Many people suffer from the intrusive thought that they may be buried alive - to fall into a coma or similar condition, and their relatives to bury them while they watch helplessly, unable to move.
A similar situation is the fear of suddenly waking up in a coffin. There are many cases of archaeological excavations and removal of bones from tombs which suggest that the dead had literally turned in their graves.
This is possible only if they had been buried alive and then suddenly woke up in the coffin and tried to get out. Even modern science is unable to determine absolutely certain death, as there are many cases in which a person has woken up in the morgue.
In ancient times, the only evidence that a person is dead was been putting a mirror up to their mouth, to determine whether they are breathing.
Today, there are sophisticated electronic devices that can register the smallest signs of heart and brain activity, and yet sometimes mistakes still do happen.
One of the most famous resurrections took place in 1064, in the New York morgue. During an anatomical dissection of a corpse, after the first cut, the dead person stood up and grabbed the doctor by the throat. The medic died on the spot, from shock.
Sometimes, relatives of the deceased refuse to bury them, because even after a few days since their death have passed, they manifest no signs of decomposition.
In many such cases, people wake up without having to experience the horror of not being able to get out of a coffin underground, having come out of a coma, or similar condition.
Because of these cases, stories of zombies arose. More than once, gravediggers in different places around the world have heard noises from a neighboring grave, while digging a new one. Sometimes, diggers decide to check what is going on, if they are not too frightened, but they are always late – by the time they can dig up the coffin, the person inside suffocated.
In some countries, there were once laws that forbade hasty burials. The deceased, who died suddenly been preserved in a special place for several days, where they were wrapped with ropes attached to a bell. Thus, if the dead wake, it became clear that the funeral is repealed.