Coffins – they’re man’s best friend. People say that about dogs but no, coffins are much better. Where I’m from nobody has a dog but everyone has their own coffin. There are coffin adoption centers, coffin breeding programs, all to meet the demand. But this list is not about the advantages of trading your dog for a coffin. It’s about something much worse. Here are the most mysterious coffins in human history.
10: Miniature Coffins of Edinburgh
In 1836 a group of children were hunting rabbits on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Wandering into a small cave, they found something much stranger than rabbits – 17 miniature coffins. Less than four inches long, each contained a small wooden doll carved with it’s eyes wide open and dressed in cotton. Word soon spread of the discovery but no one seemed to have had any clue they existed. Some came to believe they were the corpse of a kind of mythical creature. Perhaps they were dead fairies or goblins. Others said the coffins were part of a ritual performed by local witches. No sign of who left them was ever seen and still today the purpose and origin of the coffins remain a mystery.
9: The Airtight Iron Coffin
In 2011 a large coffin was unearthed at a New York construction site. This kind of thing is known to happen from time to time. But unlike others, this coffin was airtight and entirely made of iron. Inside a mummified human corpse was found. It was in such good condition police initially thought she was a recent homicide victim. Maybe even a mafia hit considering it’s location. But the body was soon dated to the mid 18 hundreds. It was only thanks to the airtight coffin that the corpse was preserved. At the time airtight iron coffins were briefly in fashion. In fact, a first lady was buried in one. They were very expensive and usually reserved for the most privileges in society. But the body discovered was a black woman of modest means. Who she was and why she was afforded such a prestigious burial is unknown.
8: Hanging Coffins of China
In a remote region of China there once lived a people who refused to bury their dead. Instead they raised the coffin of a dead community member high up, and attached it to the side of a mountain. The mountains here are covered in mysterious coffins and littered with fragments of bone, since even when above ground a coffin cannot last forever. It’s unknown why this practice was started. But it is thought to go back thousands of years, with the oldest being three thousand. The ethnic group who did it no longer exists, so perhaps we will never know why it happened.
7: Mexican Bridge Coffins
Not long ago a man was walking through the Mexican city of Tlalnepantla. Passing by a bridge, he noticed a hole in it’s base. And looking inside, found rows of coffins stacked on top of each other. Nineteen coffins were hidden inside the bridge. As many people had recently gone missing in the area, he assumed their corpses were inside. Concerned, he posted images of the coffins online. Local authorities claimed the bridge was simply used for storage and the coffins were empty. But many don’t believe this official story, claiming corruption or the cartels might be behind it.
6: The Connecticut Vampire Coffin
Thirty years ago a mysterious coffin was discovered in a gravel quarry. Strangely the corpse inside had clearly been mutilated in horrific ways. It turns out he died two centuries ago, at a time when Connecticut was in the grip of a Vampire scare. People saw Vampires everywhere and feared their own dead relatives might soon rise again. And so it became common practice to mutilate the corpses of recently dead, cutting out their hearts and burning it. That’s what happened to the corpse discovered in the quarry. But even more strangely it seems to have been buried twice. Only after the first burial did his family decide to mutilate him, just to be sure he would not rise a Vampire. For the historical time period this kind of burial was nothing too extraordinary, but it resulted in one of the most mysterious coffins of all time.
5: The Glass Coffin
Four years ago a small Victorian artifact was unearthed in a San Francisco home. At first it appeared to be a time capsule. But being glass it’s discoverers soon realized it was actually a coffin – a tiny coffin for a two year old girl. It was a long time before the girl’s identity was uncovered. But eventually she was named Edith Howard Cook, member of one of San Francisco’s most powerful families. It’s not really that mysterious. I just think having a glass coffin is only a waste of glass.
4: Cursed Black Sarcophagus
Not long ago a gigantic black Sarcophagus was discovered in Egypt. Nine feet long and six feet tall, it’s among the largest ever discovered. And made of dark granite, it was a unique find. Many warned researchers not to open the sarcophagus, fearing it might be cursed. But it was dated to around the time Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. On top of that legend tells his corpse was taken to Egypt after death. So they could not resist the chance to identify Alexander’s resting place.
It’s true that every mysterious coffin of this time period and location is often assumed to be that of Alexander, so you must not find it surprising. Inside they did not find Alexander but three different skeletons surrounded by some kind of thick brown liquid. Their names and that of the strange liquid is unknown. But so far no curse seems to have been unleashed.
3: Haunted Indonesian Coffin
The coffin at a recent Indonesian funeral traumatized some attendees. As the coffin was lowered into it’s grave the body inside appeared to wave. Footage of the funeral clearly show it’s arm move, causing some to claim he was buried alive. Others claim the coffin itself was buried – most however believe rigor mortis is to blame. Whatever the truth, it scared a lot of people.
2: Charles Francis Coughlan Coffin
Charles Francis Coghlan was a famous 19th century actor. But today he is more known for the strange fate of his coffin, one of the most mysterious coffins ever. He died in Texas in 1899 and was given a metal casket. Bizarrely, his relatives could not decide what to do next – whether to bury or cremate him. Then before they had decided the coffin was swept away in floods caused by a hurricane. The coffin was gone and for several years after a reward was offered to anyone able to recover it. This caused anyone who found a coffin at sea to claim it was him. As far away as Canada people claimed to find the coffin, washed up on the shore. Still now it remains a mystery.
1: Tsar Alexander’s Empty Coffin
In 1934 a strange rumor emerged from the Soviet Union. According to it the coffin of one of Russia’s long dead Tsars had been opened, but found to be empty. There was no sign of Tsar Alexander’s remains igniting another rumor, this time much older. Alexander was a deeply troubles man, having helped organize the assassination of his own father. Then in 1825 he died at a relatively young age. But after his funeral, some began to claim he faked his death, and an empty coffin was laid to rest. It was said he retired in secret to a monastery in remote Siberia. Since then, debate over his fate and his multiple mysterious coffins have lived on.