Cypress Lawn History: Believe It Or Not

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


One thought on “Cypress Lawn History: Believe It Or Not

  1. 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.

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