The Curious ‘Death’ of Essie Dunbar

Featured on Snopes today: A century-old case of premature burial, what Elizabeth Warren really said about Mollie Tibbetts' slaying, and rumors that Turkey is holding U.S. nukes "hostage."

Published Oct 19, 2019

With Halloween less than two weeks away, ‘tis the season for sharing horror stories. With that in mind, we’ve dug up one of our favorite tales riffing on an age-old human fear: being buried alive.

Most people are familiar with Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Premature Burial” — a work of fiction — but few will have heard of Essie Dunbar, a South Carolina woman who, according to press reports, really was pronounced dead and buried only to be disinterred hours later and found alive.

This supposedly happened in 1915, which, needless to say, presented some obstacles to Snopes reporter Alex Kasprak’s efforts to document the story a century later.

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