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People Found Alive In Morgues

Updated on February 3, 2016

For many of us, being found alive in a morgue is something we'd expect to only hear about in a horror movie or in an exceptionally bad dream, but for a few people this has been reality and they have woken up to find themselves at the morgue inside a casket or very cold in the morgues refrigeration system.

As far as we know these incidents are quite rare but it does make you wonder how many of these cases make it into the public eye and more to the point, in just how many cases do people actually die at the morgue in this way, rather than before they get there.

Since the temperature at mortuary can vary from 2°C and 4°C or -10°C and -50°C (depending on how long they need to prevent the body from decomposing) it's hard to imagine anyone surviving these freezing temperatures.

But here we take a look at some cases where people really have been found alive at the morgue.

Man Found Alive In Morgue - South Africa

In July 2011, A South African man thought to be between 50 and 80 years old let out a scream for help after being locked inside a the refrigerator drawer at a morgue for 21 hours.

The man who remains unnamed had been pronounced dead after suffering from an Asthma Attack according to CBSNEWS. A private undertaker had been arranged by the family to collect the man's body and take him to the local mortuary.

When staff heard his cry's, they called an ambulance and he was taken to a hospital.

He was considered stable after 6 hours and was released alive and well.

South African Man Wakes Up In The Morgue

Woman Found Alive In Morgue - Brazil

In September 2011, 60 year old Rosa Celestrino de Assis had been taken into hospital for a lung infection. She was thought to have suffered from 2 strokes and was pronounced dead. Rosa Celestrino de Assis was sent to the hospitals mortuary where she spent over two hours in a refrigeration body bag according to ABC News.

It is said that her daughter Rosangela Celestrino went to visit her mother to identify the body and when she hugged her for one last time, she realised that her mother was still breathing. Rosa Celestrino de Assis was at that point returned to the intensive care unit and put on life support.

It is not clear if Rosa Celestrino de Assis recovered from this incident.

Baby Girl Found Alive In Morgue - Argentina

In April 2012, According to SKY NEWS, the baby girl was found alive at the mortuary after being there for 12 hours.

The newborn, now to be named Luz Milagros meaning 'Miracle's Light', was pronounced stillborn and sent to the morgue.

Analia Bouter, the baby's mother said she hadn't had a chance to see her baby girl as she had been sedated during the birth of 3 months premature Luz Milagros.

When Analia Bouter visited the morgue with husband Fabian Veron to say their goodbyes, Mr Veron prised open the coffin lid that had been nailed down. His wife Analia lifted off the white cover which their baby lay under to hear Luz Milagros let out her first cry.

Luz Milagros is said to be recovering well.

Baby Found Alive At Morgue

Although it's safe to say that visiting your loved one for the last time at the morgue can be daunting and somewhat traumatising, it's worth remembering that your one last hug could well be life saving.


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    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      I've heard that too about the fingernail scratches, how awful. I can't imagine any feeling in the world could be worse than knowing your going to dye already buried in a coffin.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      This was a very interesting hub that you wrote. I've also heard stories about coffins that were dug up for various reasons and, when opened, they found fingernail scratches on the inside. Obviously the burried person was still very much alive. I can just imagine the feeling they must've had when they realized they were buried alive.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi Kate Mc Bride,

      I know. It's such a scary thought. My family are now under strict rules to double check on me should the worse happen!!!xxx

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      These stories are unbelievable. It is hard to believe these things could happen in this day and age. Voted up and interesting.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi kashmir56,

      Thank you very much for the vote and having a read. It really does highlight the importance of checking the body over properly and then double checking over again to be 100% sure.


    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Victoria, very interesting hub and i think i just read something about a few people being found in the morgue alive. And as you said in this hub,how many have died in the morgue because someone thought they were dead. You would think they would get it right,and know when a person was still alive or dead, guess not.

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi Pamela99,

      It makes me realise how much I'd like my family to check on me one last time that's for sure!

      Thank you for taking a look and leaving a comment.x

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 5 years ago from London

      Hi rahul,

      It certainly is worrying to think about how many people there could be that wasn't discovered on time. Thank you for having a read despite it giving you the chills.

      Best wishes.x

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      For a morbid topic (hehe), this is very interesting. I have seen some of these on the news and you would think this would be extremely rare, but obviously not recently. I plan to be cremated and not while I'm alive!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      The topic of the hub instantly gave me chills! How intriguing... and sometimes how horrific!

      Someone you love pronounced dead by trustworthy authorities and then they return alive... the return obviously is a relief and moment of joy but what about the mistakes?

      Are we trusting the right people, were they ignorant, were proper tests conducted? No one would think about such things at that point of time but It's a mouthful to think about...

      Nice hub! voted up!