The haunted Crypt of the Chase family
6 July 1812
Funeral at Christ Church-cemetary in Oistins on the Caribian island Barbados. Dorcas Chase, daughter to the estate owner Thomas Chase, were taken to her final rest in the family crypt were the coffins of Dorcas younger sister Mary Anna, dead as a baby 1807, already were.
When the heavy marble block, which were closing the crypt, were removed, the mourning people were met by a terrible sight. Mary Anna's coffin, which had been placed at the far corner, were now standing at the opposite corner. And Thomasina Goddard's coffin which were placed at the center were standing along one of the walls.
The confused and frighetened family replaced the coffins and put Dorca's there as well. Then they hurried to seal up the crypt and leaved the cemetary.
When the shock left them the family agreed the coffins had been moved by Negro slaves. The purpose of this act would be to revenge the way they were treated by Thomas Chase. But the slaves denied and thought the family got struck by a voodoo curse.
Hardly a month later Thomas Chase died. When his coffin were put in the crypt 9 August the other ones were standing on their right places, which made the family members to draw a deep-drawn sigh of relief. The crypt were, obviously, not under a curse.
25 September 1816
No one were buried in the crypt during the next coming four years, and the mysterious events connected to Dorca's funeral were almost forgotten. But on 25 September 1816 the crypt had to be used again. The almost two-year-old Samuel Brewster Ames were to be buried.
The crypt were opened and the coffins were, yet again, not in order. Although it took eight bearers to lift the coffin belonging to Thomas Chase which were lined with lid, had been pushed over as easy if it had been an empty box.
About two months later the crypt were opened again. This time to welcome Samuel Brewster, who had been moved from St-Philip-graveyard. At this time the mystery about the crypt were well known and a big group of people were gathered.
They weren't disappointed. The coffins had been moved and Thomasina Goddard's coffin were broken. It was tied together using steel wire and were placed along one of the sides of the crypt. Then the remaining coffins were put back on their places. Because of short of place - the crypt were only 4x2 meters - the children's coffins were placed upon the larger ones and the grave were sealed again. The large marble block were put to place to close the crypt and two bricklayers walled it up.
17 July 1819
On this day it was Thomasina Clarke's turn to be buried. The grave of the Chase-family had been so famous at this point the English guvernor on Barbados and two assistants together with several hundreds of curious participated at the ceremony.
The funeral were late by several hours. Removing the mortar were quickly done, but the block could not be moved at all. It was soon shown the coffin belonging to Thomas Chase had been moved and were leaning against the block. And the other coffins were scattered about as domino bricks. The only one which wasn't moved were the pitiful remains of Thomasina Goddard's wooden coffin.
The crypt were thoroughly investigated but no signs of unwanted guests nor cracks in the walls could be found. They were all dragged on place again and the entrance were sealed.
20 April 1820
The governor decided together with a small group of leaders of Barbados to open the grave as a last attempt to solve the mystery. This time it was chaos in there.
One of the big leaden coffins, once again, leaned against the block. Mary Anna's small coffin, obviously, had flewn through the air with such power it leaved a big mark in the far wall before it landed on the floor. Thomasina Clark's coffin, which, at the funeral had been placed on top of Samuel Brewster's, could be found under it. And even Thomas Chase's enormous coffin had turned 180 degrees.
The family now had enough. The coffins were removed from the crypt and were buried in ordinary graves on the cemetary. The crypt were left open and haven't been in use since.
Gas or fiction?
Many explainations have been presented to explain the phenomenon through the years. One of the theories said gases of corruption had poured out from cracks and, like rockets, moved around.
Others suggested earthquakes or floods could have caused it. It is difficult to believe any of these natural phenomenons had been restricted to one single crypt.
Two possible remains: Either the coffins had been moved around by a supernatural power or it is made up. If mystical powers exists they can not be measured or registered. Therefor it is impossible to decide if it's made any change. Everything instead shows the problem have a natural explanation.
When the historian Forster Alleyne in the beginning of the 20th century investigated the matter he could not find anything about it. Although it was said the story was not known only in the Caribbean but all over the world, it wasn't mentioned with a single word in that time's magazines. Nor could any notes be found in the registers of the Christ Church-cemetary. And in the book about Barbados' history, publised 1842, the problem with the coffins was not mentioned. The book were even written by a brother to one of the important representers who's said to have been present when the crypt were opened for the last time.
Everything shows these events never happend. Who is the originator to the story? No one knows.
However, the famous Norweigan author Margit Sandemo, who's well-known for her psychic ability, visited the place and almost passed out because of the very strong feelings in the crypt.