Did You Know…?
Hamden Holmes Noble, the founder of Cypress Lawn was mindful that one of the most haunting fears of families during the Victorian era was the possibility of a loved one being buried while still alive.
Thus, it was provided that families with such fears could have the deceased placed in a special receiving vault that included use of an “electric appliance.” By placing a small metal ring snugly on the finger of the deceased, even the slightest twitch or most insignificant movement created an electrical signal notifying a watchman in the cemetery office who was in attendance day and night.
Terry Hamburg, Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation
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The old Sacramento City Cemetery used to have a pipe sticking out of one of the graves (about ten feet high) that was connected to a “Dread Naught” coffin. The bed of the coffin was suspended on two points (like a porch swing) and if it moved a spring loaded device shot a flag up the pipe (which also provided air) to alert people that the buried person was still alive.