Buried Alive, with Bells

Happy Halloween! Bells have a sinister side, too, you know. As my colleague Tiffany Ng has argued in her doctoral dissertation, in cultural representations bells have been associated with utopias and dystopias—death, decay, and all the rest of it. And we don’t even have to look at cultural representations—we can just look at the macabre security coffin from Europe.*   Fear of being buried alive has been common since time immemorial. By the 19th century, western science still hadn’t quite honed in on the notion that death was confirmed by a stopped heartbeat, and anecdotes abounded of the dead coming … Continue reading Buried Alive, with Bells