It is always with a feeling of horror that we read of a grave being opened and the finding of the fact that a burial had taken place before death had actually claimed its victim; and yet such cases are of more frequent occurrence than is generally supposed. Some very strange cases of persons being buried alive, and the manner in which the facts were brought to light, have recently been made public. One of the most remarkable of these is now presented as showing to what an extent this blunder has of late been carried on in the United States.
The last was that of a lady, by name Mrs. Roberta Ainslee, of New Orleans. The lady had been sick for some time With a malarial fever, and was at the end of ten days pronounced dead by her physician, as all signs of animation seemed to be suspended – the body was cold, the pulse stopped, and the lips were bloodless. Mr. Ainslee was himself sick at the time and could not attend the funeral of his wife; but a few days afterward he called the old woman who had attended her in her last illness, and made her give him a detailed statement of the facts. After listening to her story Mr. Ainslee stated that he had had a strange dream in regard to his wife, and he was firmly of the impression that she had been buried alive. So strong a hold did this dream take upon his mind that as soon as he was able he, in the company of a few friends and an undertaker, went to the vault in which the body had been placed, and opening the large box in which the coffin was confined, that receptacle was found to be sprung at every joint, and the top almost pried off. Upon opening it, the body of Mrs. Ainslee was found to be lying on its face, and the terrible expression the face had upon it gave evidence of the struggle that must have been made for freedom.
Scarcely less mournful are the consequences of the sad discovery – Mr. Ainslee is now a raving maniac.