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25 July 2013

Caged graves

While searching through images about goth, I often find this image of a graved cage (see below). Many think that these kind of graves were done to avoid the zombie apocalypse in Victorian era but as you can guess this surely isn't exactly the reason why even though it would be really cool.

Picture

 "In actuality, these cages were used to prevent body snatching. It was a HUGE problem especially in areas where medical schools were prevalent.

The practice of allowing students to learn anatomy by dissecting bodies was finally allowed in the 18th century. Prior to that, they only watched teachers and instructors without having hands on experience themselves. But as soon as they were giving the go-ahead, bodies starting disappearing from graveyards like crazy. Lots and lots of bodies.

Gangs of body snatchers were "employed" to remove bodies from graves. Many of these gangs fought one another over the "cadaver trade" because it was a pretty good money making business. Many nights, the body snatchers would steal as many as 6 bodies. They would even ship bodies over sea--it was THAT great of a business. (Some gangs even started killing people just so they could get more bodies to sell).

Well, as you can imagine, it created quite an uproar among the citizens who lost the bodies of loved ones. It caused riots and fighting in the graveyards, and several men found robbing a grave were lynched on the spot.  But people demanded more as the practice of body snatching worsened.

Picture

So graveyards became FORTIFIED and underwent some major changes.

Seriously, people built watch towers, they hired armed men to patrol the cemeteries (called watchmen societies--some having over 2,000 members). Many cemeteries even went so far as to use land mines and spring guns.

There were even cases in history in which family members would rig their loved ones coffin with traps that would kill anyone trying to remove the coffin. Gun powder. Kaboom!
Those families who could afford it built the metal cages or placed large stones over the graves of their loved ones. This helped to preserve the grave and deter grave robbers."

Source: www.angelascottauthor.com






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