Monday, 31 March 2008

The Chase Vault

The Mystery of the Chase Vault: Coffins that move?

The Chase Vault has become famous for a series of incidents regarding the movement of coffins interred into the tomb. It's an interesting story, take a look for yourself...

The Chase Vault was constructed for James Elliot around 1724. The vault was built such that it was partially underground. It was approximately 12 feet in depth (front to back) and 6 1/2 feet wide. However, Elliot was never interred there, and the vault remained empty until Thomasina Goddard was interred on 31 July 1807. Sometime in 1808, the vault was acquired by the Chase family, a fairly wealthy and important clan in Barbados. Some writers state that the patriarch of the family, Thomas Chase, was one of the most hated men on the island. One example is the account in The People's Almanac: "The head of the family, a man with a vicious temper, was so cruel to his slaves that they had threatened his life."

On 22 February 1808 the body of Thomas Chase's infant daughter, Mary Ann Maria Chase, was taken to the vault for burial. When the vault was opened, Goddard's wooden casket was found to be undisturbed. The vault was then opened on 6 July 1812 to bury Thomas Chase's other daughter, Dorcas Chase. Both Goddard's and Mary Chase's caskets were found to be undisturbed at this time. Both of the Chase girls were interred in heavy lead caskets.

One month later, on
9 August 1812, the vault was opened again to accept the body of Thomas Chase himself. It was at this time that the caskets of the Chase girls were found to be displaced; however the account in the People's Almanac states that Mary's coffin was discovered to have been displaced when the vault was opened to intern Dorcas. According to reports, Mary Chase's casket was thrown from the north-east corner of the vault to the opposite corner such that it was standing on end, head downward. It was assumed the disturbance was the result of vandals or thieves. As such, the caskets were reordered and the large marble slab covering the entrance put back in place.

The vault was opened again on
25 September 1816 to accept the body of another infant, Samuel Brewster Ames. The coffins, with the exception of Thomasina Goddard's, were again found to have been disturbed. Thomas Chase's coffin was supposedly so heavy, it took eight men to move it. Once again, the coffins were reordered, some of them stacked on others in the small vault, and the entrance sealed.

17 November 1816, the vault was opened again to accept the body of Samuel Brewster. Once again, the coffins were found to be in disarray throughout the vault. For the third time, the coffins were moved back to their original positions and the vault sealed.

The vault was opened again on
17 July 1819, to accept the body of Thomasina Clark. Again, the coffins were found scattered. By this time, the mysterious incidents attracted the attention of local officials. Lord Combermere, Governor of Barbados, was reported to have attended Clark's burial. The Chase Vault was carefully examined by the Governor and his staff. No secret entrance into the vault was detected, and sand was scattered across the floor to detect any footprints. The coffins were reordered and Clark's wooden casket placed in the vault. It was reported that Goddard's wooden casket was falling to pieces, either through decay or because of the activity in the vault. The remains of her casket were tied together and placed against a wall. Finally, the vault was closed and the marble slab cemented in place. The Governor and his staff reportedly placed their official seals in the cement to ensure the integrity of the seal.

18 April 1820, some eight months after the burial of Thomasina Clark, the vault was ordered to be reopened. The seals were found to be intact, but when the entrance slab was moved the coffins, with the exception of Goddard's wooden casket, were again found to be in disarray. The account in The People's Almanac includes the macabre detail that "a bony arm, that of Dorcas Chase, [was] sticking out a hole in the side of the coffin." The sand on the floor did not show any kind of human activity within the vault. There was also no indication of flooding or earthquake.

After this incident, the vault was abandoned, and the coffins were buried elsewhere. The vault still exists today at Christ Church Parish Church, and is still vacant.

No one knows what caused the unusual incidents, and probably no one ever will. But I'm sure there's one way to find out - be buried there yourself. I can almost see the Most Haunted episode for the Chase Vault. So, it's a complete mystery, which means, you'll have to judge this one for yourself...

~Burial Bee

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Albert Einstein

Evil does not exist, it is merely the absense of God.

Here's an interesting story I found when I was browsing Snopes...

A professer was teaching a class when he asked if God created everything, and of course, one of the students declared "He did!" The teacher went onto say that if God created everything, then he created evil because evil exists, and by our understanding of what defines us, this must make God evil. No one had an arguement and the professer felt proud of himself for outsmarting the students.

Then one student asked, "Does cold exist?" and the professer said, "of course it does!"

the student replied, "Cold does not exist. Heat exists, and cold is merely the absense of heat. We can measure heat, but we cannot measure cold, at absolute zero, everythign stops because of an absense of heat. Cold does not exist, cold is merely the word we give to the absense of heat."

"Does darkness exist?" the student asked. The professor replied, "of course it does!"

"Darkness does not exist. Darkness is merely the absense of light. We can measure light. We can use prisms to split it and examine the different wavelengths of light, but darkness does not exist, it is simply the word we give to the absense of light."

"Does evil exist?" The student asked, and the teacher replied, "of course it does, we see it everyday!"

"Evil does not exist, it is simply the absense of God."

And that student - Albert Einstein.

I thought this was an interesting urban legend, but sadly, along with Einstein's quote about bees, this legend is completely false. Einstein never said this.

But here's an interesting fact some of you might not know... After his death, Albert Einstein was cremated, but his brain was preserved! It was photographed, then split into pieces and preserved by a doctor who then lost his job after refusing to give the organs up.

Even more gory, his eyes were possibly taken too, as a gift for someone else. Hospitals just weren't the same in the 1950s.

~Brainy Bee

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Greening Discs

Greening Your Discs: Better Sound Quality?

Here's an interesting one for you. Does coloring in the edge of a CD with a green marker pen reduce distortion and give better sound quality? A lot of people believe this, so much so that special products have been produced for just that reason, but for all those people who've bought these and wasted their good money, I'm sorry to tell you, this legend is completely fabricated. That's right, folks, it's false.

I don't know who started this legend, but it seems to have a believable story. That is that the green marker will reduce light reflecting from the edge of the disc, light which usually distorts the sound slightly. Green isn't just a random color, either, it's believed to be the color that absorbs the most light from the laser.

But, as blindfolded people taking part in tests have revealed, there is no difference between regular discs and greened discs. Yet a lot of people are still gonna believe this legend, but for you lucky urban bees out there, you'll know better when it comes to greening your discs.

~Greened Bee

Friday, 28 March 2008

Car Bumpers

Gang Initiations: Bumping and Shooting

A rumour spread widely by text messages over the past few days have said that a new gang is around, the initiation of which requires that the newcomer bump someone's car with their own car, then when the driver of the bumped car gets out, the newcomer is instructed to shoot the driver dead.

This has spread mainly my text message since March 26 and has not been confirmed by authorities, but no one can say for sure if it is false either. Although it has been spread around as a warning to possible victims, some authorities are labelling it an urban legend and insisting that it is not true.

But the truth is, you can never be too sure. In my own opinion, this is probably not true, it seems too perfect that it would spread so quickly and perfectly. Smells like an urban legend to me. But if my car got bumped, I wouldn't get out. It's always good to stay on the safe side.

~Bumped Bee