I came across a story last week about the grave of Timothy Clark Smith. He was burried with a head stone with a window looking down into the grave.Yuck!
The grave is in Evergreen Cemetery and due to Smith's fear of being burried alive he designed his tomb to have a window in the headstone so that people could verify that he was in fact dead and not burried alive.
This fear, known as taphephobia, is a very real thing, possibly brought on in part by Lazarus Syndrome or the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts at resuscitation. Though it occures rarely, people fears it enough to have coffins made where a string could be fed through and attached to a bell on the surface so that if they were unlucky enough to be burried alive, they could ring the bell for help.
Smith died in 1893 and was burried in his specially designed tomb with the window looking down the concrete shaft into the coffin squarely at his face. Now, due to moisture and age, you can only see a few inches into the grave, but by all accounts Smith remained dead.
How creepy is that?