to forget. Central to each of these discoveries is the best
What's the techniques, the beliefs, the ritual, but is not just about the dead, the practice of honouring and burying our loved ones is just as much our own feelings of loss in grief as it is about our responsibility to care for those who passed away no place personifies the active burial more than the local cemetery. With their green lawns and neat rows of pale stones, radio, it's our unique among urban constructions, respectfully avoided by some and obsessed over by others Whenever beliefs, you might hold or a pin. And you might have about them graveyards or a special place Even king explored the alluring power of graveyard in his novel had cemetery in the story. The cemetery is poor, between our world and another is a place of transformation of transition and miss
and while we might not be digging shallow graves for our pets in hopes that they'll return to us in the night, we've never lost our fascination with those places. Cemeteries have always been seen as the end of Ernie, whether you believe in a Heaven or not the gravy, is where most of us will go when our time is up. For some, however, the story doesn't always end there. Some things it seems here be buried. I married. Maybe this is more for a very long time. Burial in Europe was limited churchyards. It made sense with vast majority of Europeans holding to the christian faith. All of them
and to be very close to their place of worship. But politics held sway, Even in these quiet, humble places of burial brought Europe, it was common the fine cemeteries that separated protestant and catholic graves there is it Jeanne example of this near the dutch town of reform and where a couple buried in the lady teen, hundreds has been had been protestant, while the wife had held to the catholic faith, despite, strict rules regarding their burial. The couple will manage to cheat the system by picking graves on opposite sides of the dividing wall. There tall headstones, reached above the wall and included carved hands the reached out to touch each other economic status played a part in burial is well those wealthy enough could purchase space inside the church itself. while the less well off had to settle for graves outside the church walls and even then social status detour.
Where, in the yard, a person might be buried, the higher the status, the closer to the chapel but no one wanted to find themselves in the north corner. That was where people of uncertain birth strangers from out of town and still born infants were buried regardless churches, filled up fast, as did the yards around them, as the population of Europe swelled. Space began. disappear at an alarming rate, at first Grey, were simply moved closer together, like the parking lot your local mall, smaller spaces, met more occupants, and that was good for business, but it only worked for a while next coffins were stacked, wanna top next opting for the vertical approach. But this That churchyards were rising as earth was filled in between the growing graves sometime, as high as twenty feet. Gray. Friar cemetery.
In Edinburgh. Scotland, is a horrific example of this problem. They used to be a depression in the ground, but over time become more of a hill. With more than half a million recorded, burials nation has literally risen over fifteen feet insurance seen problems that are unique to a graveyard, so old and so full. According to reports, there is such a high concentration of human remains that on especially rainy days remains that art sealed within a casket have a tendency to flow to the surface bursting through the mud like white teeth. although this left cities in need of some seriously creative thinking in some places, the solution they chose was a drastic one. In France, for example, the government actually had to step in churchyards had gotten so full. That they would often collapse outward spilling soil and human remains onto the streets
walls were built around them. They rarely worked. The dead were getting out of hand, so to speak. In seventeen eighty six, they removed all the bodies from wholly innocent cemetery in Paris them to a series of anew stone, quarries that became known as the catacombs, decimated the catacombs hold was to six million bodies. Sometimes it wasn't a lack of space that ruined a cemetery though, but lack popularity. That's the fate that awaited the cemetery built on former property of Sir William Ashurst in the north London name for the small hilltop community that once existed. There Highgate Cemetery was established on the grounds of the old Manor House, which had been demolished and replaced with a church in eighteen, thirty, nine at first the cemetery was pocket
Karl Marx is buried there, as are many relatives of Charles Dickens, Dante Rossetti the owners lost money and fell on hard times the yard was left to the elements. Monuments and crypts became overgrown with vegetation and sometimes trees would sprout up right through the graves themselves I gave is a wonderful example of what we all imagine a hunted cemetery might look like filmmakers and authors have been drawn to it for decades. Capping into its arresting visual atmosphere to create works of gothic were fantasy. It was even the inspiration behind NEO Game is beautiful, novel graveyard book. but while there are plenty of stories about the history of graveyards throughout Europe and America, cemetery, have always been known for something darker something last here: well, what we can see above ground
Since all those neat rows of bone white headstones Are the notion that hundreds of bodies lay waiting beneath our feet Whatever the reason it's in the local graveyard, more than any other place. I remembered of the other worldly and unexplainable in are those walls between the pale still now and dark trees. Almost everyone has heard tales of those refuse to stay in the grave Buried or not, sometimes, the past is too traumatic to leave us. Just south it Chicago between the curving arms of eighty and I to ninety. Four graveyard known for a level of activity unusual in the place of the dead man
This growth cemetery isn't big. There are only eighty two plots there in many of those have never been used that hasn't snapped the stories. It said that the famous gangster Al Capone once used upon nearby as dumping place for the bodies of those he killed. Other rumours make reference to satanic rituals and meat. in that have taken place in the graveyard over the years, but there are those who swear. They have seen unusual things. There. the most famous citing has been called the White Lady, the ghostly age of a woman that was sent to appear only during the full moon, in eighteen. Ninety one sometimes actually feature to vote of the White Lady on the front cover taken by a researcher on one of her visits, woman appears to be semi, transparent sitting on a tombstone near the trees dressed in white
Other visitors have seen glowing orbs and apparitions, and even vehicles and a farm house that seem to fit in and out of existence. The site is offline to visitors now, but it's remain. Favorite hunt, no unintended of ghost hunters across the country in eighteen, sixty three, an outbreak of smallpox move through a civil war, p o w camp in Columbus, Ohio Camp held close to ten thousand confederate soldiers, and thousands of them died from the epidemic. As a result, the can't chase confederate cemetery was formed, an unusual site so far north into union territory. Miles away in New Madrid Missouri a confederate sympathisers, his young daughter north, to avoid the destruction of the WAR Louisiana Briggs
settled into Ohio and eventually married, you veteran, but she apparently never lost touch with her southern routes. It was said that later in life, she would often visit Camp Chase cemetery where she would place flowers on various graves. There she wore a white veil each time she went an effort to hide her face. Nevertheless, she acquired education around town as the great lady and was known for her passion for the burial, ground passed away and nineteen fifty, but flowers would still appear reg. Really on the graves their visitors to can chase. The sounds of a woman weeping quietly, while others have seen the the woman in avail. Something drew we see an abridged too that location. That much is clear. According to the stories, though, she never left.
Across the country in Connecticut, yet another graveyard place host to a mystery story. Mary heart was born in New haven in eighteen. Twenty four and lived very modest there she was a corset maker and machines teacher by trade working hard to support her family on October, fifteen eighteen, seventy two, Mary fell into a death like state from unknown causes. She was only forty seven young, even for the late nineteenth century, and this tragedy rocked her family to the core by midnight. Mary had expired in her, in family, said about to arrange for a quick and immediate burial. There was a lot of pain I can imagine, and they simply wanted to move on It said that Mary Spirit still wanders evergreen cemetery close to the sight of her home on Winthrop Avenue, more than one story has been told about drivers.
the over to pick up a hitchhiking woman only to have her disappear Others say Mary was a which, although you didn't hear look far in the lady teen hundreds to find a woman who has been accused of something like that before The stories local college students have frequently visited marries grave, which is said to be cursed Anyone who visits her grave at midnight, according to legend, we'll meet a horrible faint. As a result, most people refer to her today as midnight. Mary there are no records of New Haven College students who died after visiting, marries, graveside the weather the stories are rooted. In fact, it hasn't stop them from spreading Mary still has one foot nor world. It seems it's just not clear whose keeping her here.
south Cemetery in Portsmouth. New Hampshire is really a collection of. any smaller graveyards. It's the site the oldest burial ground in town dating back to the sixteen hundreds and it's a wonderful mixture of styles and centuries. either the Auburn cemetery, the proprietors burial, ground, Sagamore Cemetery and Harmony Hill. All combined to showcase everything from an Egyptian styled sarcophagus two wings skulls and victorian scenery, imagery it's a peaceful place and much of the grounds had been planted with flowering trees, creating a park like atmosphere. That was, always the case in the seventeen hundreds Self Cemetery serve double duty as both a graveyard and the sight of several public executions All of them were hangings, a more than a few of them. Women and the reasons were often tragic.
The early eighteenth century, was a very different era from our own. The law books were with rules that might seem barbaric or cruel by today's standards Provincial laws of time required capital punishment for a wide assortment of crimes close to six hundred of them, in fact, including murder, rape, abortion, bestiality, burglary treason and counterfeiting and other capital crime. Though Donis concealment. If a woman found herself pregnant outside of marriage in the MID one thousand, seven hundred her life was effectively over social stigma. Loss of employment, fines and even physical punishment were all expected to follow upon discovery of adultery in the possible resulting after birth. So to avoid this fate, it had become common for women in that situation, to hide their pregnancy and then abandoned
maybe to die of neglect and exposure. This was concealment and it was situation that a woman from South Hampton New Hampshire found herself in in spring of one thousand seven hundred and sixty eight Ruth Clay was just twenty five and split her time between teaching in the nearby towns working as a seamstress. She was single and poor, but she did her best the pregnancy, for as long as she could no one knows when she gave birth to a child. You dont know if she labor alone, with no hands to hold, were a companion to help her through it All history remembers is the baby, but even then there are still questions according to Ruth, the baby had been stillborn that didn't raise her crime of adultery, of course, or the stigma that was sure to follow, but it did mean that she didn't kill the child
she had been afraid, and so she buried the tiny body beneath the floorboards of modern, most likely the sight of one of her travelling classrooms and that she thought was the enemy Bela Ruth didn't know is that some of her local students and washed her they didn't see the birth itself. They did. It feel her pain was beer. and hopelessness. How they saw was a young woman, placing a body in a small space beneath a loose board. They saw a crime, and so they reported it. Ruth was soon arrested by Isaac, Brown Constable and was quickly brought to trial Jury of sixteen was born all men, of course, and they soon ruled that the child had died by violent birth. Ruth they said was alive.
and a murderer. Ruth was held at constables home until she could be transported to jail and sportsmen, but she was still Covering from the birth, and so she remained there for over a month, while her body healed by July nineteen, she had formerly been accused, and two weeks later, she was brought before the provincial court, depleted innocent, of course, but no one listened Her final trial date was set for nearly two months later or the end of September. I can't imagine how lonely she must have been a hopeless Ruth, didn't have a chance. I think it's safe to assume she knew that eighty wasn't kind to women in her position when you added in the dead it fit well, Ruth was pretty sure how is going and trial began on the afternoon of September. Twenty first seventeen six,
and a little over twelve hours later at twelve Angie, handed down the verdict guilty. She was according to their instructions to hang by her neck until dead, but not just yet No, the royal governor of New Hampshire, a man John Wentworth issued three consecutive reprieves postponing her execution. He said it was to give her time to prepare herself for death, but I can't help but wonder if it was really just one or punishment rather than walking to the gallows before the end of September. Ruth would have to wait three one months just before noon. On December thirtieth, over one thousand people gathered at Gallows Hill itself, cemetery in it no its earlier that day and now a cold freezing rain was covering everything in a layer of ice.
Packard. The man presiding over the execution had Ruth place to talk the back of the wagon a rope draped over her head parents stood with her arms around their children, children, Ukraine, there next to catch a glimpse of the woman about to die. There are rumours that a pardon was on its way from the governor that Sheriff Packard was in a hurry to eat his lunch in so he rushed. The seclusion, rather than waiting for the governors letter to arrive at noon. The horses pulling the wagon were driven away from the tree, and Ruth play fell off the back where her but he slowly the noose died moments later. Those same rumours say: the governor stay of execution did arrived just moments after Ruth body stopped moving, there's no record of a pardon instead
freedom. Ruth was given an unmarked grave about three hundred feet north at the small upon minimum cemetery. Today, visitors to the pond, report anomalies in their photographs, ghostly images orbs an indefinable shape some say that their cameras stop working altogether when their according to local legend, a pair of glowing lights, has been seen there in some think its roof. Then her infant child between life and death between places most familiar to us and their vast expanse of the unknown sits the graveyard. It has represented the beginning of a journey for countless culture
across the history of mankind, from the Egyptians to the cons from ancient Europe to Modern Amerika. The cemetery is a constant threat highness altogether. All philosophy aside, these are places born out of loss and filled with deep, ocean in so it's no wonder that so many stories exist, the ones who refuse to stay buried. Maybe ghosts are real after all, or maybe we just wish they were perhaps its both one final note, midnight Mary, the New haven corset maker, who fell into a coma at the age of forty seven, was buried the following day on October 16th, one thousand eight hundred and seventy two that night after the funeral was over at her extended family and travel back to their homes. Mary's on
Had a horrible nightmare in her dream, she saw Mary still alive in her coffin scratching at the lining. In an effort to get out to a screen, and moaning with desperation and the image of that stayed with marries aunt long after she awoke so much so that she managed to convince both her family and the authorities to examine very grave, After the coffin was removed from the earth, then opened it, but they found inside would hunt him for the rest of their lives, marries corpse. Her hands were covered in blood, and many of her fingernails were broken. Reason was clear. After examining the coffins made cloth lining hadn't Ready, apparently, Mary had finally awoken from her coma and in her panic,
I tried to call out. This episode of law was researched, written and produced by me. Errand monkey lore is much more. then upon guess, there's a book series in bookstores the country and online and the secondary. in the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out. If you want more lore in your life by also make two other upon guests, Erin, monkeys, cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I think you'd enjoy both each one explores other. Areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic you can learn about both of those shows everything else going on all over in one central place, the world of lore dotcom. Flash. Now
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-13.