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The Mystery of the Dancing Caskets of Barbados


Of all the weird stories surrounding the history of voodoo island of Barbados the one that strikes me most is of the dancing coffins. The gravesite was really a very well built mausoleum and first used by a man named James Elliot to bury his young bride Elizabeth, who died in 1792. Another family purchased it a few years later and used it for another burial. But when the tomb was re-opened, workers were shocked to find the coffin of Elizabeth missing. No sign of her coffin or her remains were ever found.
It seems that a family named Chase then purchased it as a family plot and every few years, one by one, when family members passed away they were placed inside. Everything went fine until the death of the patriarch of the family.

The first Chase to be buried there was two-year-old Mary Anne Marie who was placed in the sizable mausoleum, in a lead coffin. Her older sister Dorcas followed her in 1812 and some people believed that her father Thomas had abused her. Colonel Thomas Chase was rumored to be a very cruel man and both were hated and feared by just about every one he came in contact with.

One month later, the Colonel followed her to the after world and when the tomb was opened, the coffins of the girls were in disarray and turned upside down. The seal of the mausoleum had not been broken previous to the opening. After the shock subsided, the tomb was cleaned up and the Colonel's coffin too, was placed inside the crypt and it once again was sealed.

When the next Chase died, the tomb was opened to reveal that the coffins had been tossed around again. The tomb was now getting well known so it was ordered that it should be inspected and sealed completely tight. A seal was placed on it and sand sprinkled on the floor, to tell if any one had entered. It did not work. The last time it was opened, the tomb showed no sign of tampering from the outside but when opened it was in even worse shape. Coffins were damaged and an arm was sticking out of one of the caskets. All coffins are now buried in plots in the cemetery. Slaves of the Colonel and workers heard strange noises coming from the tomb at night for a time there after.

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