The Chase Vault
The Chase Vault
The Chase Vault was originally built in 1724 for James Elliot. He had it built partially underground 12 feet deep and 6 1/2 feet wide although he was never laid to rest there. The vault stayed empty until July of 1807, when Thomasina Goddard was laid to rest there.
In 1808, the Chase family came to own the vault. The Chases were a wealthy family and were considered an important clan in Barbados. Thomas Chase the head of the family was not very much liked. Well actually, he was considered to be one the most despised men on the island.
The Chase family began to use the vault in February of 1808 when Thomas's infant daughtered was taken to the vault to be buried. When the infant was laid to rest, the coffin of Mrs. Goddard was found to be undisturbed. Thomas lost another daughter in 1812 and she was also laid to rest in the vault. Both girls were laid in heavy lead caskets.
One month later, Thomas Chase himself died and was taken to the vault. When the vault was opened to accept Thomas's body both of his girls caskets and been thrown all over the place but Mrs. Goddard's casket was just as always. The family assumed this was the work of thieves and reordered the girls caskets and put everything back in place.
In September of 1816, the vault was again opened to except another infant. Again the girls caskets had been tossed all around but now Thomas's casket had been disturbed to. But still, Thomasina Goddard's casket remained perfectly on place. Once again Thomas and his daughter's caskets were reordered and put back in place.
In November of the same year the vault was again opened to accept another body. Same story Thomas and daughters had again been violated but there resting neighbor Thomasina was unbothered. News of these happenings finally reached the Governor who ordered the Chase Vault to be fully examined. No secret entrance to the vault could be found and the officials sprinkled sand across the floor to detect any footprints. Again the caskets were reordered and everyone put back in place to rest in peace. Then the Governor had the vault sealed again and placed his sea; on the entrance to assure no disturbances.
Eight months after the Governor had the vault fully examined and resealed it was opened again to accept another body, at which point the same sight was to be seen Thomas and his family members had been tossed all around and Mrs. Goddard was right where left. The sand sprinkled on the floor showed not one footprint. The Chase family decided to abandon the vault and moved their loved ones elsewhere. Even Mrs. Goddard was moved. Hopefully no where near Thomas Chase because I believe that maybe Thomasina knew what kind of man Thomas was and was upset that he was laid to rest with her.
The vault still exists today at Christ Church Parish Church and still remains vacant.
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