Timothy Clark Smith’s grave in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery. Smith was a 19th century doctor with an incurable fear, taphephobia — defined as an irrationally morbid fear of being buried alive. Fear of being buried alive was elaborated to the extent that those who could afford it would make all sorts of arrangements for the construction of a “safety coffin”, or other safety measures to put in place. Dr. Smith was buried in a specially prepared grave with his face positioned beneath a cement tube that leads to the surface. The 6ft tube ended at a piece of 14×14 inch plate glass allowing Tim to gaze upward towards the Vermont skies in the event that he was buried alive. For extra protection, a bell was supposedly placed in his hands that he could ring in case he woke up.
Photo credit (top)Geoff Howard, (bottom)LINK