Body snatching has been around for centuries, from a few ancient Romans who used body parts for witchcraft, to modern day body snatching. Although, now a days illegal body snatching does not happen that often, there is usually a legal run around to get a body exhumed for the use of science. It was not always legal though. When the Catholic church came into power, they prohibited any sort of desecration of the body; living or dead. This is why some body snatchers sold their “prey” to doctors so that they may educated their students about anatomy, but sometimes the doctors and students themselves were the body snatchers. Even Leonardo da Vinci had to rob a grave or two to make several drawings...an example of one of the drawings below.
Before the dawn of modern science and medicine, a few people were buried alive. This lead to the creation of several methods to have the person who is buried to let the people outside to know they were alive. But there was a story of a woman by the name of Margaret Erskine who was buried alive, but was unintentionally saved by her grave robber. The man who intended to take the jewels she was buried with. Actually, this name was said to be the undertaker himself. He buried her in a shallow grave to make the robbery easier for him later on in the night. But as he was cutting off one of her fingers to take the ring on it, she woke up. Now, if it was the dead of night and you were with someone you believed dead and they came back to life, what would you do? Run, yes? Yes. That is exactly was the grave robber did. I have included a illustration titled “Grave Robber Flees from a Corpse That Has Come to Life” below.
If there is anything I want you to take away from this blog entry is to please get legal permission before digging up a body, or you may have a run in with a body come back to life. Please feel free to leave me a comment either about this blog or on an anthropological subject you would like me to cover.