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From about the 7th century, European burial was under the control of the church and on consecrated church ground. Practices varied but, in continental Europe, bodies were usually buried in a mass grave until they had decomposed. The bones were then exhumed and stored in ossuaries either along the arcaded bounding walls of the cemetery or within the church under floor slabs and behind walls.
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Find A Grave
See the graves of thousands of famous people from around the world..  Online virtual cemetery with photos, biographies, and virtual flowers. Includes index of famous and historical figures' burial information and grave images.  Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials, add 'virtual flowers' and a note to a loved one's grave, etc.

Grave Addiction
photos from cemeteries, haunted places, and historical sites.

Saving Graves
A collaborative effort of cemetery preservation advocates working to increase public awareness and activism in preserving, protecting and restoring endangered and forgotten cemeteries worldwide.

A Very Grave Matter
The heart of the history of any New England town can be found in it's cemeteries. This web site is a collection of photographs and historical information of colonial cemeteries and gravestones of New England in southern Maine, southern New Hampshire and northeast Massachusetts. There are so many significant aspects of tombstones, from the symbolism and artwork of the carvings themselves, to the marks the individuals themselves made on history.
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In 1896 the Merchant family of Marion, Ohio erected what they thought would be a beautiful and fitting grave monument for their plot in the Marion Cemetery. Within two years after its installation, however, someone noticed that the 5,200 pound polished granite ball atop the Merchant pedestal had begun to rotate. The only unpolished spot on the ball was now visible indicating the ball was on the move. The.......
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Buried Alive
Did you know that a large % of people were buried alive?  Yes they were.  In 16th Century England it was common to use lead cups to drink their ale and whisky in.  It was said that the combination would sometimes render a person unconcious for a day or two. 

It was common for the person to be laid out on a table (usually the kitchen table) and the family would gather around and eat and drink while they waited to see if he or she would wake up.  This is where the custom of holding a "Wake" became known.

We know now that many times these people were buried alive because of the lead poisoning and were never dead to begin with.


Custom of reusing graves
In many cultures and countries it was custom to reuse graves or above ground tombs.  When a certain amount of time had passed bones from a grave would be removed and taken to a bone-house.  If it was an above ground tomb the bones would simply be pushed to the back of the tomb to make room for the new body.

Many times when the removal of these bones took place, many of the coffin  had many many scratch marks on the inside of it.  The only explanation of this is that the person was buried alive and woke up after they had been buried.  Can you imagine the horrifying that would of been!

In the olden days some families would try and safeguard burring their love ones alive by tying a string to their wrist.  The string went through a hole in the lid of the coffin and up through the ground.  The string was tied to a bell that sat on top of their grave.  You wont believe this part but a family member or friend would sit beside the grave and wait for the bell to ring.  They would take shifts day and night just waiting.  If the bell started ringing they were "Saved By The Bell."  Which is a famous saying today.  This custom was also the reason we have the saying "Dead Ringer."



Humorous Headstones

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