"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

Yes, another gruesome one, but you have to admit that's one eye-catching headline.  The “Arizona Silver Belt,” March 31, 1910:

With an eastbound Santa Fe passenger train running at full speed out of Needles yesterday the express agent and baggageman were so badly scared by the movements of a corpse in the baggage car that they would have deserted the car had it not been what is known as a blind baggage, according to the statement of a passenger who arrived here last night, says the Prescott Courier. 

The corpse was being shipped from California to Ohio for interment. The body was that of a man who died four months ago. Soon after the train pulled out of Needles the occupants of the baggage car saw the lid of the box encasing the remains move, although it was sealed in the usual way. Aware that the man had been dead four months they were surprised at seeing such remarkable signs of life. 

After recovering from the first shock they approached closer to the coffin casing and were further surprised to see the lid slowly rising from the box as if being pushed up by the strength of the body in the coffin. With the lid open the corpse continued to rise until almost in a standing position before the next station was reached, when with the aid of the trainmen the body was pushed back into its place and unloaded at the depot to be further prepared for shipment to its last resting place. 

Passengers who saw the body claim that it was not scientifically prepared for shipment, judging from the odor, and that the box containing the coffin was not hermetically sealed strong enough to comply with the rules governing the shipment of corpses. The queer action of the corpse is believed to have been provoked by the warm weather prevailing in Needles and vicinity.

When everyone left the train, I hope there was a bar nearby.  I’m sure they needed it.


  1. Oy. I'm not especially litigious, but I'd be hiring a lawyer, if I were kin to the coffin's occupant.

  2. Gases produced by decomposition may have lifted the lid a bit but " the corpse was almost in a STANDING position" ? Yowza

  3. A barf nearby, certainly at least.


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