Mystery Chase Vault - moving coffins of Barbados

Friday, December 30, 2011

In Barbados, there is a tomb called Chase Vault. The tomb is not as common graves we know it. The building is large and can contain many coffins in it. However, the mystery is not there. There were strange events that occur in this tomb. Apparently, the coffins are placed in it could move by itself.
This mystery is known as the moving coffins of Barbados and has been the subject of writing several researchers.

The story begins in 1724.
In that year, a man named James Elliot built a large underground tomb. Door of the tomb was made of a heavy marble and designed in a special way. Because of the weight of the stone, it takes about 6-7 people to slide.

Chase Vault
When the tomb was closed, a gap in the large marble that will be cemented so as not easy to open. If one day the door of the tomb was to be reopened to bury someone, the cement must be erased again. After the funeral process is complete, the marble was removed and must be cemented back.
So the tomb was designed in such a way.

Chase Vault Inside
Although it has struggled to build it, Elliot was never buried in that place. The place was left empty until July 31, 1807 when Mrs.Thomasina Goddard was buried in that place. Mrs.Goddard corpse placed in a wooden coffin.
In 1808, the tomb was purchased by the Chase family, one family of a wealthy and respected in Barbados. Because of changes in ownership, the tomb was later given the name which means Chase Vault Chase family tomb.
Thomas Chase, Chase family leader, was one of the most hated in Barbados. According to one record in people's almanac:
"Head of the family is a person who has an evil nature, he was so cruel to his slaves so that they often threatened to kill him."
On February 22, 1808, the youngest child named Mary Ann Thomas Chase 2-year-old died and his body was taken to the Chase Vault for burial.
Door of the tomb was opened, Mary Ann coffin made of heavy tin and then brought into it and placed beside the coffin Mrs.Goddard.
Chase Vault doors were closed again with a large marble and cemented.
After the death of Mary Ann, slowly, began to be filled by Chase Vault bodies other Chase family members.
On July 6, 1812, just five years after the death of Mary Ann, another son named Thomas Dorcas Chase, also died. Some people say that Dorcas had committed suicide by hunger strike because of depression with his father.
Dorcas corpse was taken to Chase Vault and casket are also made of heavy tin put in place with Mrs.Goddard coffin and Mary Ann.
Just a few weeks after the burial of Dorcas, Mr.Thomas Chase, the head of the family, died by suicide. His body was put into the coffin of lead weighing 108 pounds and was taken to Chase Vault.
This was the beginning of a puzzling mystery.
When the door of the tomb was opened, the undertaker was surprised to find that coffins that already exist in it is well positioned improperly. Mary Ann Chase coffins had been shifted to the other corner.
Chase Family members who saw it became very angry and thought there tomb raider who has disrupted the coffins. However, they did not find any items missing from the tomb.
Mary Ann's coffin was returned to its original position and the door closed again Chase Vault.
But the mystery does not end here.
On September 25, 1816, four years after the funeral of Thomas Chase, the tomb was re-opened. This time to accommodate the body of Charles Brewster Ames who was 11 years old.
Once again, they found all the coffins had been on the move, including the coffin of Thomas Chase was very heavy. The only coffin that does not change the position's wooden coffin was Mrs.Goddard.
The officer then ordered that the funeral coffins were returned to its original position. Because of the weight of the coffin of Thomas Chase, it takes eight men to improve their position.
Entrances sealed Chase Vault again.
52 days later, on 17 November 1816, Chase Vault doors were reopened. This time to receive the body of Samuel Brewster Ames.
Once again, his undertakers find coffins in it has changed position. And just as before, Mrs.Goddard wooden coffin is the only one coffin that does not change places.
So, for the third time they gave back all of the casket was returned to its original position.
Three years later, on July 17, 1819, the tomb was again opened to receive the body of Thomasina Clark. Unlike the previous coffin, Clark's body placed in wooden coffins.
When the door of the tomb was opened, they again found the coffins in it are in a messy position.
Four mysterious events are then attracted the attention of the governor of Barbados, Lord Combermere, who touted Clark attended the funeral.
The Governor then ordered a thorough examination of the tomb. But not found any signs of vandalism or a secret passage to the tomb.
Thus, the coffins were re-arranged as before.
Mr.Goddard coffin made of weathered wood has undergone a remarkable so people tie the chest with a rope to prevent escape mess and then put them in contact with the wall corner.
After that, the tomb of sand sprinkled on the floor to detect any footprints.
Then, the door closed again Chase Vault. this time not only closed, Lord Combermere even the door of the tomb was sealed with the seal of the governor.
April 18, 1820, eight months after the burial of Thomasina Clark, Chase Vault re-opened, not to accept a new body, but rather to meet the demand of Lord Combermere who want to know the conditions inside the tomb.
When the door of the tomb is opened, once again, all the coffins in it has changed position. And the same as ever, Mrs.Goddard wooden coffin is the only one who did not move.

Position before

Position after review
Not seen any footprints in the sand on the floor of the tomb.
How coffins that can move?
Those who examined him found no signs that this was the work of human hands. they also found no remnants of standing water or flooding that might shift the coffins that. Some have expressed the possibility of an earthquake, but in that time span, not an earthquake in Barbados.
Because of the investigations carried out did not bring any results, Chase's family decided not to use the tomb again. Chase Vault and then ignored the coffins in it was removed and buried elsewhere.
The tomb still exists today and is left blank.
The story about moving coffins of Barbados was first published by Sir JE Alexander in his book entitled "Transatlantic Sketches" published in 1833. After that, there are still some more writings that tell the story about this mystery.
In December 1907, Andrew Lang, a researcher from the stories of the people of England tried to check the truth of this story. He worked a number of documents originating from Barbados, including burial records and local newspapers.
Lang could not find any news about this phenomenon in the newspaper or funeral records at the time these events happen is called. However, he found there was an unpublished note from Nathan Lucas, who claims to be a witness when the Chase Vault was opened for the last time in 1820.
Lang, could not provide definitive conclusions.
The next research effort that comes from a modern writer named Joe Nickell through his book "Barbados restless coffins laid to rest", published in 1982.
Nickell believes that the events that move the coffin had never happened. According to him, this story is just a Masonic hoax.
The point is, this story is just an allegory that contains a story about the secret room is a mystery according to ancient Masonic texts, symbols of death in which divine truth to be found.
Nickell connect the story moving coffin with Oak Island treasure mystery that is also believed to be the Masonic another Hoax.
Just like any other Masonic allegory, this story is believed to only be made by the Masons as a symbolic story that never happened in the real world and is only intended as an instruction for members of other Freemasons.
Nickell also cites evidence derived from the words of Lucas:
"I've checked all over the walls, the curve and every part of the Chase Vault and found that every part of old age and similar; and a bricklayer (Mason) near me hitting the bottom of each tomb with his gavel, and it was all solid."
One quote about the hammers can be found in Macoy's Illustrated History and Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry where it was said that the Masons honor hammers pounding sound that symbolizes the authority of the Master.
According to Nickell, use of the word "Mason" to call a mason by Lucas quite interesting. Nickell suspect that Lucas himself was a Mason who participated in making the allegory.
Nickell also believe that other famous Masons to participate in this allegory the story and helped cover it up, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever discussed about the Chase Vault in the 1919 article in the newspaper "The Strand". In the article, Doyle used the word "Effluvia" which means the grave.
Said that, generally only understood by the Masons.
Nickell theory is considered as the most plausible explanation of this mystery.
However, the outside normally, although this story is considered a hoax, called a similar mystery happened in the tomb in Stanton, Suffolk, and in a small cemetery on the island Lutherian Oesel in the Baltic sea. Both mysteries are equally occurred in the 19th century and equally unresolved.


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