In this article we will be taking a look at the creeping coffins of the Chase family vault – are the dead really awake inside this mysterious tomb?
The Chase Vault
The Christ Church Parish is similar to most churches on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean – peaceful and picturesque.
However, the graveyard contains one of the most well-known, chilling and sinister tombs in the world…
The Chase Vault.
The vault/tomb was originally built by the Honorable James Elliot in the 1700’s – it’s first ‘tenant’ was James Elliot’s wife, Elizabeth, who died on May 14th, 1792.
About a decade later, the impressive vault was bought up by the Walrond Family so they could bury Mrs. Thomasina Goddard.
When the tomb was opened to receive Goddard’s body…Mrs. Elliot and her coffin had completely disappeared without a trace…
The Chase Family
In the early 1800’s, the Chase family purchased the vault. Tragically, the first Chase family member to enter the tomb, was baby Mary Anne Marie Chase who died at the age of two on February 22, 1808.
The tragedy came thick and fast – in 1812 Mary Anne’s older sister, Dorcas, entered the tomb.
There are many rumors surrounding the death of Dorcas – many of which point to her father, Colonel Thomas Chase, abusing her.
A month after Dorcas’s death, Colonel Thomas Chase committed suicide…maybe through guilt?
When the tomb was opened to accept his body…the coffins of his two daughters had been thrown all over the place – one of them was even found upside down!
There was nothing of any worth inside the tomb and the heavy marble slab had not been moved.
Four Years Later…
Moving on 4 years, and he vault was once again opened so that the body of eleven year-old Charles Brewster Ames to be laid to rest.
When the tomb was opened, all of the coffins, even the heavy lead casket of Colonel Thomas Chase, had been scattered violently.
The story started to spread across the island…and paranormal rumors started to creep in.
52 days later, a man named Samuel Brewster was due to be buried in the vault. Before his body entered the tomb, the locals checked it over first – it was completely airtight, water-tight and everything seemed in order.
But when they opened the heavy stone door – they discovered the coffins had moved once again!
One coffin seemed to remain in place – that of Thomasina Goddard.
The Puzzle of the Chase Vault
The mystery of the vault finally reached the attention of Barbados’ governor, Lord Combermere. He decided enough was enough – it was time to solve the mystery of the creeping coffins.
He ordered the tomb to be made impenetrable from the outside, and also ordered sand to be laid around the vault’s door to track possible footprints.
The tomb then remain untouched for two whole years. During this time numerous locals had reported strange sounds coming from inside the tomb.
Eventually Combermere decided the tomb should be checked out – hundreds of onlookers watched Lord Combermere and his men inspect the vault then open it…
The coffins had once again, been thrown all over the place!
The outside of the tomb was untouched – even the sand was smooth.
How had this happened once again?
The Mystery of the Chase Family Vault
There have been many theories on the creeping coffins of Barbados over the years. Earthquakes, flooding, explosions…
Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chipped in with his thoughts on the matter – he believed that the disturbances were created by the ghosts of two inhabitants of the tomb, Dorcas and Thomas.
Now it’s over to you – what do you think is behind the creeping coffins of Barbados?
Natural occurrence or paranormal activity – you decide!