Dark History: Victorian Coffin Bells


Have you ever been buried alive? Being dead is no fun, especially if you have to experience it while you’re alive. Victorian coffin bells allowed the living to rest in peace—these morbid inventions were created by individuals who suffered from a primitive form of paranoia which resides inside all of us. Nobody wants to wake-up inside a box.

Turn on your flashlight: let’s illuminate the Dark History that surrounds us.



Victorian coffin bells jingled and jangled throughout the 19th century. Heavy sleepers worried about someone tossing dirt on them, so they invented clever schemes to make sure they didn’t become the victim of a premature burial. Victorian coffin bell designs varied (depending on location/time period), and many of them did not work as advertised. Good luck getting your money back.

The menagerie of primal fears keeps us awake at night—Victorian coffins bells projected humanity’s ancient paranoia. What happens if you step on an ant? Is it lights out? Or do ants ascend to a kingdom in the cloudy sky? Dead ants don’t tell their secrets. Unfortunately.


Jimmy could have died, or he spent the entire night drinking two cases of beer. We just can’t tell, so let him air-dry outside before tossing dirt on him…just to make sure.

There were a variety of morbid safety coffin flavors, but the most popular seemed to involve bells and cords. Easy. Cheap. Effective. Well…were coffin bells really effective?

Depends on your definition of “effective”.

Free will commands a hand to move a cord, but do you know what else commands a hand to move? Gas. Dead bodies inflate like morbid balloons, but instead of being filled with air, volatile fumes expand the squishy parts. Involuntary movements inside the cozy coffins jangled  certain grave bells, so the design technically worked, but for all the nasty and wrong reasons.





Dark History Story

More than 200 years ago, Rupert D. Quill was the last person to be buried in Crag Heights cemetery. Between shadowy hours, when the cratered ornament refuses to glow, those archaic grave bells shiver and mourn.




Written By

!!** Click Here & You’ll Be Fly **!!



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Published by Dead Donovan

SlasherMonster Magazine

17 thoughts on “Dark History: Victorian Coffin Bells

  1. Interesting post. Today’s modern ways offer a microphone inside and speaker outside, so all you have to do is say out loud from the inside, “Ok, A_ _ hole, get me outta here.” Same concept as saying, “Ok, Google, what is the weather outside?” (or Siri, or Cortana, or a number of those personal assistants)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A deadly post(mortem),but basically an inside job I’d say,and I was wondering where my front door bells went, and I reckon it stinks, that some dead low-life pinched my bells.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post! Learn something new every day 🙂
    “Good luck getting your money back” – oh man, advertising was shady even back then >.>
    I wonder how many graves people opened, actually, before they realized why the bell was ringing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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